Grow Lights, Soil Temperature and Seed Heads
IÂm new here having just recently found this site. IÂve been lurking for a few days reading various forums and have learned quite a bit. Thank you all!
IÂm in Zone 5a (Ottawa ON) and am particularly interested in hot peppers and herbs. Given my hot pepper addiction, I need to get my plants started early given my shorter growing season.
If I may, I have three questions on Grow Lights, Soil Temperature and Seed Heads for you more experienced folks.
Before I found this site, I purchased two 24 inch GE Bright Stiks (grow lights). I have read on a number of posts that cheaper cool white tubes work just as well for seedlings than expensive grow lights. My question is; "how far past first sprouts are the cool whites good for? Do I need to switch to grow lights after a certain time or will they suffice until I harden off in the spring?"
A couple of years ago I purchased a Planters Pride heated seed starting set up from Canadian Tire. IÂve had mixed results with pepper and herb germination. IÂve recently found a small heating pad and thought I could use it on low to start another tray of seeds. Being nervous about the temperature melting the plastic tray I measured the temp put out by the pad. It clocked in at 144F! To compare to the Planters Pride box I measured its temperature. It clocked in at 150F!!! My question is: "IÂve read that 80F is the right soil temperature for seed germination. Is the high temperature of the Planters Pride box the reason for my mixed results? Soil temperature measured 125F."
A number (40%) of my new pepper sprouts have the seed shells stuck to/impeding the new leafs. My questions are: "Is this normal? If not, how can I avoid it in the future?"
Thanks in advance for any assistance you can provide. Hopefully IÂll be able to contribute in the future on topic areas I have experience on.