What light for tomato seedlings/transplants?

rebeccasgarden2008(5 Northeast PA)September 16, 2008


I am going to try my hand at starting tomato seeds this coming spring. I have heard I could just use a standard fluorescent bulb but want to make sure. Some seeds I am using are expensive and I don't want to waste them or my time. Any suggestions?

Also, how many times do you move them? I mean, do you start in a six pack tray and then move to a bigger pot and then move them again to a bigger pot. At what point should I feritilize seedlings, I know there are not many nutrients in seeding mixture. Just want to hear everyone's ideas. I was thinking of using peat pots.



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Hey Rebecca,

Use two different fluorescent bulbs in a 4 foot shop light from Home Depot.

One....40 watt, cool bulb 4100K, t12 (cool white)
One....40 watt, warm bulb 3000K, t12 (Kitchen and bath)

Bulbs available at Walmart.

Light plants 16 hours a day.
Keep top of plants within two inches of light bulbs.

You can join/gang any number of the above shop lights.

I transplant my seedlings one before harding off and moving to garden.

I use a 4 ounce clear cup (Walmart) and a half gallon plastic milk carton with top removed.

I punch drain holes in both with a needle, vice grips and a candle flame.

I use Miracle Grow Seed Starting Mix and it has enough fertilizer for the entire process.

Good Luck,


    Bookmark   September 16, 2008 at 2:58PM
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Yes I second what John said, especially about the compost- dont make the mistake as thousands of people do each year- of transplanting into larger pots using potting compost instead of the seedling mix- transplant into larger pots by all means- but use only the seedling mix to do so, otherwise tomatoes are such greedy feeders that they grab onto the extra fetrilizer in any potting mix and grow tall and lanky and it stretches them no end as the urge to grow makes them spurt upwards with not enough available light to keep them compact-despite artificial lighting-there are of course more expensive fluro bulbs available that give the full spectrum of light in one bulb.

From my experiance- only use potting composts in transplants-not more than three weeks before planting out time in the garden-otherwise stretching will occur-three weeks seems the optimum time for the new young plants to grab onto the extra fertilizer and go into a growth spurt.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 1:36AM
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You can increase brightness (effectiveness) of bulbs by attaching MYLAR with two sided carpet tape to the light fixture reflector.

Get the least expensive Home Depot shop light NOT the energy effecient type.

You want electronic ballast.

MYLAR source: plantlightinghydroponics.com


    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 3:26AM
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spiced_ham(z5 OH)

Rather than mylar (95% reflectance) you can simply prop something white around the light (90% reflectance). I use plastic tops from large sweater boxes, white cardboard, etc. Coolwhite/warmwhite was the old way to do it when there was not much choice in cheap fluoro tubes. Today, if you do not want to buy something like GE Plant and Aquarium tubes the best output for plant growth is from the 6000K daylight bulbs. That color temperature, 6000k, produces more blue light than the lower 5000k and 4000k tubes. The color temp is listed on the box/package. Because of the way light is produced in a fluorotube "Full spectrum", and "Daylight" as it applies to tubes made for the human eye are meaningless terms when applied to plants.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 8:39AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Be sure to check out the FAQ here (top of the page) on Growing Tomatoes from Seed and also all the FAQ on the Growing under Lights and the Growing from Seed forums too. Lots of great info.

Many of us have posted pics of our lights set-ups on those forums in the past.


    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 10:29AM
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What grow lights do you use? What bulbs?
Take a position!

I don't think spiced ham knows what he is talking about..

It would be nice if someone would clear up this question, if only to get the "search" record straight.

There seems to be a lot of confusion and incorrect data on this subject.

Plants can be grown under almost any light....what is the best light, best bulb???????????????

I have been spending time all over the Internet including Growing under lights, etc in an attempt to determine the BEST lights for plant growth for a reasonable price with reasonable electric cost. Reasonable cost being under $50.00.


    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 11:54AM
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I agree lighting is a confussing issue.
Recently I learned that I have been using two inferior florscent bulbs in a shop light (t12, 34watt).
My results were acceptable but hope to improve with different bulbs next year.

From my research, the cool---warm bulb method you recommended is the best way to go with florscent bulb as it covers a broad sprectrum of light colors.

Most on this forum use grow lights and they seem reluctant to contribute. I may start a new lighting thread.

