The New Plant Starting Station (AKA the laundry room)

A few weeks ago Mike showed you how you can make your own seed light station and how to make seed flats.  That light station was our first attempt at growing seeds indoors.  The idea was to get a jump on the growing season and avoid having to purchase (those oh so pricey) vegetable plants at the store.  Molly loves flowers but hates the price so she spent a goodly amount of time starting flowers from seeds.

Mike:  The small seed station was a great start but we wanted to have much more going on.

Molly:  It just wasn’t enough space.

Mike:  I ended up building  a makeshift growing station under the large art desk we have in the living room.  I attached some lights to the underside of the desk and we started shoving seed starts underneath.

glowing table

Molly:  It was a good temporary fix but neither on of us could see going another spring trying to access these seed starts from under the desk.  I had another idea.  Why not take out the dryer we hadn’t used in two years out…you know, the one that the mouse got in. With the dryer gone we would have enough space for the entire indoor seed growing operation.

Here’s what the laundry room looked like:

Laundry room- BEFORE


We (Molly) assigned each other tasks: Mike would build the shelving where the dryer used to be and install the florescent light fixtures; Molly would pull the dryer out, get the mouse evidence (that would be poop) out, and do an over all clean up.  Both of us would go through the red bins and see what could be let go of.

Laundry room- AFTER


Looks great!  It turned out better than we expected actually.  We have more space and we made all the surfaces easy to clean.

Molly:  After I pulled out the dryer I quickly regretted not taking on the task of building the shelves.  It was a nasty mess and I figured out why.  There was  a 3″ hole in the floor that was wide open to the outside.  Mice had been climbing in and finding a warm place to nest just behind the washer/dryer!  Not one of  my more favorite tasks…

Mike: Yeah, I lucked out on that one.

Laundry room- station lights on


Mike:  The seed trays will be on blocks so that they will be just an inch away from the lights.  As the plants grow we will lower the trays keeping the tops just under the lightbulbs.

Molly:  On top of the washer/dryer I attached one piece of oil cloth.  I wrapped and stapled it to the shelf and wrapped and attached magnets on the washer end.

Mike:  On the counter we have enough space to put a few heat pads to jump start the seed’s  germination.

Molly:  Now on to the real work!  Planting!

What we did


We are now going though our seed collection to decide what needs to get planted straight away.  Next up we will show you how to make your very own soil blocker.  Don’t know what it is?  You will and you will wonder how you ever lived without one!

We also wanted to share a little garden inspiration.  Here’s a video documenting the making of a  community garden in our neighborhood:


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Sometimes we like to get a little ‘showy’.  Here’s where else you can find us showing off  the planting station remodel:

 Frugally Sustainable          Organize Your Stuff Now          Funky Junk Interiors

Goodbye House Hello Home


  1. Doglover1918
    Posted March 1, 2012 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Love it! I just whine about not have a space to do that.

  2. Jprewitt6
    Posted March 2, 2012 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    inspired me.  planted my first seeds this morning.  The tip to back off the light as they begin to grow is a good idea.  You all are so inspiring.    mommy sha

  3. Jeff @ Sustainable Life Blog
    Posted March 6, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    what an awesome idea!

  4. Posted March 7, 2012 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    I’m so lucky to live in Los Angeles because we have plenty of sun and the warmth to let the seeds sprout outside right now or anytime! I just planted “ao shiso ” seeds last Saturday right after I found out red shiso already sprouted from last year’s pots.  Red shiso did great last year. But ao shiso didn’t do well at all. In fact, I never got shiso to grow taller than an inch. This is my 4th ao shiso challenge! I think I took care of it too much before, i.e. cover it with a plastic bag to keep the moisture, bring it inside at night, etc. This year, I won’t do anything! The red shiso sprouted without any help! Besides, we don’t have any space inside our apartment to have the seeds station. You’ll see 😉

    • Posted March 8, 2012 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      We’re always California Dreamin this time of year.  The weather is such a tease.  60 degrees one day and a snowstorm the next all the way to the beginning of June.  Good luck with the 4th ao shiso challenge.  Benign neglect may be the way to go!

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  1. […] been busy getting seeds started for the growing season and the new improved seed starting station has been a big improvement over last year.  Here’s a synergistic take on seed propagation we […]

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