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Do I need this Floralight unit for seedlings?

Posted by nutsaboutflowers 2b/3a (My Page) on
Wed, Jan 27, 10 at 11:20

Lee Valley Tools has this unit that looks pretty cool to me, but since I've never seeded indoors, what do I know?

www.leevalley.com/garden/page.aspx?c=2,44716&p=10549

Would you girls/guys pay $309.00 plus $61.50 for bulbs, to buy this? Is it too expensive, and if so, could I get one elsewhere? If I buy something like this, I want reasonable quality. My husband could "rig" me one but that seems like a lot of hassle if I can just buy one.

Any comments or suggestions would be, as usual, greatly appreciated =:)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Do I need this Floralight unit for seedlings?

That is really, really expensive. I have a Jump Start light that I got at a local garden centre. Does the job.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hydrofarm 4 ft Jump Start Fluorescent Grow Light System


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RE: Do I need this Floralight unit for seedlings?

Hi, I would not pay that much. I have a florescent light unit screwed to the underside of a shelf in the basement. it cost $15.00 new, all you need is one cool bulb and one warm bulb to get the whole light spectrum. or you can get an atrium bulb about $7.00 at home depot. I have not even replaced these bulbs in 4 years and I start hundreds of seedlings every year.

Hope this gives you an idea. Cheryl


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RE: Do I need this Floralight unit for seedlings?

Mine is similar to Cheryl's. I also winter sow, which means no light setup, no worries about damp off, no worries about hardening off, etc. I just do really tender annuals or ones that take a long time from seed to bloom.


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RE: Do I need this Floralight unit for seedlings?

No I am too frugal to spend that kind of money.

These light stands can be easily built from lumber. Use 2"x2" for the legs and side pieces with 1"x material for shelves. Four foot light fixtures are only about $20 each and if you use two per shelf with 3 or 4 shelves, your cost will be under $200 and you will have a better unit. Don't foget to buy or salvage casters off office chairs. Drill a hole in the bottom of the 2"x2" and drive the casters in.

You will need some electrical cord and three prong plugs but that is fairly strighforward.

Here are acouple of photos.

Here is a link that might be useful: Light Stand


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RE: Do I need this Floralight unit for seedlings?

Cowgirl- are these pics of your setup? How do you raise or lower the light for your plants? I see in the last pic a grooved metal area shelf? Do you use a tray system to hold your seedlings on, water by misting or from the bottom?

Sorry for all the questions- mine is similar only I have more spacing on the shelves to raise or lower the lights.
Am leaving this behind as moving and no place to put it at present?

Nutsaboutflowers- I agree with the others that that is too $ You could build one and buy a lot of seeds for that price Lois


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RE: Do I need this Floralight unit for seedlings?

I have two light stands. One is wooden shelves similar to the one posted above. The shelves on mine can be moved by pulling the bolts out on the ends and moving down to what ever height is needed. However, I find this too much bother. I put boxes or books under the trays to lift them up. Less time and much easier.

The second set of shelves are the same as Sharon posted on here a few years ago. Bought shelves and just attach the lights to the bottom of the shelves.

I start soooo many plants that the trays have to be switched out every 12 hours or so. so I water away from the lights. Either with the tray on another set of shelves with no lights, the floor or on a table.

I mist seeds and sprouts. Once a good strong set of leaves grows, I just water from the top into the dirt...with a little watering can.

I haven't replaced any bulbs for a few years...I think they may be cool bulbs, but I might have bought the aquarium grow bulbs....can't remember with out looking.

Sierra


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RE: Do I need this Floralight unit for seedlings?

Oh No ! Oh Noooo !! It sounds like I should have my hubby build me one.....

The reason I say "oh no" is that last year, after living with it for a few years, I insisted my father get rid of the junk he had in our garage. It was a space where we said he could put a "few things". His "junk" included lumber that could have ended up being a free plant stand for me other than the lights. I guess I should be more careful about what I consider to be junk =:)

BTW Thanks for the pictures. I think I'll use a bit of everyone's ideas.


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RE: Do I need this Floralight unit for seedlings?

Cowgirl- are these pics of your setup? How do you raise or lower the light for your plants? I see in the last pic a grooved metal area shelf? Do you use a tray system to hold your seedlings on, water by misting or from the bottom?

Yes, this is the one of the setups I use. Four trays will fit side-by-side under each light. The trays are raised up or down instead of moving the lights. Much easier. The trays are removed for watering and misting. Once the plants get too big for the stand, they are moved out to the greenhouse.


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RE: Do I need this Floralight unit for seedlings?

Does everyone find it a tiny bit difficult to water with these setups?

If so, I'm thinking hubby should also include slides (like you use on drawers), so I can pull out the shelves for easier watering and lookielooing.


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RE: Do I need this Floralight unit for seedlings?

Nutsaboutflowers- That could work- sliders as long as they are sturdy enough to hold the weight.
AS they say one persons junk is another ones treasure!!We all live and learn .
Lois


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RE: Do I need this Floralight unit for seedlings?

I have two different set-ups, actually. The shoplights are on chains and i attached them to a shelf that i put up under the window in the porch. Its a sunny west window and all my geraniums live there in the winter. :) The other lights are actual gro-lights. Dh made frames for a couple of them and put them on chains as well so that the chains are attached to the top of the frame. I set these two lights up on the table in front of the shoplights.

Several years ago, i bought one of those mini-greenhouses. Dh attached the gro-lights to pieces of board so that they would fit across the top of the shelves. I was able to find a picture of this:
Seed starting spring 2006
These ones can't be raised and lowered, so i put boxes or whatever unter the flats to raise them as needed. Now i have two more of the lights that fit across the shelf under the top shelf.


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RE: Do I need this Floralight unit for seedlings?

Hey, I used to have one of those too.

I'd build my own (I'm the handy husband you ladies keep talking about :), but I couldn't be bothered, so I just bought that unit instead.


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