In the link below, four different florscent bulbs were compared and direct sunlight was included. I wish a cool..warm set up was included.


Sue Ellen

    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 8:39AM
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spiced_ham(z5 OH)

That website says what I said. The higher the color temp for household fluorescent tubes the more high energy blue light that is produced in relation to the green-yellow output that the human eye likes.

The website did say, in error, that the high pressure systems were like sunlight. That is not true. They, (HPS, and MH) produce spectral peaks like fluorescents do. HPS produce alot of reds, which induce flowering, while Metal Halides have a very blue light better for vegetative growth. Neither have much of the the green that the human eye likes. You can find spectrographs of the various light sources on the internet. Compare them to the absorption spectrum for chlorophyll posted on that website.

For tomato seedlings it doesn't much matter because you just have to get them so big, but for those of us trying to grow and bloom show orchids year round under lights it does matter. I own just about every type of grow light made except for the new, expensive, red/blue LED lights. I grow my tomato seedlings under several true 150watt compact fluorescent curly tubes (special order). Each is about a foot long, and they are screwed into 300 watt brooder reflectors. That way I don't have to take up 4 ft of counter space.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 5:24PM
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frenchy_fl(Z10 FL)

I go for simple and easy. My seeds, not fermented, get soaked, then planted in regular potting soil, no fertilizer, and I do not use any lights. The seeds are grown in yogurt cups in my Florida Room and transplanted to their growing pots 2-3 weeks after sprouting. This has been my procedure for 7 years with great success. My plants are almost ready for planting as I type this. I have tomatoes all winter and until the end of May.
I can hear your groaning all the way down here.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 6:24PM
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In Carolyn Males's book, "100 HEIRLOOM TOMATOES FOR THE AMERICAN GARDEN" on page 17 she recommends the use of one warm and one cool florscent bulbs for tomato seedlings.

Since spicedham's post I checked another tomato forum for information on florscent grow lights and came up with three different recomendation in less than ten minutes.

One uses two cool white bulbs.
One uses one cool white and one grow bulb (multi-spretrum)
One uses one cool white and one warm bulb.

If I had the space, it would be fun to experiment: one shop light with two 6000K and one with one cool and one warm.

Spiceham, please forgive the harsh comment. I lack the knowledge in this area to make such a judgement.


    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 4:33PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Dave, What grow lights do you use? What bulbs?

I use plain old 4' shop lights with the bulk-buy 40 watt fluorescent bulbs from Walmart or Home Depot - whoever is having a sale ;) and have for years. Nothing fancy. Have a couple of the 2' fixtures I picked up at an auction that use grow bulbs (see pink lights below) but they don't do any better than the cheap ones do far as I can tell and the bulbs cost 3x as much.

Some are the cool type and some are the warm type - just depends on what I can get a good buy on. But I don't worry about any combo of them. My only concern is fresh bulbs each year as they lose power rather quickly. The old bulbs do to the barn or the shop or the basement as they still work fine, just weaker.

Posted pics of my growing set-up (early season shots) before but here are a couple again. Many others have posted even better pics of their set-ups in the previous discussions on this.

Wouldn't mind having 5 or 6 of the 4 bulb light set-ups but can't justify spending the money on them.


    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 6:22PM
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windclimber(z5 KS,close to KCMO)

The question is answered in the FAQ's.

I use a two tube flourecent fixtures. The most inexpensive one will do. However there is a lot of light lost around it if you do not capture it somehow. Spend a couple of extra bucks and buy the gro lights. They contain the highest color spectrum of correct light.
I use mirrors leaned up against the fixture. (plans still in the works to build an actual light box.)
After the seeds sprout in a seperate dark warm location......transfer from the cells to whatever containers work best for you, 8 oz. cups filled with slightly moistened soiless growing medium. I have transplanted them as early as emergence in the plumlar hook stage. bury them right up to the cotyldons.(first "leaves")

Under the lights they go ...... don't be afraid .....get the tubes right down on them...touching them is a-ok. Try and place the setup to where you have a constant temp of about 50 degrees, or cooler.
This will cold harden them.........toughen them up for temp extremes later......

Put a fan on them during all of this to simulate a gentle breeze. It will cause the roots to go nutty and want to ground the plant from blowing off and result in better root system and stockier stems.

Let them grow and cold harden for a couple of weeks. Then move them to a sunny window for as much exposure to Mr. Sun as possible. NO DRAFTS!!

