24 hour light after first sprouts?

paceyswittersApril 15, 2011

Hey all,

This is my first try at growing peppers (or anything, really, except for one thing). My experience with another plant has been that you should keep it lit 24/7 at first. Same deal here?

I've got jalapenos, seranos, bhut jolokias, tomatos, and sweet peppers in a single flat under a T5 light at the moment. Some sprouts have popped up; others are still germinating (hopefully) after about 7 days now. They're on a heating pad in my closet at the moment; eventually, I'll be moving them to a 2 self-watering containers outdoors. I'm not concerned about cross pollination�in fact, while I'm not planning on it, I think it would be kind of cool to cross a sweet pepper with something hotter just for fun, so if it happens that would be great.

Anyways, wish me luck!

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16 hours max I go from 6a to 12a, go get a cheap timer from wally world, they are like $4. Anything more than that and your plants will not be happy.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 10:51PM
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Thank you sir; on that note, I'm going to go turn off right now, as they've been going for 26 right now :).

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 11:20PM
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I guess I go for 18 hours, I might tone mine back a bit.


    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 11:28PM
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I'm in MT, where our last frost comes in early June (so I'm told � recent import). I've read that HPS lighting is a great substitute in the meantime, but it seems pricey. Are there any cheap alternatives I'm not thinking of for once this single T5 becomes too little?

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 11:30PM
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i cant remember where it was, but i want to say last year a fella on here did a comparison of 24/hr and 18 or 16 hour lighting and the results concluded that the peppers did not require a "resting" period and grew larger plants faster than under the lower time period. maybe someone can help me out on where that post might be? (maybe i dreamed it...)

anyway, as such i have had my lights on since January, and have had very nice plants emerge so i am sold on the idea of 24hr lighting.

just my .02 but i'm only a second year grower so understand i am not an expert in the matter :)

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 2:33AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I see to remember something similar....
for the first 8 weeks, someone said to blast them 24 hours a day, and then taper off for planting.

I run my lights from 6:30am to midnight.


    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 12:01PM
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gjcore(zone 5 Aurora Co)
    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 9:29PM
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I think it's pertinent to point out that the landlord pays the electricity :)

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 10:44PM
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paceyswitters...if thats the case, you should build a greenhouse and heat it with ELECTRICITY! haha

I think they may raise an eyebrow if your bill jumps from $100/month to $400/month.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Pepper Guy's Garden

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 1:50AM
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I've always felt that my plants grew quickest at night between lights out and the next morning when I turn the lights on again. Is this mental self-deception, or does science back it up? :)

I give the tomatoes and peppers around 16 per day, basically they are light when I am awake.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 6:25PM
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Well, I've got timers coming this week; perhaps I'll start out with 18/6. I'll read up a bit more and let you guys know what I decide to do. I could get a 400W HPS and ballast for around $80 or less�I live in a medicinal marijuana state, so there's almost always grow lights on craigslist (probably kids who bought them and then never got around to setting them up). Would that be too powerful?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 6:34PM
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Also, sorry about the weird characters; apparently gardenweb doesn't support formal em-dashes :).

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 6:35PM
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I've just been leaving mine in a window that gets lots of sunlight, and moving them around during the day as the sun moves to catch as much sunlight possible, is this ok? I'd rather not go by lights if I don't need to. Should I take the cover off the seeding tray, ( it is clear plastic)

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 12:22AM
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esox07 (4b)

Yes, take the clear plastic cover off. Especially when they are in the sun. If not, you will find the temp getting way too high and your plants will cook. you can leave the cover on if they are not in the sun however.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 8:27PM
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Definitely 24/7 is the best. Night does no good for the plant. It needs light for photosynthesis. the more light the more it grows. 24/7 is also better for the lamp and bulb. You will get more out of 24/7 at lower cost.

Only a few things need night. some onions will tend to bulb up under 24/7 while still small. That is the only thing I can think of right now. Not sure on scallions which never bulb up anyway.

tomatoes peppers and greens like lettuce all do best under 24/7.

Veggies grow huge fast and beautiful in the artic circle under 24/7 light.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 8:50PM
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HPS is NOT good for seedlings - they grow extremely leggy. If you are going the HID route, I would choose MH every day of the week.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 5:18PM
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wordwiz is correct- hps is for flowering- mh is for vegetating...

plants that are strictly vegetative will do ok under 24 hour light... most plants respond more favorably to having 4-6 hours of dark,,, there are aspects of photosynthesis that do not occur without some dark...

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 8:53PM
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    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 3:26PM
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    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 3:36PM
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I believe biscgolf is a little off regarding photosynthesis. Probably thinking of the Calvin cycle, aka "the dark reaction" that does not require light. It is "light-independent" but that is different from "light-inhibited".

The Calvin cycle does not require light, but light does not disrupt it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Photosynthesis @ Wikipedia

    Bookmark   April 29, 2011 at 2:40PM
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Hmmm...I thought I posted this earlier, so if this is a double post, apologies.

Anyways, last night I turned off the lights in my little garden for the first time from about 1 AM to 8 AM.

This morning, when I came in, I was pretty surprised. I got about three quarters of an inch to perhaps even an inch of growth in a lot of my plants. The strawberries were the most evident, given that they were barely sticking out of the ground and now have about an inch of stem underneath; the peppers aren't as easily quantifiable, but appear to have shot up as well; and while the light was about an inch and a half above my biggest plants last night, the tomatos, this morning one of the leaves was nearly touching the bulb. The latter could be the result of the leaves extending towards the warmth overnight, but there was still striking stem growth overnight. This leads me to suspect that a brief respite from light once every few days may lead to even greater results than simply 24 hour lighting. Thoughts? Keep in mind I'm brand new to gardening and peppers, so I could be totally wrong here, but at least with respect to the strawberries the growth is undeniable.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 1:43PM
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Remember, all of these plants evolved to grow under "natural" conditions, aka the day/night cycle.

During the day, the plant makes food for itself via photosynthesis. It puts most of it's effort into this during the day. During the night, when it can't make food, it uses it and works on growth and restoring nutrient supplies through the roots.

While 24/7 light means it makes as much food for itself as possible, the plant is also programmed to focus on that as much as possible when it has light available, which means it won't grow as much. Plus, there is a limit to how much food the plant needs, which means that any extra time in the light is essentially wasted anyway.

By giving the plants a night cycle, you give them time to rest and put all that energy they stored during the day to good use. Raising plants is sort of like raising kids. If you shelter them and pamper them too much, they'll never grow up to be well adjusted adults. I killed my first batch of bhuts by over-pampering them, actually. Had a small number of seeds I wanted to be sure nothing would happen to them that by the time they saw what the real world was like they just shriveled up and died (guess I should have spent more than a week hardening them off, but I digress).

Yeah, like people, give your plants a good 8 hours of sleep at night and they'll be much happier.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 3:17PM
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