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White Trash Germination Chamber


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#1 midwestchilehead

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 01:51 AM

I thought I was doing good to keep one shelf free on the gorilla racks in the basement for seed germination. I was using bottom heat, but not really getting good germination. I think my basement is just too cold. Here was my setup:

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Inspired by the germination chambers AJ and others have built, I decided to trick out my shelf. A trip to home depot provided all the supplies I needed for about $70. I decided to go with foam walls and floor, and add two 100 watt incandescent lights on a dimmer for heat and temperature control.

The first step was to cut and install a plywood doubler on the bottom side of the shelf so I could install the lights.

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Here is the shelf back in its place:

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Next step was to cut and place the foam back and walls.

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I wired up the lights and installed the front.

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Finally, the seeds go in and the door goes on. I don't have a picture of the door in place - but it just looks like a big white box.

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It took a little tweaking with the dimmer, but the thing appears to be rocking steady at 86 degrees F. The 100 watters may be a bit much. I had to crank them way down to keep the temperature down. Sixtys or Fortys might be better. I won't use the chamber for growouts - just for germination. Pretty simple project, but it hopefully provides the micro-climate I need to get those hooks popping.

Edited by midwestchilehead, 06 February 2011 - 05:23 PM.

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#2 AlabamaJack

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 06:27 AM

I like your style...better than my germination chamber...

there may be a germination chamber for sale within the next year when I build my grow room in the garage....those shelves are dang heavy duty and I have 4 of them in my computer room/office/pepper stuff storage area...you can start 16 trays at a time on one set of shelves...that is way cool...thanks for the idea man...

Edited by AlabamaJack, 06 February 2011 - 06:28 AM.

AJ
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#3 richoso12

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 08:28 AM

Congrats, you're approach is simple but very effective. You should have much nore success at germination. It's all good my friend.
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#4 PepperLover

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 09:39 AM

creative and cool

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#5 midwestchilehead

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 09:39 AM

Thank you, gentlemen. I should know how effective it is in a week or so. I will let you know.
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#6 wordwiz

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 04:36 PM

Looks professional, much better than mine! Really like the foam - should reflect light as well as help with the temps.

I use mine to also grow seedlings. Once seeds sprout, turn off the heat and ventilate the top to keep temps down a bit. This year, though, I hope to move stuff to the GH once a majority of seeds sprout.

Nevertheless, the germ chamber should get a good workout starting in about a month - I need to get about 4000 seeds started!

Mike

#7 midwestchilehead

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 05:28 PM

Thanks pepperlover and wordwiz. I was going to line the foam with reflective mylar, but I could not find any locally and had to order some on the internet. Now that I have it operating, I may skip the mylar in the germination chamber. While helping with light reflection, I think it might raise the temps too much. I will surround my growout shelves with it though. Those concrete walls in my basement really seem to suck up the available light.
Calvin's 2.0 powder, New Mexico chile seeds, other varieties and some superhots! Grow your own and taste the difference!
http://www.midwestchileheads.com

#8 chileaddict

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 05:56 PM

Thanks pepperlover and wordwiz. I was going to line the foam with reflective mylar, but I could not find any locally and had to order some on the internet. Now that I have it operating, I may skip the mylar in the germination chamber. While helping with light reflection, I think it might raise the temps too much. I will surround my growout shelves with it though. Those concrete walls in my basement really seem to suck up the available light.




If you eventually feel like adding more reflective material, maybe try cheapo camper's space blankets (also called emergency blankets). A few days ago I checked my camping supplies and found some that I've had forever and never even opened. I am now using them to surround my indoor growing area and they are great. Most likely they don't cost more than a couple of bucks and can be found at any sporting goods store. I was amazed at how easy they are to handle and work with.

Edited by chileaddict, 09 February 2011 - 01:04 PM.