People differ on the transplanting them again at this stage ...but I subscribe to one more transplant to a 12 or 16 oz. cup. Some of them may be becoming pretty tall.
The stimulation and roughing up of the roots causes even more development. Some have big operations and it isn'nt feasible, but does aid in producing quality stock IMHO.
Bury them as deep as possible right up to the top set of leaves,...........yep the whole stem and all.


Actually if you use a moisture control product (soiless)
you may not have to water until you are hardening them off outside before planting. THE ONLY TIME YOU WATER is when and if the soil is completly dry.

I use a vitamen product called Superthrive. But really no fertilizer is needed until going in the ground.

Little bit more than lighting but there you go Good Luck and have fun most of all!!!


    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 10:18AM
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spiced_ham(z5 OH)

If I don't fertilize my seedlings they stop growing because of the lack of nutrients in my starting soil. If I want 8-10 inch plants in 4 inch pots for the garden I have to fertilize at least once. Finding this out lost me a month out of the growing season this year. Different varieties respond differently to soil nutrients. A few types grew big enough without additional fertilizer, but most were stunted.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 10:23AM
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windclimber(z5 KS,close to KCMO)

I guess there could be varietys that respond diffently to different nutrients in the soil ............sounds more like that might be a result of the strength of the particular gene in that particular plant.

My advice to a gardener just starting from seed was that the tendency to overfertilize and overwater were the most common sources of failure when I started.

We all learn as we go along from each other. :)

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 1:37PM
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Do you use a seed starting potting soil with fertilizer?

What fertilizer do you use and how much?


    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 2:56PM
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spiced_ham(z5 OH)

I am using a non-name brand potting mix (not seed starter mix) that was on sale here last spring. I like it except for the little styrofoam balls it contains. In small print it says it contains starter nutrients, but no NPK numbers are given. I have a special high potassium formula fertilizer developed by Michigan State University that I mixed with some high phosphorus bloom booster fertilizer. The end result was about the same as Miracle Grow tomato formula at 1/2 strenghth (more or less equal amounts of NPK). Whatever you have laying around with fairly equal numbers is fine.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 5:35PM
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mtbigfish - Use T5 Flourecent HO 54 watt 5000 lumen 6500K wide spectrum fixtures and bulbs - try Pro-Mix FPX fine plug grade and/or GPX plug grade mixes - thy can be bought with mycoride or biofungicide also if you anticipate or as a preventive for disease - (see specs and info below - went over board but there is a lot to lesrn)
Fertilizer for seedlings can use superthrive or fish and kelp emulsion - thinned down - don't over water - when ready to plant into the ground I use Dr Earth Tomato fertilizer with mycorise and you can use either Garden and bloom vegetable (mycorise) or PRO-MIX BX with or w/o mycorise or biofungicide -which I also add white pumice, vermiculite, and pure worm castings - there are other products that can be used that are OMRI organic listed that can be used as soil drench or foilage spray - Serenade, Biovam, Kodiac, Harpin, Messenger - check them out
Pro-Mix with Mycorise
2.1 What is MYCORISE PRO?

MYCRORISE® PRO is a beneficial vesicular-arbuscular endomycorrhizal (VAM) fungus (Glomus intraradices) that is found naturally in soils around the world. It forms an association, or symbiosis, with the roots of many plants including many vegetables, ornamental greenhouse plants, fruits, trees and shrubs.

Symbiosis between VAM fungi and plant roots begins when VAM fungal spores germinate and the emerging threadlike structures, called hypha (hyphae-plural), penetrate the root surface. VAM fungi partially live within the cells of the root cortex and produce additional hyphae that extend out into growing medium and soil. The hyphae act as an extension of the root system and help the plant acquire water and nutrients (particularly phosphorus, copper, zinc and manganese). In return, the plant provides carbohydrates for the VAM fungus.

2.2 What are the benefits of MYCORISE® PRO?

More efficient acquisition of water and nutrients (particularly phosphorus, copper, zinc, and manganese).
Increased resistance to stresses related to transplanting, nutrition and drought.
Improved plant survival after outplanting into gardens and field soil.
Increased crop vigor, plant quality and quantity of flowers/fruit.
* Benefits vary among different plant species and cultivars.
Pro-Mix with biofungicide
1.2 How does PRO-MIX® with BIOFUNGICIDE work?

