Installing the grow shelf

Tools needed: tape measure, pencil, drill, screws, level and a shelf.

If you have a shelf you are going to use you can skip this post. If you are installing the shelf you will need to go out and buy one. The shelf should be a bit longer than the light you will use, and wide enough to fit the trays/ cutting dome. Or, like me you can reuse materials you have. I reused an old desk top for my shelf. When picking out a shelf or material to build one; be mindful that water can be very heavy if you have enough of it!
The shelf needs to be at least 11" wide to support a standard grow tray. An even one foot shelf should suffice to give you a bit of extra room as a bonus. Trays are 21.5" long so you need to have a shelf that is about 44" long.
I have dry wall, you may need to alter some things if you have plaster or a different wall type. When you screw in the shelf supports, try to put the support screws into a stud. Studs (2x4’s in the wall) are supposed to be 16” apart, so you could measure 16” in from a corner, or use a stud finder. You will know if a screw is in a stud b/c it will pull inwards the entire time you drill. If you miss a stud, the screw will spin and not pull in (and you probably can pull it out with your fingers).
You want the shelf to be level -- You could measure down the same distance from the ceiling for both shelf supports (or all if more than two) to get them to line up. This is a good way to get the shelf close to level but, it is best to use a level, so that you know the shelf will be flat. After you hang the first support, put a board across it while you hold in place the next support you are going to hang. Put a level on the board and adjust the second support so that the shelf is level and then mark and screw the second shelf support into place. You could make your shelf have a “slight” tilt. This will ensure the direction that water will flow. If you have too much tilt, you may have problems keeping all the plants in the tray at the same moisture level.
Notice I have a heat mat. A heat mat, will increase your cloning success. Please take a moment or two to read my articles on cloning. (clone article)
Good Growing,

Dr. E.R. Myers

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