From the employee-owners of Gardener's Supply

New Compact Light Stands

2-Tier light garden

Grow dozens of plants in just over two square feet of floor space with the new 2-Tier 2-ft. Light Garden.

As much as I appreciate living in a region with four distinct seasons, winter’s gray skies and the frozen tundra outside my back door can start to wear me down. The seed catalogs, with their glossy photos of colorful flowers and vegetables, can seem like a tease — I know spring will come, but I’m antsy to get out in the garden. When this feeling begins to overwhelm me, I know it’s time to start some seeds indoors.

For my first few years of seedstarting, I used an unwieldy, homemade set-up of shop lights hung precariously from a flimsy metal shelf — an eyesore relegated to a corner of the basement. Unfortunately, out of sight also meant out of mind, resulting in neglect of the tender seedlings. Finally, I treated myself (and my seedlings) to a light garden.

A well-designed light garden, such as those in our SunLite line, makes every aspect of seedstarting easier. First of all, it’s attractive enough to put in my living room so plants get the attention they need. The high-output, full-spectrum lights are brighter than shop lights, resulting in healthier plant growth. And it’s easy to adjust the height of the lights as the plants grow. (I can’t tell you how many seedlings I squashed when my old shop lights slipped from my hands as I tried to adjust the makeshift chains.) The only drawback to the light garden is that, like most other ready-made seedstarting set-ups, it’s 4 feet wide so it requires a sizable chunk of space; setting it up requires some creative furniture rearranging.

The New 2-Tier 2-ft. Light Garden

To make seedstarting convenient even for those with limited space, Gardener’s Supply has designed a new 2-foot-wide SunLite Garden. It takes up just over 2 square feet of floor space, yet provides plenty of room to grow dozens of seedlings. You can tuck it into a corner of the living room or kitchen, and it’s compact enough to store in a closet. Like all of our SunLite Gardens, the 2-ft. model is made here in Vermont with a sturdy aluminum frame and full-spectrum, energy-efficient lights. You can buy the stand on its own or get the Starter Kit, which includes everything you need: the light garden, self-watering trays, 54 biodegradable Cowpots and 24 quarts of Organic Seedstarting Mix.

Why Start from Seed?

The light garden starter kit includes everything you need to start your garden from seed.

The 2-Tier 2-ft. Light Garden Starter Kit has everything you need to get started, including 54 biodegradable CowPots and 24 qts of our Organic Seedstarting Mix.

There are many reasons to grow your own seedlings; here are a few:

  • You can grow unusual varieties. Chances are you won’t find transplants of Prudens Purple tomatoes or Antohi Romanian sweet frying peppers at your local garden center. If you want to grow these unusual — and tasty — varieties, you’ll have to start them from seed.
  • You save money. A packet of seeds often costs the same or less than a single transplant — and that packet usually contains dozens if not hundreds of seeds.
  • You decide what, if any, pesticides are used.

But for me, the biggest benefit is something less tangible. Starting seeds signals the start of a new growing season. It satisfies the urge to get my hands in the soil, and watching the plants grow reminds me that spring isn’t too far off.

If you haven’t tried starting your own plants from seed, I think you’re missing out on one of the most rewarding parts of gardening. If you’re ready to give seedstarting a try or you want to upgrade your homemade set-up, consider one of our SunLite Gardens. You’ll be more successful with seedstarting — and have more fun doing it — by using well-designed, well-built equipment.

For more information on seedstarting, read All About Seedstarting and Gardening Under Lights.

By the way, you can find seeds for Prudens Purple tomatoes and Antohi Romanian sweet frying peppers at Johnny’s Selected Seeds.

– Suzanne DeJohn


  1. Anonymous
    January 17, 2011    

    Isn’t it a little early to start seedlings in most parts of the country?

  2. January 17, 2011    

    Not necessarily. It depends on where you live, and how many weeks the seeds require for germination. For more on this topic, read When to Start Your Seeds:,default,pg.html
    -David Grist, Gardener’s Supply

  3. January 18, 2011    

    It may be a little early in most parts of the U.S. to start the seedlings but this is definitely the time to get all those seed starting components in place! Besides, this gives us garden dreamers something to do during the long winter months.

  4. Anonymous
    January 19, 2011    

    Living in New England I start my Pansy’s,Geraniums and slow growing herbs in late January to early February. Without my Light Stand I would not be able to do this year after year with such success.

  5. January 20, 2011    

    How about a similarly neat system to grow plants through the flowering stage..?
    The idea is to have flowering plants (like petunias) bloom during the New England winter.

  6. Anonymous
    February 2, 2011    

    suddenly buying organic produce doesn’t seem so expensive if I have to spend this much to start my own seeds

  7. Anonymous
    February 2, 2011    

    I agree with the previous poster on the price. Very high cost for this system. I’ve done the same with a metal shelf and the shop lites. Works just as well. I use chain and regular daylight bulbs.

  8. February 3, 2011    

    I used to use shop lights and didn’t have much luck. The flourescent bulbs that are meant for growing seeds have helped me to grow stronger seedlings, and start earlier.

  9. February 5, 2011    

    Nice Article I like it..
    Visit My blog too thanks Before 🙂

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