Saturday, March 5, 2011

Start Shelf and Drying Rack

Happy weekend all!

With the sheet mulch out back doing its decomposing thing, I am turning my efforts to getting the starts ready to go in the ground. Despite the size of our duplex we are short on window space that works for getting plants going - not to mention that our window sills are already full of house plants, candles, and Jason's religious iconography.

One asset we do have is this wonderful set of sliding glass doors that face ESE. After a number of ideas around how to use the stationary side of these doors, I came up with an idea for a start shelf that could also be used in the summer as a drying rack.

Here are my very, very, very technical plans...

My plan was to create two 'ladders that were 2' wide that could be set up as a shelving unit, but when made with screws could be easily disassembled for travel or to use the 'ladders' as places for climbing plants. Because of the specific nature of the lumber, and the fact that we had just been up to Portland, we ended up getting the lumber at Home Depot (mild boo to us).

In my opinion the best part of all of this is that I designed the shelf, planned what lumber we needed, gave the plans to Jason, and he was able to get all the proper pieces and assemble it just as I had envisioned it. Yea me for learning how to communicate building projects! The start of the project left us with this frame that lacks the actual shelves. I was unsure what I wanted to do for the shelves, so I left them empty and looked at it in the dining room for about three weeks.

I finally began to feel edgy because I wanted to get my starts going. It is not at all usual for me to wait on a project for this long. Finally I decided to take a trip to the Benton Habitat for Humanity ReStore to gain some inspiration. In the back lot I found a shelf filled with window screens and decided that was what I would use.

What I like about it is that light can get through the screens, so there is less shade on the plants on the lower shelves. I also like that water will go through rather that sitting on a wooden plank and helping it to rot. I also realized that this would be the best way to use the shelf outdoors as a sun drying rack in the summer. What I don't like it is that the screens don't fit completely into the frame, so I lose some usable space. I am going to keep my eyes open in the future for screens that are larger.

I have been saving yogurt and other plastic containers to start my plants in. If you are in the Corvallis/Albany area and have any containers similar to ones pictured here please shoot me an email and I will come pick them up.

Tonight...I start putting seeds in soil!!!!

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