My lovely wife and I found a pretty cool set-up for starting seeds awhile back. It will also be a useful way to grow herbs and salad greens year-round.
It was $40 at Lowe’s, plus $5 x 3 for the lamps and $3 x 3 for the grow bulbs. So just under $75. But it will enable us to grow year round as well as start seeds.
It’s basically just a set of shelves with a custom fit transparent plastic case over the top that will help you trap heat. The plastic is hard to see in this pic and I’m not a good enough photographer to get a shot without also getting a glare from the plastic.
The front door can zip-up for a completely enclosed system. We figured out very quickly that the internal temperature gets WAY too hot if you leave the plastic zipped and the bulbs on in your house though. It was at 88 and climbing when I called it quits and rolled up the plastic front. Considering how well it retains heat and how hot the lights get, I could probably have put it in the garage and maintained the heat I needed as well and it stays about 45 degrees in our garage.
With the plastic open and the bulbs on a timer, it stays at around 72 degrees in there. As you can see we started several of our seeds already. Looks like my system isn’t giving them enough light though. Bummer. I’ll need to add more lights.
You can buy one here (or maybe at your local Lowe’s).