salvaged 8' T12's 4 tube

obrionusa(5)February 17, 2010

I salvaged some light's from my old pole barn before it was tore down for road improvement. I dug it out plugged it in and got the lights to fire after buying a ballast. Now I'm going to hang it on my cabinets in the garage and sit the plants on the countertop below them. The tubes are 80 Watt per and the fixture is a 4tube. I will have chains to adjust height as needed. Also planning on starting all my seeds inside until they get up and going. I would like to hear comments about this setup, Please cons and pros. Garage is heated and kept at 60.

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I'm Bad, the lights are 60 Watt, not 80.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 7:35AM
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One shortfall I can think of is that the lights will be at the same height - your plants as they grow will not. Thus, keeping all the plants the same distance from the light will be difficult.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 12:43PM
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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

obrionusa I've been raising seedlings to 6-12" for a couple of years and overwinter several plants inside under fluorescent lighting with no problems. Keep them 2-3" from the lights. When they are ready to go outside only give them an hour or two of sun the first day and increase the time by an hour a day to avoid sunburn. In a week they should be ready for full sun if they are full sun plants. It also helps to transplant in the evening. I had a friend plant 20 tomato plants from under lights in the garden and lost them all from burn.

Andrew why would the lights have to be kept level? It's not a problem to keep one side higher than the other. Tall plants on one end and short plants on the other.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 8:53PM
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Yea, Last year I done a few tomato plants, planted them produced fruit then died. I just cant do tomato. My peppers, canteloupe, cucumbers, squash done great. Actually everything I grew inside done great but the tomato. I will try again this year, but will always plant tomato from the garden center. I'm getting better thou, at least they produced fruit.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 9:46PM
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Instead of moving the light move the plants. Put old telephone books or stacks of newspapers or magazines under the plants to raise or lower them as necessary.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 10:03PM
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My point was that I have trays of plants (many) and shifting plants from tray to tray (perhaps away from their comrades) just makes things difficult. Imagine how many phone books might be needed to get 8' of space all in the right order. I have enough problems with the 4' and multiple shelves I use.

I wasn't pointing this out originally as a deal killer, just something to keep in mind since you don't want the light set based on the tallest plant.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2010 at 12:34PM
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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

obionusa you didn't say you were growing them to maturity. Tomatoes and many other plants need more light to produce fruit. You might get a few toms from plants grown inside but they need to have full sun for good production. I just start them inside so I have a longer growing season. My plants are usually blooming good when it's time to go outside.

californian It takes 2 seconds to adjust lights hung from chains. Adding all the extra weight with books would pull the screws out of the walls in this old place. The plants with soil are heavy enough. My shelves are bowing now even with added support.

Andrew I have many plants too. About 150 on last count but probably more like 200 now in a one bedroom house. It gets very cramped from late winter to spring. Hope spring gets here soon!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2010 at 3:51PM
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I was just growing onions from seeds for about 10 weeks under the lights now. mid march I will start peppers, late march tomato, plus a few other things. My onions will go outside on the porch about the time the peppers get going good. This is my second year growing from seed, The first year I got a late start and got started about early april. which was really too late.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2010 at 8:38PM
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