Do I need lights in solarium in winter in Los Angeles?

srosa02November 1, 2005

I'm getting nervous going into fall and winter. I am new to gardening. I have all my plants on a north facing solarium. (This includes peppers, tomatoes, carrots, lettuce and eggplant.)

There is only one window that can open so most of the plants are behind tinted glass.

I'm concerned about overnight temperatures (40-50 degrees F. I plan on closing the window and hope that is enough. I am looking into lights to help the veggies grow now that there is less light and lower temperatures.

I'm going cheap. I've heard that I can use warm white and cool white fluorescent lights. I've heard that warm white is better for flowering and cool white is better for growing. Any suggestions on which to use and how long? What time of day?

You can check out my setup here, although I've notice my page is off wack. Please ignore that. You get the idea:



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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

I would say that with your California sunshine, probably not, unless you want to extend day length a couple hours. Even during the winter rainy season you get as much sunshine as we do in mid-spring in Ohio!!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2005 at 11:01AM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

Actually, I missed where you said a North facing solarium. There I'd err on the side of saying you'd need some supplemental light.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2005 at 3:35PM
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Thank you hairmetal4ever.

I tried one warm white bulb on one of my tomato plants and it is not enough. I got to get more. I really need one of the tube fluoro set-ups. It just gets costly.

We'll see.

Thanks for your help.


    Bookmark   November 8, 2005 at 8:06PM
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shrubs_n_bulbs(z8/9 UK)

To usefully supplement the natural light that you already have, you will need more than one tube. Consider something like a pair of 40W tubes under each of the lower shelves that you wish to light. For the tall plants on the top shelf, think about mounting two or even four tubes behind the plants so they are getting light from both sides. Consider enclosing the back of the shelves with white board or card. There is little light coming from inside the room and you will reflect the fluorescent ight back onto the plants.

If you want to actively grow and fruit your veggies during the winter, have them on 14 hours each day while it is light outside and an extra few hours either side.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2005 at 7:18AM
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Thank you shrubs_n_bulbs,

I just need to break down and put the money into it.

I wanted to save money. I've been buying organic produce and it's costly. Growing my own garden seems costly too. I know it will pay off in the end though. I just need to be patient.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2005 at 6:21PM
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