PRO-MIX is enhanced with a biological fungicide called Subtilex®, a naturally occurring strain of bacteria called Bacillus subtilis-MBI600. This bacterium combats harmful organisms preventing the onset of root diseases and enhances plant growth. When the plant's root system comes into contact with Subtilex®, the spores germinate and begin to colonize the roots within 48 hours. The bacteria grow around the root system to form a protective shield that serves as a physical barrier to common root rot pathogens. In return, the plant produces metabolites that serve as food for the organism. Subtilex® also produces an antibiotic and stimulates the plants immune response to ward off the disease organisms.

1.3 What are the benefits of PRO-MIX® with BIOFUNGICIDE?

Reduced Incidence of Root Diseases for All Plant Species - broad spectrum of action against root pathogens (Pythium, Rhizoctonia, Fusarium)

Enhanced Plant Vigor - better growth enhancement than Fungal Inoculants

Complements All Integrated Pest Management
Programs (IPM)

Overall Reduction of Fungicide Applications

Compatible with All Pesticides - Registered for Greenhouse Use (except peroxide compounds)

No change to Growing Practices (fertilizers, cultural practices, etc)

More Economical to use than other Biological Control Agents (BCA's)

Easy to Use - already blended in PRO-MIX compared to other fungal or bacterial inoculants that you need to apply

No Special Handling Needed - store and use just like standard PRO-MIX products

Fights Diseases More Efficiently - with high-performance patented strain of Bacillus subtilis which also produces a unique antibiotic

Longer Shelf-Life and Persistance than mixes
with Fungal BCAs

No Phytotoxicity or Known Pathogen Resistance, as with some chemical fungicides

Zero Restricted Entry Interval (R.E.I.) Â no downtime or work delay

Answers growing concerns about Health and Safety Issues related to Chemical Fungicides

The First Approved Growing Medium with BIOFUNGICIDE

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 6:53PM
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What do people think of using Schultz moisture control containter soil for starting seeds?

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 7:15PM
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macheske(6/7 NorthernVA)

I agree with Dave. Get the cheapest shop lights you can find at Home Depot and get the cheapest 40W floresent bulbs in large packs. The only thing that seems to make a difference is that more light is better. I have many bulbs very close to my starts and leave them on 24 hours / day. Works great.


    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 8:43PM
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Dave and Rick are both right - the cheap lights will work - so will standard tv vs high definition etc etc - too me it is and always has been to get the best you can afford that will do the best job and think of it as an investment - you can get 2x the lumens per bulb with T5 - they are also available in cool and wide spectrum etc etc - if you are on a budget go the home depot or lowes way if you like to have the most up to date look at the info I have attached - also most come with 5yr warranty including damp conditions -
What are T5 Fluorescents and why are they so popular for growing plants?
Fluorescent Lamp technology has become very efficient in converting energy into light output in recent years. We are now seeing a higher watt to light output ratio from the T5 fluorescent than is experienced using High Intensity Discharge (H.I.D.) systems like Metal Halide. Each four foot T5 lamp produces an amazing 5,000 lumens per bulb! This is incredibly bright and represents a huge leap for fluorescent technology. Antiquated T12 fluorescents (your standard "shop-light" fixture) and the popular T8 fluorescents emit around 2,600-3,000 lumens per 4 bulb. T5 Fluorescents light output is even higher than Metal Halides intense bright light as Metal Halide bulbs produce around 80 lumens per watt. T12 fluorescents emit around 65 lumens per watt and the T8 fluorescents emit about 81 lumens per watt. Compare that to the T5s outstanding 92 lumen per watt ratio and you now see why T5s are truly the next generation in grow lights. Metal Halide and T12 and T8 lamps can lose as much as 50% of their initial light output over the life of the bulb. So without regularly changing your halide/sodium bulbs, your plants could be growing at "half speed". T5 fluorescent bulbs also hold their lumens longer than Metal Halide / High Pressure Sodium and other fluorescent bulbs meaning they stay brighter longer. This means you can be assured your plants are receiving the proper amount of light over the lamps life.
Many independent tests have shown the T5 Fluorescents outproduce higher wattage Metal Halide systems. The reasoning is this. High Intensity Discharge (H.I.D.) bulbs including Metal Halide (MH) and High Pressure Sodium (HPS) emit light from a very small source - a two to four inch arc tube inside the bulb. The light is very intense and needs to be spread across the entire garden from this one small point of light. So, not matter how effecient the reflector, the light still has to travel a distance from the arc tube and across the garden losing light intensity along the way. T5 Fluorescent lamps emit light from along each 4 section of each of the 4 bulbs. This is a much larger light source spread over a much larger area. This allows the grower to place the T5 fluorescents very close to the plant canopy while still achieving the light spread across the entire garden area. Placing the light closer to the plants equates into very high light intensity. Metal Halides small arc tube also gets very hot and if placed too close to plants it will actually burn them. Since T5 fluorescents have such a large area of light source along the bulb they also emit considerably less heat than Metal Halides and thus can be placed very close the the tops of your plants. T5 Fluorescent bulbs also come in a variety light spectrums (eg. "warm/bloom" and "cool/growth" spectrums). This allows each grower to customize their light for the type of plant growth desired. Use all "cool" 6,500 Kelvin Daylight Spectrum bulbs for lush compact vegetative plant growth or "warm" 3,000 Kelvin Red Spectrum bulbs for explosive flowering plant growth - or mix the both "cool" and "warm" bulbs to create a truly balanced light spectrum!
In conclusion
T5 fluorescents are much more efficient than their older T12 and T8 fluorescent counterparts and Metal Halide producing considerably more light output per energy used.
T5 Fluorescent bulbs stay brighter longer than Metal Halide all other fluorescent bulbs.
T5 fluorescents have a much larger light source and run cooler compared to Metal Halide and High Pressure Sodium bulbs.
T5 Fluorescents can achieve very high light intensity levels and can be placed very close to the plants.
T5 Fluorescents give growers the best control over what light spectrum they wish to use for their plants specific stage of growth.
T5 Fluorescents are the next generation in grow light technology!

