During the winter, your car has to be kept inside your garage. Once the snow stops flying, however, you can move your auto out into the driveway and use your garage for other purposes. While a ping pong table or workshop might seem like the obvious choice, your garage can also house a springtime garden.
Instead of growing seedlings in your basement under fluorescent lights, you can use the larger space in your garage.
Here is what you need to know to establish a working garden in your garage.
Items you need to set up a garden in your garage
- Fluorescent lighting. Longer T‑8 tube‑style bulbs are the best for providing light to seedlings. You can connect a timer to the lamps so that you do not have to manually turn on the lights every day.
- You must keep the plants off the cement floor. Any kind of table will work fine. You can even use wood (2 x 4s) placed between landscaping blocks or saw horses.
- Potting trays or makeshift pots. Shallow potting trays are ideal for sprouting new seeds. However, any shallow container (recycled yogurt cups, for example) will work. You should also get something to mark each pot so that you know what kind of plant is sprouting inside.
- Watering device. Seedlings do not need a lot of water. The best option is a spray bottle, which can provide the right amount of moisture with just a few pumps while reducing the risk of overwatering.
- With a well‑insulated garage, temperature should not be a big issue. However, seedlings are fragile, so you should have a thermometer in your garage to make certain that conditions are ideal for your new plants.
Why should you start and indoor garden?
The goal of a garage garden is not to grow plants year round. It is to start your seedlings earlier in the year so that you can have the most productive summertime growing season possible. For example, with an extra month to grow, tomato plants will start producing their fruit earlier. When this happens, you will get more tomatoes over the course of the growing season.
What kind of plants can you start in your garage?
Vegetables that will sprout in a garage include onions, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, and cabbage. Herbs also do extremely well in garage settings. Fast‑growing herbs may even produce edible leaves as soon as they are planted in the ground (maybe even before). Decorative plants can be a part of your garage garden as well.
You can transplant all these species in the ground as soon as the danger of frost has passed for the year.
What else should you consider?
- If your garage has windows, you can place the seed trays or containers in the sunlight. They may still require artificial light, but even a couple hours of natural light will he helpful to the growing process.
- Halogen and incandescent light may also work.
A well‑insulated, properly‑sealed garage door is important. If you door is older, you might want to consider upgrading so that you can better control the climate inside your garage. Not only will this help the plants grow better, it will also make it more pleasant for you to spend time in your garage.