I decided to set up a seed-growing station in the basement. Many seed require higher temperatures than I will achieve in the greenhouse in order to germinate. Peppers, tomatoes, and eggplants are notorious for liking soil temperatures of 75-80 degrees for germination. So Joel and I went to Lowe's and purchased this shop light. I hung it from the ceiling in the basement and the seed trays sit on the basement shelf.
The soil blocks were accomplished using a tool purchased for this purpose. It packs seeding soil (mixture from Eliot Coleman) into 2" blocks, four at a time. I have another block maker that makes tiny 3/4" square blocks, but haven't used it yet. This first round is artichokes, rosemary, and leeks. When these germinate, some will be moved to the greenhouse, some will stay under lights, and I'll germinate more using the 3/4" blocks, allowing more blocks to be done at once.You'll notice in the picture above that in the far seed tray, there is a gray mat under the tray. This is a warming pad, purchased initially for Anna's bed outside. Sadly, she passed away a couple of weeks ago after being hit by a car in front of our house. So now I use the heating mat for warming seeds. Anna is buried on the far side of the greenhouse next to the pear tree.
The warmer and the lights are attached to a timer, set to be on for twelve hours and off for twelve hours. This makes it possible to simulate day and night cycles for both temperature and lighting.