    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 11:52PM
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macheske(6/7 NorthernVA)

Nice summary Mtbigfish! I looked into T5's when I put together my system. The difference for me all came down to price. I could put in 3 T12's for the price of 1 T5. Your numbers look right in terms of light output (lumens). The T5's are about 35-40% better than T12's. I decided to pack in 10 T12 bulbs per shelf, that holds 4 standard trays, rather than put in 4 T5's per shelf.

For T5's I would have got 40x4x92 = 14720 lumens
For T12's I got 40x10x65 = 26000 lumens
for the same wattage bulbs

I'm waiting for T5's to become the standard and get cheaper. It would be great to ~36000 lumens.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 7:04AM
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You guys check the reef aquarium boards and Ebay for people with reef aquariums that are converting to t5's.

I picked up a 4ft VHO Lighting system from one of them for $40.
IceCap 660 electronic ballast, water proof end caps, reflector, 4 4ft bulbs, and a IceCap timer.


    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 9:38AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

using Schultz moisture control containter soil for starting seeds?

It is fine for growing on once transplanted but it isn't needed for germination. It's too expensive for germination and can cause the soil to remain too wet for effective germination. Save it for using when they have 2 true leaves and get transplanted from the germination tray to the individual cells.


    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 9:56AM
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"For T5's I would have got 40x4x92 = 14720 lumens
For T12's I got 40x10x65 = 26000 lumens
for the same wattage bulbs"

I've read that T12s are actually 30 lumens/watt. In this article a 4' 54 watt T5 is shown as approximately equal to 4 4' 40 watt T12s. That's quite a bit of difference, I wonder which number is closer to reality.


    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 11:34AM
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macheske(6/7 NorthernVA)

