Step by Step:
1. To create the legs and upright bars, use a hacksaw to cut the 3/4- inch PVC pipes into the following lengths:
2 22.5-inch sections (for the upright bars)
4 8-inch sections (for the legs)
2. For a polished look, prime then paint all the PVC pieces.
3. Connect the 8-inch pieces using with the 3/4 inch tees. Add the upright 22.5-inch PVC in the 3/4 inch tee.
4. Attach the S-hooks and o-rings to the ends of the white metal chain (2-1/2 feet each). Put the o-rings on the 1 inch PVC pipe (will be used as the overhead bar).
5. Using the 1 inch PVC pipe as the overhead bar, connect it to the 3/4 inch vertical PVC using the elbow joints.
6. Attach the S-hooks and chain to overhead shop light so the light is at least 3 inches above the young seedlings.
7. For a clean look (and to keep bugs out) place caps on the open ends of the PVC pipe.
Good to Know: For easy control of your set-up, use a timer to run the shop lights for 14 to 16 hours per day.
Seed Starting 101:
1. Starting plants from seed is easier than you think. Here's what you need to know to get a jump on spring. Certain plants and flowers are easier to start from seed than others. Stay away from root, tuber or bulb crops (beets, radishes, carrots, and onions) and leafy greens (spinach, lettuces). They do not transplant well.
2. You can start seeds in a variety of containers: a cardboard egg carton, peat pots, nursery flats or seed starting kits such as Ferry-Morse Herb or Floral kits (#2368). Make sure the containers have holes in the bottom for good drainage.
3. Use sterile seed-starting mixture, such as Miracle-Gro Seed Starting Potting Mix (#156696). Moisten the seed-starting mixture before sowing the seeds.
4. Follow seed planting information on the seed packets. It will include germination time, light preference, and planting depth. Seedlings look alike so be sure to label the pots after planting.
5. Thin out crowded seedlings. If individual cells or pots sprout more than one seedling, remove the extras by snipping the stems with a small scissors. Keep the largest, healthiest seedlings, leaving at least an inch of space between the remaining seedlings. It's hard to get rid of young healthy plants, but if the crowding continues, all the plants will die.
6. Water gently. As the seedlings grow taller, adjust the light so it remains at least three inches above the seedlings.
7. As the seedlings grow and the outdoor temperatures reach the 50s, your plants will need to be hardened off (toughened up) before heading out to the garden. Acclimate them to the outdoors by setting them in a protected area, such as a porch or shaded area. After about a week, they'll be ready to get growing in the garden.