#9 midwestchilehead

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 11:09 PM

Good idea, chileaddict. I will have to check out Walmart or Target's camping supply aisle.
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#10 muskymojo

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 12:35 AM

Looks good! I like the dimmer switch. :cool:
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#11 queequeg152

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 09:03 PM

since when does pragmatic=white trash :lol:

#12 Datil Patch

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 11:22 PM

I just built some grow lights, I took the mounting board and sprayed it with some Super 77 spray adhesive and tore off a large piece of aluminum foil, shiney side out, and stuck it on. Nice and reflectory. Figure I will do the same with the insulation board tomorrow, and box them like you did, but ad the aluminum foil.
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#13 midwestchilehead

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 07:05 AM

Well, it doesn't, but after seeing some of the quality built germination chambers on here, my little foam box had an inferiority complex. :oops:

since when does pragmatic=white trash :lol:


Calvin's 2.0 powder, New Mexico chile seeds, other varieties and some superhots! Grow your own and taste the difference!
http://www.midwestchileheads.com

#14 midwestchilehead

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 11:07 PM

And tonight I decided that 100 watt bulbs are just too much. Temperature is great, and things are germinating like crazy, but the cells under the bulbs were getting really dry, despite being misted each day. I dialed them back to 75 watt bulbs. We'll see how that works. I'm still thinking they need 60 or even 40 watters, but I didn't have any of those bulbs handy.
Calvin's 2.0 powder, New Mexico chile seeds, other varieties and some superhots! Grow your own and taste the difference!
http://www.midwestchileheads.com

#15 woody3says

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 04:00 AM

Well, it doesn't, but after seeing some of the quality built germination chambers on here, my little foam box had an inferiority complex. :oops:

By all means don't think that! I'm planning out a design to put together this weekend. I was thinking a wood creation like so many here, but now I'm rethinking. I have a heavy duty shelf sitting empty in the garage that I completely overlooked! Already have my light setup figured out. All I need is to put up foam walls and I'm there =)

Almost always you get better results with K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid

Thanks for pulling the string on my lightbulb.
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#16 midwestchilehead

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 01:34 PM

Good call. I wish I would have thought of that before spending $20 on a big roll of mylar. I have plenty of foil laying around!

I just built some grow lights, I took the mounting board and sprayed it with some Super 77 spray adhesive and tore off a large piece of aluminum foil, shiney side out, and stuck it on. Nice and reflectory. Figure I will do the same with the insulation board tomorrow, and box them like you did, but ad the aluminum foil.


Calvin's 2.0 powder, New Mexico chile seeds, other varieties and some superhots! Grow your own and taste the difference!
http://www.midwestchileheads.com

#17 Siliman

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 04:41 PM

...after seeing some of the quality built germination chambers on here, my little foam box had an inferiority complex...


Dude, white trash means you gotta spend zero $$, drive fast and take chances. Like my 'germination box' propped on the hot water tank and supported by an ironing board leg...lol !
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Not to mention using a left-over cookie tray!
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You, sir, are in the big leagues, in my book! :cool:

#18 wordwiz

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 06:15 PM

I have found that the PC climate can sometimes cause problems. One poster in another forum chewed my butt because I posted images of my "ghetto greenhouse." It was - I used reclaimed windows, pieces of lumber from a shed I tore down, a door I found across the street the owner has set out for the garbage man to pick up!

Mike

#19 midwestchilehead

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 06:23 PM

Siliman, I agree with your requirements for white trash, and agree that mine is upscale by comparison - but couldn't think of what else to name the thread.

Wordwiz, I thought about calling it something else, but I could not think of a better name and besides, who would be offended by the term white trash? Surely not anyone whose opinion matters. :lol:
Calvin's 2.0 powder, New Mexico chile seeds, other varieties and some superhots! Grow your own and taste the difference!
http://www.midwestchileheads.com

#20 wordwiz

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 07:07 PM

Some people take themselves too seriously! Most of us don't - we just try to grow things. I publish a weekly newspaper. Use to have a subscriber who would scour every line of every article, looking for a typo or other mistake. He would then highlight it and send the article to me.

OK, I wish I found every typo, wrong grammar, mistake. But I don't. What I did was start running a tiny notice, that had a smiley face in the middle. The text is simple: If you find mistakes...... In this paper, please consider they are here for a reason. We try to publish something for everyone and some people are always looking for mistakes!

No more letters!

Mike




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