Banging in the poles

Now for the seed trays

All done!

Getting a jump on spring plantings a few weeks back I made a few hundred soil blocks, have 50 or more trays filled with seedlings and 20 flats of wheat grass (for the poultry)

To be able to get the most from your garden, successive plantings are a must.  Yet, doing so is challenging for so many reasons.   Additionally, as we have a very small urban garden (4,000 sq ft), it also requires finding available space for trays and trays of seedlings. This is very hard to do in our compact space.  Though I have a few small greenhouses and a couple of metal seed shelves, surplus seed trays are sometimes lined up in the driveway, pathways making for a rather tight walkabout the yard.

Yesterday afternoon (in between rain showers and little hail storm) another seed shelf went up!  We had a few (salvaged) metal poles stored down stairs and a bucket full of brackets, screws in the garage.


Metal posts 4 – recycled
Wood: 8 2 x 4  Purchased from a local, family owned lumber shop

Cost: $25

How are your spring plantings coming along?


  1. Amber says:

    Hahahahaha I love how you refer to a 4,000 sq ft garden as a “very small urban garden”. That’s only about 3x the square footage of my whole house 😉

  2. Amber says:

    I have a question for you-every seed propagation book that I have read says that you need to water from below. I have a similar seed shelf to you and it’s impossible to water from below. This is my first year starting all of my garden seeds and some of them seem fine being watered from above (tomatoes, herbs) but my peppers sprout and then seem to die. Do you think it’s necessary to water from below? How do you water your seedlings? Thanks for the help!

  3. Dawn says:

    I just got some lettuce, salad mix and radishes in under a rough cold frame in the kitchen garden (it remains to be seen whether the frame will protect from the next few nights, when it’s going to dip below freezing a few times). The rest – broccoli, cauliflower, peas, nasturtiums, lavender, thyme, and mint – have been started in flats in the spare room. A few are already sprouting – can’t wait to see the rest! 😀

  4. Tessa says:

    A few hundred soil blocks- my are would fall off! We’ve recently moved so I’m starting all over- my setup is nowhere near yours, but you gotta start somewhere. My new climate is much colder than your so setting out the babies can be challenging- I still need to build something outdoors to put them during the day- thanks for posting this 🙂

    And happy spring!

  5. merrill says:

    Awesome shelf. Seems like if the shelves could slide up and down, the bottom shelves could be stacked tight until they germinated, then moved up and apart to be spaced farther apart for light/air penetration. you could maybe double your seed tray quantity that way…

  6. Mordechai & Rachael Welt says:

    Your seed shelves look beautiful. Organized and well spaced. You’ve given us a new goal to strive for in the future.

    As we don’t yet have a green house we improvised by placing a large table in front of our living room window and placed a couple of hundred seedlings there to benefit from the incoming sunlight.

    This is the first time we’ve tried starting our own seedlings.
    We’re amazed and delighted every time a new sprout breaks through.

    It’s very exciting to be involved in this first stage of the gardening experience and witness the growth process unfolding.

    We feel like little kids who can’t wait for the warm weather to come so we can start planting.

  7. Toni Waterman says:

    I have just come across your website,YouTube videos thanks to a friend. I am so excited and amazed at what you have done. I am sure everyone tells you that. I plan to fully explore your website, but it will take awhile. It’s is jam packed. It is also very well organized. I was born and raised in Pasadena, near old town. Actually on north Raymond Ave. and went to John Muir High School. I now live in a small town north of Santa Barbara, by an hour. Anyway, the reason I am writing initially is, I have a question about expenses. Do you have things like health, auto, and life insurance? Do you have any creative ideas on that? Thanks!

  8. Sue says:

    Looks great, Justin. I like the cement block ‘foundation’ as well. Neat project!

  9. Audra says:

    Justin, what a fantastic idea! I am having the same problem with my seed trays, where to keep putting them.
    It is a battle here between Spring and Winter. Nothing in the garden yet, however the seed trays are filling up.
    Happy Gardening and Thank You for sharing.

  10. girlgroupgirl says:

    This is a super idea! I have all sorts of the metal poles left over from an old project. We do use them in the garden…but I could make better use of them this way!

  11. cherry says:

    Hi again,
    I have recently upgraded to broadband and so for the first time ever have been able to catch you all on Youtube!! What further inspiration seeing you all in action and your property! Just love it.
    here we are still on the ever growing pathway to self sufficiency. We had a bumper tomato season. I put in several heritage plants and we dried probably eight bottles of roma tomatos which wer preserved in olive oil, and we enjoyed many many many servings of tomato and garlic dishes. We also had a fantastic amount of garlic…Im interested and a bit scared to see if this happens again..we will be planting soon. As you are putting in your spring plants we are starting our winter garden . I have surprised myself at what we are planting this Autumn..mind you who knows what the end result will be.Currently we are feeding the white cabage utterflies very well!!!!
    Thanks as always for the inspiration
    Love Cherry in NZ

    • Anais says:

      @cherry: Kia ora! Glad you were finally able to catch our videos. Can’t wait till summer, been craving a tomato sandwich! Good for you, sounds like you had a wonderful summer bounty that you will be able to enjoy into the colder months. Gardening is truly an act of faith, you never know what you are going to get. Wishing you a bountiful fall season.

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