Grow Lights and overwintering

Boozemonkey(Massachusetts 6B)January 5, 2014

Hi everyone,

Is it worth it to buy grow lights for overwintering your citrus? I have one large citrus tree that is 8 feet tall and is very used to overwintering(not dwarf). The new citrus tree's I've purchased all seem very finicky(dwarfs). I don't want them to perish. I have one large patio glass door where we get about 4 hours of diffused sunlight a day. My apartment is always 72-74 degrees

I would like to get some simple grow lights, not to make the tree's flourish indoors but to keep current growth stable until they can be placed outdoors in the spring.

I would love to hear your suggestions, for grow lights and against. Please point out some lights you've had success with in the past if you've done something similar!

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Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

I find that 8 hours of sunlight through my Cincinnati windows is not enough. I use compact florescent bulbs of day light or bright white rating. It works great. The bulb called "grow" light are no better than the 2 bulbs I suggested.

I your case I would use CFL flood light. This will direct the light onto your trees.

to see my set up to get ideas click on the link bello to see my trees and lighting

Here is a link that might be useful: http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/citrus/msg1117324421798.html?7

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 9:59PM
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Boozemonkey(Massachusetts 6B)

Thank you, I will do a little more research.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 10:28PM
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crispy_z7(7B-8A)

Extra light is always good. I have lots of potted plants in my living room in the Winter, there is a large South facing picture window, but I use the florescent to fill in.

Generally I have it running on a timer- on about 6AM and off around 10PM

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 11:50AM
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Boozemonkey(Massachusetts 6B)

Ok so I another question for the lighting experts. I found two fixtures im interested in. I have four 2 1/2 foot tall trees to light up. One fixture is a T5 HO 4 foot long 4 bulb fixture. Would this be ok for the plants? How far from the bulbs should the plants be?

The other fixture is a metal halide fixture with 150 watts. Would this be enough? How far away to light up all the plants efficiently?

Heres the links to both fixtures
http://tinyurl.com/kfevcvp
http://tinyurl.com/mrb2yz3

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 5:53AM
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Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

I would be inclined to go with HPS. It will direct the light on the trees. Start out at 3 feet from the side angled like the sun shines, but light up the opposite side of the trees

Steve

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 8:28AM
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Boozemonkey(Massachusetts 6B)

Poncirusguy - Unfortunately I will not be able to illuminate it from the side. It will have to be from the top for now.

I got one more for you to look at if you don't mind. And if any one else is around please comment. I found this deal on amazon. 600mh fixture for $189 looks nice and most of their products got good reviews. What do you think?

http://linkshrink.com/i8z

This post was edited by Boozemonkey on Tue, Jan 7, 14 at 20:40

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 7:20PM
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Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

That is far more power than you will need.

Home depot caries twin bulb 48 inch T-8 units for $12.97. You can get the job done for far less money than with T-5 units. They are about 98% the efficiency of the T-5 you can use a brooder lamp with a 23 watt daylight CFL, One for each tree with good success. Putting a white sheet behind the tree will shine in the sun and light up the back side of the trees. This actually more than double the light the tree gets from the sun and greatly increases that light from the over head CFL. It is possible to get a lot for the fraction of the cost and have usable light for summer projects when the trees are outside

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.fleetfarm.com/detail/Woods-250-Watt-Brooder-Light/0000000037120?utm_source=googleps&utm_medium=shopping%2Bsearch&utm_campaign=google%2Bproduct%20search&gslfah&gclid=CJ-SvrXa7bsCFYtQOgodbSEAeA

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 11:22PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

For the past couple years I have been using an 8-tube, 4-foot, T5, high output light to grow starts for my vegetable garden (shown in my photo). This winter, I am growing flowering plants, including a limequat and a jaboticaba bonsai under the lights. My lime was losing leaves when I tried growing it in an eastern window in direct sun. It looks much better now after a month under the lights. I keep the lights 4-6 inches above the plants. In the past, I used 4-foot T12 shop light fixtures, which worked for short (under 3 feet) plants, but had to be kept within an inch or two above the plants. Growth under T5s is impressive. Fluorescents run much cooler than HPS lights. You might want to visit the Growing Under Lights forum to see what the experts think.

