simple question... what indoor light to buy for peppers?

arizona_pepper_man(phx, arizona)September 3, 2008

Hey everyone! I've scrubbed through a good hrs worth of reading on the forum and still have unanswered questions about growing peppers indoors. I live in Arizona, and the heat has driven me to the indoors. I love the look of pepper plants w/ fruit and would love to have a good 6 - 8 healthy plants year around. I haven't decided on either hydro or soil, but for sure plan on growing habaneros w/ the attempt to keep them short and bushy, as well as lots of other variations and hot varieties. My thought is that a hydro set up will require more work long term than soil. I don't like the idea of having to change out water every 2-3 weeks and preventing mold and other stuff. I'm hoping I can find a soil set up that I can keep watered 1-2 times a week with little pest issue and smell. Is that possible w/ soil now a days?

I will be setting up some type of grow table in my home (on to another topic - If you have build something nice looking for in home use to support plants and lights, can you please share pictures or send me to a good website? i've looked for weeks and can't find anything online. I'm even considering having a custom hutch of some type built) office where temp will be consistently anywhere betwee 70 in the winter and no higher than 82 during the day during the summer with a ceiling fan and oscillating fan when plants are young for stem growth. My immediate thought is to do a 48" hooded shop type light extended over the plants with the most powerful and best bulbs possible. I'm more than open to do either a 2 or 4 bulb set up. Budget is a concern but I'm able to comfortably spend a few hundred on something will last for a good while w/out being too loud or an eyesore since this will be in a nicely furnished area. If this is suggested and w/ the right nutrients this light will produce a decent healthy yield, what type of bulb do you suggest? If not a fluorescents, what is the best all around light set up that I should buy? The total grow area will be no more than 4x4 w/ plants growing no larger than 3-4ft at tops. I'm not looking for a HUGE crop, just healthy peppers that I can keep in fruit stage as long as possible.

With all this in place will I need ventilation or simply a fan from above and at plant level to keep the air moving? There is a NE window in the room, but ideally the setup will be in the opposite corner. When temps outside are good, I can open the window for fresh air but don't want to depend on this.

So... the slate is clean.

Thanks for your help in advance!

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almax881(z8 - Louisiana)

The best all around lighting system is an HID metal halide bulb. It provides the necessary light for vegetative growth. If you are going to have sunlight during the day, you should look into getting a High Pressure Sodium (HPS) system. HPS provides orange-yellow light which promotes flowering and fruiting of plants. It's recommended that you don't use HPS by itself, or the plants will be leggy and have a funny color. A Conversion Bulb is supposed to allow the best of both the HPS and MH systems, but I think they are pricier and provide less light effectiveness than the other bulbs.

A 4x4 room should do fine with a 400W bulb.

Admittedly, I am new to all of this myself. I have read up on growing plants in lights, but I have yet to actually put my knowledge into application. So, if I am wrong someone please correct me.

The only site I know of where to buy some of these items is Home Harvest Garden Supply. Google it.

I hope this helps.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 10:05AM
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liz_h(7/8 DFW Texas)

I just looked at a Time-Life book from 1978 titled "Gardening Under Lights" that has a lot of very nice looking interior gardens. The light set-ups are designed to blend in with the decor. If you can spend some time browsing a library or bookstore, I'm sure there are more recent books out there as well that should give you a lot of visuals to work with.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 1:53AM
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