Advice on new 400w basement set-up for lettuce, other veg
Hi, I'm about to setup a new indoor growing setup for smaller vegetables (i.e. leaf lettuce, radishes) in the basement of my parent's farm house (furnace is downstairs, so fairly warm, but cools down a bit at night). The lighting system I have borrowed is 400 w hps. Most people on this forum appear to use tiered/multi-leveled systems with fluorescent lights, but I plan to set up a flat, approx. 4' by 4' growing area, which makes a fair amount of my questions slightly different than others, as I know 400 w hps is quite the amount of light.
1) I know Metal Halide is the blue end of the light spectrum, which facilitates veg growth, whereas I have an hps bulb (red, floral). I was wondering if this is going to have a major negative effect on my growing attempts.
2) I'm going to use soil, and was wondering on pots vs. windowsill length cointainers vs. I had a thought of using a square kiddy pool, full of soil, with some small holes in the bottom and something to catch the draining water underneath. Thus all the plants would be in the same larger body of soil, allowing root growing space and nutrient sharing like outside. Is this a good or a bad idea?
3) Is leaving 400 w of hps light on for longer each day, say 17 hours a day vs. 12 hours, beneficial or harmful? With such powerful lighting (compared to many fluorescent or white light setups), I thought maybe I could grow lettuce, etc. much quicker than the outdoor process.
I think those are my main questions for now. Thanks in advance for the advice.