My Setup. What do you think?

regaldozer(6A)March 5, 2007

What do you think? I am starting Marigolds in the starting tray in my basement because I couldn't wait a few more weeks to start the tomato and peppers. I have a warming mat and the plastic cover. I plan on taking the cover off once they sprout. I will then put them under the grow light. I went with 2 40watt GE "Sunshine 40" bulbs. They say full spectrum of light.

We'll see what happens.

Any insights would be most welcomed....

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dcarch7

Not enough light.
Get one more fixture, at least.

dcarch

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 7:16AM
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shrubs_n_bulbs(z8/9 UK)

Get another tray, I see two feet of light that will be wasted :)

And don't wait too long to turn on the light. A sprout can be a gangly inch tall in the first day and its already too late.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 7:16AM
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dicentra(z6B)

Your setup looks very clean and neat...nice job! It looks as though your shoplight is quite high up from the seed tray. Make sure to keep it only a few inches from the seedlings once they emerge. Also, be careful not to cook your seeds/seedlings with too much going on... heat mat and cover while under a shoplight or multiple shoplights. Good luck :)

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 9:20AM
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regaldozer(6A)

thanks for the info...
my replies to the above posts.

1) I have 2 more smaller trays just waiting for the spring to get a little closer

2) another fixture is easy enough. do i really need it?

3) I had lowered the light and propped up the see tray so the top of the plastic dome is about 2" from the bulbs. I am now worried about cooking them. I have the light set for 16 hrs. should I wait until they sprout to start the light? I am not able to check on them during the day. Early AM and then later PM only. If I turn off the light, it contradicts poster number 1.

thanks for the advise

steve

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 10:18AM
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dcarch7

If you are in Z6, your seedlings may need to stay indoors longer, in that case, the more light the better.

BTW, unless you are only growing one kind of seedlings, you have forgotten to label the peat pellets. :-)

dcarch

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 10:28AM
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oppalm(6)

I don't think you will need a heat mat to start marigold seeds, they germinate like weeds, only faster and easier. Put the light 2-4 inches above the seed pots. and have fun.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 2:03PM
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maineman(z5a ME)

Steve,

It looks to me like you could get three more fixtures in there, by hanging them side-by-side and touching. Then you could turn your trays the other way and have four standard 11" x 22" seed starting trays where you now have only one, and the four fixtures would provide light above all of your seedlings.

I agree with Oppalm. You don't need the heating mat for marigolds. Some things do need bottom heat, like triploid seedless watermelons for instance. Be sure to remove the plastic cover when you first see the seedlings emerge. Then provide a little artificial breeze for your seedlings with a small electric fan. They need the "exercise" to stay stocky with strong stems.

How much did the GE "Sunshine 40" bulbs cost?

MM

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 8:48PM
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regaldozer(6A)

MM - sunshine 2 pack cost 6.98 at Lowes.
So I have sprouts!

I vented the lid and will remove it completely tonight or tomorrow am. And I turned off the heat mat

and I added a fan!

I will add at least one more light fixture next to the first. I have 2 more 60 cell starting trays that will get going in the next 2 weeks.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2007 at 10:29AM
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stquack

Thanks for the pictures! I can't wait

    Bookmark   March 6, 2007 at 7:11PM
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regaldozer(6A)

so I added a second light but I am going to end up with 4 total before the end of this weekend (YOUR FAULT MAINEMAN!)

my germination rate is not great but it has only been 4 days. package says 5-8 days for germ

and the little guys look like this

what do we think?

    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 9:50PM
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maineman(z5a ME)

Steve,

"...what do we think?"

We think you are doing good.

MM

    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 11:37PM
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dcarch7

Much better.
Also, the white boards under the seed tray will reflect more light.

Off-topic:
with the close-up view, I see that you kind of openned up the netting on top of your peat pellets, why did you have to do that?

dcarch

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 5:31AM
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regaldozer(6A)

thanks all!

I will update again in a few weeks when it is really rocking and rolling down there.
Arch - the instructions on the mini greenhouse said that after you add the water to exapnd the pellets, you should open the netting gently and rough up the surface of the peat. so i did!

steve

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 10:10AM
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dcarch7

Never had to do that. Never had any problems. Just drop the seed into the hole and scrape a little peat on top of the seed.

dcarch

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 12:22PM
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oscarthecat(z7MD)

You might want to try this next year.Set your lights on the table. Cover with a plastic drop cloth. Cut some 2" holes where the chains are going to come through. Hang them up. You now have a nice little greenhouse. You can control the heat by merely lifting up an edge of the dropcloth. Steve in Baltimore county.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 12:52AM
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andrewlina(Z5)

GREAT JOB! My DH built one just like it for me. Only mine has 3 or 4 tiers (built with PVC pipes) and has 2 long shop lights on each tier. Sure saves alot of $$$ huh?! Our kind of set up would cost a few hundred (if not more dollars) I have had good luck with mine,EXCEPT the box elder bug population by my plants. Grrrrr. Nice job and good luck!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2007 at 3:26PM
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