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Create Your Own Grow-Light Shelving Unit

By beckygardener
January 27, 2015

Need an indoor grow-light shelving unit to sow and grow your plants during the winter months? This is how I made one.

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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Jan 26, 2015 6:36 PM CST
Becky, what a wonderful article with great step by step instructions! I used to grow African Violets and other Gesneriad houseplants and I had two 72" tall metal stands that I rigged lights to. The shelving part on my stands was open, lattice-like metal so I used old floor tiles on top of the metal to level and steady the plants and I put casters on one of them for easily rolling them out to the porch for fresh air once in awhile. I like those shelves from Home Depot, they are much sturdier than what I used; if I ever decide to have a grow light set up again I will definitely consider using that type!
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Jan 26, 2015 7:04 PM CST
Lin - Thank you.

I tried other shelving units (that I had) but they were much flimsier. The Edsal shelving units were far sturdier, heavier, and more solid. I didn't worry about them tipping over or collapsing. I did put pieces of wood under each leg as I had this set-up in a spare room and didn't want to ruin the carpet due to the metal legs. This set-up worked out perfectly for me and I now have plenty of plants growing in my yard because of these indoor grow-light shelving units! It was really nice to see green plants growing (and even blooming) in the middle of Winter. The green growth and bright lights sure lifted my spirits! These were set-up during a couple of Winters when we had some unusually low freezing temps here and I lost a number of my tropical outdoor plants.

The initial cost was off-set by the amount I saved from not buying nursery plants that year ... because I grew my own from seeds instead! (Seeds are typically far cheaper than plants purchased from a local nursery.) Thumbs up
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: David Paul
(Zone 9b)
Cat Lover Hibiscus Seed Starter Native Plants and Wildflowers Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Miniature Gardening Keeper of Poultry Herbs Foliage Fan Farmer Dragonflies
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DavidofDeLand
Jan 27, 2015 5:06 AM CST
I agree with Lin and love the Morning Glories! I tip my hat to you.
Name: Linda
Tucson, Arizona
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Morning Glories Region: United States of America Amaryllis Hummingbirder
Region: Southwest Gardening Echinacea Roses Birds Seed Starter Plumerias
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quietyard
Jan 27, 2015 10:34 AM CST
I am impressed. Really great idea! Thank You!
" And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden" Genesis 2:8
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
Region: Indiana Garden Art Annuals Clematis Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 2
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blue23rose
Jan 27, 2015 4:38 PM CST
Very impressed Becky! You always have such innovative ideas to share Hurray!
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Jan 27, 2015 6:16 PM CST
David, Linda, and Vickie - Thank you so much! I have to be frugal due to my lean budget ... I am forced to get pretty resourceful. I had looked at some of the nice grow-light shelving units designed specifically for plants and the cost was really high. I was quite shocked to see some as high as $600. I nearly dropped my jaw. I had originally purchased the shelving units years prior and was using them in my garage, so I basically just re-purposed them for a few years. Therefore, my main expense was the shop lights and the bulbs. I moved all the junk piled on them into plastic storage bins which are now stacked on these shelving units. If I ever want to grow more plants in Winter, I can just move those shelves once again. (Though I don't have an empty spare room anymore to put them in. I am sure I could figure out SOME place to set them up if I needed to. Whistling )

I enjoyed Japanese Ipomoea nil morning glories and grew them for many years outside. Unfortunately, they are prone to rust in my yard, so I stopped growing them several years ago. That was the last year I grew them. I grew them indoors and got lots of blooms to enjoy! Afterwards, I started growing various other plant species for the butterflies and hummingbirds and most of those still reside outside in my yard to this day for the wildlife to enjoy. Smiling
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
[Last edited by beckygardener - Jan 27, 2015 6:17 PM (+)]
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Name: David Paul
(Zone 9b)
Cat Lover Hibiscus Seed Starter Native Plants and Wildflowers Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Miniature Gardening Keeper of Poultry Herbs Foliage Fan Farmer Dragonflies
Image
DavidofDeLand
Jan 27, 2015 7:31 PM CST
I'm very there with you on the lean budget Becky. It just makes us get wiser! Thumbs up

I was surprised at the blooms on such young plants from those Morning Glories. I tip my hat to you. That was cool! Smiling
Name: Drew
Piedmont N.C. (Zone 7b)
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homer1958
Jan 29, 2015 12:39 PM CST
If you have the room and disposable income... I paid a $100.00 for the Commercial shelving unit at Sams' Club. I bought two, 6 tube T-5 light fixtures at a (You know it was a Head Shop), for about $150.00 a piece. Shelves are adjustable as well with 2-3'' increments I believe.







Thumb of 2015-01-29/homer1958/2890e7
[Last edited by homer1958 - Jan 29, 2015 12:42 PM (+)]
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Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Jan 29, 2015 7:25 PM CST
David - I grow a lot of my plants as dwarfs or miniatures. Here are just some of those Japanese Morning Glories that I was growing under the grow-light shelving unit back in the Winter of 2011.

Thumb of 2015-01-30/beckygardener/b15233

Drew - A very nice set-up! Glad to see that others came up with a similar idea!

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
[Last edited by beckygardener - Jan 29, 2015 7:31 PM (+)]
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