Artificial light or south window?

eileen_plantsJune 2, 2007

Apologies to those who read this post in "Herbs" forum. I have basil, dill, sage, oregano and savory plantlets growing under 80 watts of fluorescent light. When I tranplant from seedling tray to pots, should I keep them permanently under the 80 watts (possibly adding more light) or put them in my south window? (Live in an apartment, so they won't be going into a garden or outdoors) Thanks for any suggestions.


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mkiker(Marshall zone 8 NC)

It depends on what's more convenient to you. The south window should have enough light but why move them. I would hope that 80 watts would be good enough. I have some spearmint doing nicely under only 30 watts, so see what happens.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2007 at 1:35PM
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Thanks, mkiker, I posted this in the "Herbs" forum and the general consensus was to put them in sun. But after reading your post, I think I will leave some plantlets under the 80 watts along with some African Violets and see what happens...can always move them if they start to elongate. Thanks for the response.


    Bookmark   June 3, 2007 at 6:44PM
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shrubs_n_bulbs(z8/9 UK)

30W, 80W, makes no difference. It is the intensity of the light that matters. 30W concentrated onto a 6"x6" area is enough to burn many plants, 80W spread over a three foot square growing area is completely inadequate to grow anything.

In any case, your lights will never match the intensity of direct sunlight. If you have enough sun then you should use it, your herbs will grow better and taste better.

Artificial lights work well for initial seed or cutting raising where you can provide a steady light level for long periods. Also for low light plants like African Violets which you obviously wouldn't want in the noon sun.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2007 at 11:28AM
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mkiker(Marshall zone 8 NC)

Sunlight is seen as free light and is stronger than most artificial light sources. That's why most people recommend the sun. To me however I don't like sunlight because it isn't free at all when you consider the extra cooling required to combat the infra red pollution. That's why I made the hard line choice that if it doesn't grown under artificial light it gets thrown away.

One thing to consider, which may be why the herbs people said sun, is that some herbs are said to taste better under certain growing conditions. They need to grow steady, but not too fast and they need good light to produce the flavor oils. In theory the lower light might help because it may slow their growth a little making them more flavorful than full sun which would allow rapid growth. I say in theory because I don't know for sure.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2007 at 1:35PM
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mkiker, I'm not planning to use the herbs for culinary purposes, so perhaps I don't need sun?? Shrubs, I didn't know that the area served by the light was a factor when using light to grow (first time with seedlings and lights). I think what I will do is leave a few plantlets in the south window and a few under lights and make adjustments as needed. Thanks again!!


    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 6:40PM
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