What is best method to get less leggy plants using Aero Garden? Starting herb seeds in water to germinate then using 16-18 hours light cycle.
Got a pic anywhere we could link to? Less leggy is relative. Less leggy than what?
Leggy is caused by low light and sometimes by overfeeding, but that just usually makes it worse in low light circumstances so lighting is the primary issue. Plants will try to grow taller in order to reach optimum lighting. Especially when young. I know little of the aero garden specs. I briefly looked at their site and saw nothing on lighting specs. It appears you can raise and lower the light. Is it within a couple of inches of the plants? I believe that is necessary with that small of light. The further a light is the more exponential light loss that is experienced. I have the formula for it somewhere, but suffice it to say that if the distance is 4 inches away when it should be 2 inches away that doesn't mean it's getting half the light it should. It's actually more like 1/4 of the light it should be getting.
In my opinion, the best way would be to punch up your lighting a great deal by just putting more lights in. You'd need to put them on a timer and then synch it up with the Aerogarden, but that's what I'd do.
Hydroponica, I would agree on anything but an aerogarden. An aerogarden is for more than practicality. It is for aesthetic display as much as culinary herb growth. Often, it's primarily for aesthetics. A bunch of extra lights would destroy that effect. If someone was wanting to go the route of a hydro system with good lighting, they wouldn't be choosing to use an aerogarden in the first place in my opinion. I don't know where nelix has the aerogarden, but many people have these things as centerpieces on the table or as accents for the kitchen counter. Hardly ideal places to place extra lights good for plant growth. So I guess the next question might be how important are aesthetics in this particular instance?
It could be a gift, it could be he got it dirt cheap on Craigslist, who knows? I wouldn't simply assume anything about the important of aesthetics.
He asked a simple question - how to avoid leggy seedlings and I gave the simple answer to that. If adding additional lights is undesirable, then so to is having stockier plants.
I'd certainly prefer to grow my indoor hydroponic plants over in the corner using nothing but ambient lighting, but that doesn't work well (if at all) so I got a huge cabinet, packed in a blinding amount of light, and keep the doors shut. (There's enough light in there that even a minute looking inside makes it difficult to see anything outside.)
There's trade-offs in everything. You can either have leggy plants OR you can blast them with more light. The decision is going to have to weigh the value of aesthetics against the undesirability of leggy plants. Each person has to decide for themselves.
Me... I've got a giant cabinet in the corner that looks like it contains a sunny day at the beach.