Greenhouse in basement

claubill(z3Sud ONT)August 4, 2005

We are finally going to be finishing our basement and one section will be devoted as a greenhouse. Does anyone have any suggestions to make it a productive area? I've already bought a lot of lights and lamps at yard sales and I've bought a couple of fans to help with the air circulation. I'm going to be collecting a lot of different seeds from our garden. Are there are some flower seeds which are easier to start than others? I don't want to start something from seed and get discouraged if germination rate is low? I know that marigolds and nasturtiums are really easy.

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Hi Claubill:

Venting is an important consideration when growing plants in an enclosed area. Too much humidity will cause problems in other parts of your home.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2005 at 4:37AM
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Yes, like moulds and mildew.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2005 at 3:02PM
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sahoyaref(Alberta z3a)

In addition to adequate ventilation, the lights must be of the correct spectrum. I'd suggest checking out the artificial lighting forum.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2005 at 8:47PM
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peatpod(Z5b Ontario)

I too devote one area of my basement to seed starting. Ventilation is greatly needed and yes you can use the grow bulbs from Canadian Tire in your shop lights is thats what you have purchased. I find that starting most of my seeds using the baggie method to work wonderfully. That way I dont use up much needed space on seeds that are not viable. Purchase good soil and sterilize it .. basically you cook it in the oven .. that way you dont get as many bugs and fungus ... Purchase some Damp Off and a spray bottle .. that will further assist your success.

As for seeds .. well I have growen everything from Canna seeds to petunias in my basement .. I start all of my canna early so that I have large flowering plants in the spring / early summer. This summer I am fiddling around with cuttings .. mostly tropicals but this is new to me.

For more info go to the Growing from seed forum .. they are really great. Also you might want to check out the Wintersowing forum.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2005 at 12:26AM
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I grew pelargoniums (common geraniums)from seed in the basement last year. They did fantastic. Parsley too. I had the tray which caught the water overflow on a slight tilt so I could drain the excess easily. I have a rack made of PVC and plywood. The light fixtures are hung with link chains so they are really easy to adjust. The best part is that the whole thing can be taken apart when not in use and when I take the boards off, the frame is really lightweight. I draped the whole thing in clear plastic for germination, then took it off. It was nice and cool down there.
This year I'm going to start some tansy early. It barely grew from the seed I planted in May outside.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2005 at 9:00PM
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onewheeler(Z5 N.S.)

I have a walk in plastic greenhouse in my basement. The reason for it is to keep my cats from digging around in the newly planted seeds. It sets in front of a window in the basement that gets sun all day.

You also need some shelves or little tables.

I don't grow much from seed but when the roots start coming into the stores I buy them and start them in the house. I have had peonies bloom the first year from starting them in the basement when they first arrive. Also good for dahlias, gladiola and other bulbs like lilies.

Good luck with the new project.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 3:03PM
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jroot(5A Ont. Canada (near Guelph))

It is possible to have your "greenhouse" in your basement. Yes, you do have to be aware of moisture build up, but that can be controlled.

My pelargonium green house.

My cutting shelves with florescent lamps ( free recycling)

It does take some power, so one has to figure out where the cut off point is. When does it become more expensive to propogate one's one compared to purchasing them from a professional grower.

Food for thought.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 6:15PM
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peatpod(Z5b Ontario)

I would agree with Jroot .. the hydro can get a bit expensive but for me its money well spent. But for many of the annuals and hardy plants for your zone you might want to check out the wintersowing forum. I winter sowed tons of things this year and had excellent results. I do think I went a bit overboard as I am still trying to find homes for some of my plants :o) Claubill .. I really should keep you in mind for some of my extras next year. I go to Sudbury in the spring to plant my mother's garden. I will send you a list of all of the seeds I WS'ed and started in my basement this past season.


    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 11:01PM
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madtripper(5/6 Guelph)

For seedlings you can use just about any light - does not need to be a grow light.

If you want a really good grow room check out the 500 Watt HID lights. They may seem expensive, but when compared to a lot of flourescent figures they are actually cheaper and produce much more light.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 10:29PM
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