Here is a link that might be useful: Growing under lights forum

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 9:56AM
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Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

T-8 are often much cheaper in that the big box stores will have a price leader as mentioned. I set up plant lighting professionally for a commercial organic farmer. and I use the T-8 mention above from home depot. At my home I use CFL's with tremendous success.

T-12's are a waist of money at about 1/2 the efficiency and poorer light quality. There is a very minor difference in the T-5 over the T-8 with the T-5 being slightly better

The Homedepot special will get you 2 fixtures for 12.97 each and 4 better bulbs at 4.99 each, with a total cost of 36 00 + tax

my system using CFL's costs are about half than using T8's


Your trees will need a real light source as they get larger. This could be set up in a basement corner using the wall as two of the sides. Use bright white high gloss paint.

Good luck

click on the link. When it open click on the full screen arrows in the lower right hand corner.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://s1094.photobucket.com/user/wreristhechimney/slideshow/sunshine2013

This post was edited by poncirusguy on Wed, Jan 8, 14 at 12:28

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 12:20PM
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Boozemonkey(Massachusetts 6B)

Thanks for all the info. I appreciate the time you guys took to help me.

Poncirusguy - I jumped on the 600w metal halide fixture I saw on amazon. I liked it because it was dimmable at 50% and 75% power. So as my trees get bigger I can increase the strength of the lights. I WISH I could do a cool grow box like the one you have. Me and the wife are in the house shopping phase and we are looking for a house with a good backyard where I can stick a greenhouse. If I don't get the yard im making a box like that and its going in the basement with the mother-in-law

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 6:02PM
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Boozemonkey(Massachusetts 6B)

The lights are here! 600 watt Metal Halide about 22-24 inches away from the plants running for about 10 hours a day. I wish it could be more but I think the wife would kill me lol

I hope the plants take to it nicely.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 9:24PM
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jbclem(z9b Topanga, Ca)

It'll be interesting to know what the metal halide light does to your electric bill. I went with HOT5 48" 4 buib fixtures because they use a lot less electricity and cover a much larger area. Growing under lights can be addictive and with 2-4bulb fixtures I already need another one.

A cheap lumen meter will give you a good idea how much light you're getting at a certain distance. Here's the one I bought from amazon.com for less than $15. It works fine.

http://www.amazon.com/HDE-1010B-Display-Digital-Luxmeter/dp/B00992B29I/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1390301561&sr=8-10&keywords=lumen+meter

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 6:02AM
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Boozemonkey(Massachusetts 6B)

I'm not too concerned about the e bill, my town is pretty cheap. I was honestly more concerned with the health risks of having a tiny Super nova in my bedroom for 10 hours a day

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 2:01PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

The lights are here! 600 watt Metal Halide about 22-24 inches away from the plants running for about 10 hours a day. I wish it could be more but I think the wife would kill me lol

In your bedroom?!? Now I understand why she might want to kill you!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 2:14PM
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Boozemonkey(Massachusetts 6B)

Haha yea it's in our apartment it's the only place I can put it! When spring comes the plants will be on the porch and the lights will be off :)

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 3:07PM
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Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

Boozemonkey

My wife put her foot down on the plants in the bedroom, but she doesn't wear the pants around her. All she does is bring home the money and medical insurance. Pays the heat, electric, water, and yes we are taxed the same fixed rate for the rain that fall on our property whether is is 50 acres or 0.1 acres. The Plants went from here.

seed grown miewa nagami sweetlee trees.

to the basement as seen in the light box pictured in my last entry.

Ohiofem

Very nice setup and I like the cat. I work for a professional farmer and I set up the indoor growing systems. I use the 4 ft T-8 light for his setup and it works great. His setup to comes with a cat.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 4:16PM
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