repurposed parts for seed starting in winter
I am considerably more excited about this setup than I have any right to be. But after years of having no south-facing window space or room in the basement and now a kitten that gets into absolutely everything, I've had no way to start more than a single dim windowsill row of seeds before last frost in May. This year, with tens of boxes and bags of clutter removed from the basement and closets, there is cat-proofed sturdy shelf space in the laundry room. Clearly I had to grow something in it.
Feesh tank: $20, craigslist, came with fish supplies I'll keep for later
Translucent tarp: free, already had from painting the kitchen
Bendy desk lamp: $4, goodwill
Thermometer: $2, home depot
Timer for the light switch: $3, home depot
Pole and base for lamp: free, already had from camp fence and Pod's weight set
Biodegradable pellet seed-starting trays that fit perfectly inside the fishtank: $7 each
To be honest, the trays (there's a second one to be started at 8 weeks before frost rather than 10) were the most unnecessary purchase, but they were cute. And simple. I'll probably do something else next year. Right now, I have tiny tiny baby kale and leeks and Tashkent marigolds. I have a plan that will see them into cold frames before last frost, and into the garden after. I have the opportunity to double the tank space in a few weeks. And I have a plan to start fall crops in the same space during the dog days of summer that would fry them if started outdoors.
It's rather embarrassing how many years this has taken me, but it's what I've got now, and it's almost entirely re-used parts.