Seedlings Outside The Window: a Device For Hardening

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For hardening seedlings, many put pots with plants either under an open window or on the balcony. But there is always not enough space for this. The retractable bed-platform is an original way out of the situation.

Where to put the seedlings?

Many summer residents, in order to get a full-fledged harvest of vegetables, are forced to grow seedlings on the windowsill. But how many plants can be placed on this small patch? After all, some of them need a lot of space. And if the window sill is very narrow (10 x 100 cm), then the maximum that it will be possible to put on it is 14 eggplant seedlings, or 18 small tomato bushes.

And you also need to place pepper, cabbage, and leeks somewhere… In addition, sooner or later there comes a time when you can start hardening seedlings in the open air: it becomes not only lighter, but also warmer outside. At this time, I really want to take the plants out into the fresh air at least for a short time. They will not only get a “sip” of oxygen and light, but will also take root well in the open ground after planting on the garden bed. But do not take out every pot on the street on a warm and sunny day!

Platform design

In my house in the village, I arranged a mobile bed on the windowsill-a platform that can be pushed out of the window. To do this, I made wooden trestles with a height below the level of the window sill. I laid two guides on the trestles and the window sill.

I took an old door leaf as a platform. On the guides, exactly in the middle of the structure, I installed a pair of brackets with drilled holes with a diameter sufficient to include the shovel handle (Fig. 1).

The handle inserted into these brackets serves as a shaft for winding the cable that drives the platform. So that the handle does not jump out of the bracket, I stopped it with a screw. I attached a handle to the protruding end of the shaft-handle, and drilled a hole in the middle of the shaft (Fig. 1 A-A). I put a strong cord into it and wound it on both sides of the hole so that the length of the remaining free ends was equal to half the length of the door. These ends are firmly fixed on the opposite edges of the door.

Seedlings Outside The Window: a Device For Hardening
Fig. 1. Diagram of the mobile platform device: 1 — window frame; 2 — bar for height adjustment; 3 — window sill; 4 — bracket mounting to the guide board; 5 — bracket with a hole for the shaft (shovel handle); 6 — drive shaft; 7 — cord for the mobile platform with seedlings; 8 — trestles; 9 — guide for the platform; 10 — cord mounting on the platform; 11 — movable platform; 12 — window opening; 13 — shaft rotation handle; 14,15 — axial stop shaft displacements.

By rotating the shaft-handle by the handle, I ensured that the platform began to move in the right direction perpendicular to the axis of rotation.Now you can put seedlings on it and – at the right moment, by opening the window-calmly and effortlessly move the entire garden arsenal to the street. Just as easily, everything can be returned back to its original position.

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