I've seen 60 to 70. I checked out the link and they are trying to sell high end lighting. Hmmmm....that gets me a little suspicious.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 7:08PM
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I pretty much agree with digdirt. I grow nice stocky plants to set out every year. I plant twenty or so and give away 200. I start my own OP keepers from last year and try a few new ones each spring. I find starting tomato seeds each April, a renewal of spirit and a Thanksgiving for making it through another bitter winter ( which at my age, is an accomplishmnet). My recommendations;
1. Good commercial seed starting mix
2. Even watering. I have been using the Burpee seed starter with capillary mat for the past several years and ordered out a few new ones this year. Notice the Big Box stores are selling them now.
3. Keep fluorescent lights close to seedlings. I also use the cheapest, on sale, tubes after having googled some research indicating that more expensive, spectrum specific lights don't make a tinker's dam of difference in starting seeds for the home grower. Commercial efforts may be a different story.
4. Cool it. Little tomato seedlings don't like it hot. I keep them at a temp of 60-65 degrees (more internet research) and run a fan for a few hours every day.Transplant into larger containers in Seed (not potting) Mix.
5. Harden off early. Get them outdoors asap. This may mean a bit of juggling but it pays off. I have a south facing cellar bulkhead. I place my seedlings on the steps Each morning in early May (zone 6) I open the doors and just close the bulhead every afternoon at sunset. Don't forget to close the bulkhead!! About a week before setting out in the garden, the plants go to a protected spot behind my garden shed for 24/7. Any light frost forecast by then is met with covering w row cover material. I end up with a nice short, stocky plant ready for the next round of problems after setting into the garden....but that's for another post.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 9:56PM
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sure is great to see all this interaction

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 11:07PM
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Great discussion guys! First time from seed here
I am going to start building my mini grow setup in the garage tonight while I unpatiently wait for my seeds to arrive.
Thanks for the valuable info

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 5:01PM
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I'm not sure why some people here continue to take stabs in the dark when guessing what kind / colors of lamps to use. This has been researched to death. The key points are correct color, maximum output, and low heat.

The old rule of thumb was to use a cool lamp and a warm lamp to get a balanced light. Since then, it has been found that for most hydroponic growth (where the research has been done), lamps with a color in the temperature range of about 2200K or 2300K is as close to the correct color for flowering and fruit production.

For vegetative growth, it has been found that lamps with a color in the temperature range of 6000K to 6500K is most effective.

For those who only use this lighting setup for seed starting, you can use the cheap 4 foot T-12 twin tube shop lights from Walmart for about $12-$15. While you are there, pick up the GE 'Daylight' lamps that are ~6300K. They should be about $9 for the two-pack. The drawback from this setup is the low lumens/output.

If you are a bit handier with tools, use your imagination and build a light panel GE 100W Daylight compact fluorescent lamps in each socket. Even with 10 100W lamps, you still don't use that much electricity but still produce the lumens (light output) to make it better than a desk lamp. I know of more than a handful of people who have used these lighting setups very successfully. This can allow you to increase the light concentration significantly without boosting the heat output too much.

If you're serious about a lighting project, consider using a high pressure sodium ballast and lamp. 400W to 1000W is good for starters. This gives you maximum light output (a good 1000W HPS lamp can put out 110,000 lumens compare to 3,080 for a 40W T-12 tube).The drawbacks to MH and HPS lamps are cost, and *can* generate a large amount of heat.

If there are further questions, please post, or you can also start checking hydroponics sites, or hydroponics lighting manufacturers and look for the various brands (Sun, Gavita, Hortilux, Osram).

For those thinking about using quartz halogens, save your money. They aren't the right color, and they waste much of the power in generating heat rather than light. If you want to waste your money on grolux/full spectrum bulbs, have at it. The company is in business because a lot of people think they are better.

Save your money and do it right the first time rather than listen to those who THINK they know what they are doing... If the pot heads can figure it out, why are people still beating their heads against a wall and still using one cool and one warm bulb?


    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 9:13PM
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I have benefited from this thread especially the post from

I just purchased a four foot, four bulb, 5T fixture with a great reflector for $129. (four 6500K bulbs).

It makes the shop lights look like toys.

I will use my former shop light in an unheated out-building as an experiment.

I plan to move some extra plants outside early as suze suggested for another experiment.


    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 8:38AM
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I spent about a small amount of money using CFL bulbs and desktop lamps...I grow on a small scale (16 toms) so it works for me.

The CFL bulbs @ 100 watt and 6500k

And the lamps..

Like I said, I grow on a small scale so they do their thing..I have accumulated 10 lamps total, but only use about 6 at any given time.

Happy Gardening

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 5:39PM
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jel7 where did you end up buying your T5 setup

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 6:46AM
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Hey mtbigfish,

I bought the T5-44 6500K 4Ft. 4-lamp Sun Blaze at
plantlightinghydroponics.com 888.258.0670

cost: $129.00

Lumen Output: 20,000 lumens

It incluces "V" hangers, power cord and on-off switch.

I am looking forward to the results.


    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 8:11AM
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