Return to the Growing under Lights Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Seed Starting with Lights

Posted by pluto1415 5 (My Page) on
Wed, Jan 25, 12 at 10:15

I'm going to be growing seedlings indoors (I was given a bookshelf type greenhouse that has a plastic cover - widely available, about 2-2.5 feet wide). I'm going to be starting mostly tomato and pepper plants. Probably only 1 flat at any time. We might as well say they will get NO actual sunlight until they are being hardened off. I'm also considering growing lettuce inside in the heat of the summer and winter.

My budget is very small (otherwise I could just buy the plants instead of starting them). What's the minimum lighting I'm going to need? Can I get a one-bulb shop light from Lowes? A two-bulb? Will regular fluorescent bulbs work? If I buy a cheap shop light from Lowes, can I upgrade the bulbs to "grow lights" later but still use the fixture? (I know T5, T8, T12 is the size of the bulb and I'd have to keep that consistent)


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Seed Starting with Lights

Go to HD or Lowes and get a cheap 2 bulb 4' shop light with chains. Use any 2 bulbs they have (more lumens the better, though).

Arrange the height of the light to 1-2" above the seedlings. Raise the lights as the plants grow.

Get a timer or remember to pull the plug and give the plants the 'correct' amount of darkness per day (continuous daylight will actually stress the plants).

If you have the ability, set a small fan to gently blow over the plants - this will help them become stronger and help evaporate suface moisture which could aid early seedling death.

Water the plants by adding water into the trays, not over the soil.

Have fun.

As simple as that description was, I've overcomplicated it. Starting your plants from seeds is actually really easy - especially tomatoes and peppers (even I can do it). Just remember to work back from your plant out dates or you will end up with plants too big to work with or fit under the lights.

Andrew


 o
RE: Seed Starting with Lights

Is it ok to use a regular grow bulb (75 watt) for starting seeds and getting them to size to plant outdoors? If so, is there any advise that you could give for the distance between seeds and light?


 o
RE: Seed Starting with Lights

If by a 75w grow bulb you mean an incandescent bulb, then no. Incandescents are too inefficient, generating too much heat and not enough light. A compact fluorescent (one of those tightly coiled bulbs) will work much better than an incandescent for very small areas. But if you're growing a number of plants, 4' fluorescent fixtures are probably your best bet, being both cheap and efficient. You just have to keep them very close to the plants as Andrew said above.


 o
RE: Seed Starting with Lights

Recently I have removed cuttings which have been under lights all winter to this point. I happen to have a 6ft slider in which they are now in front. I did this because I have some seeds which are slow starters which I wanted to get going. When you just have seeds under the lights you can run the lights 24/7 if you wish untill they sprout. Then I will still give the seedlings 14-16 hrs of light.

for the interested here are my cuttings and some are cuttings from cuttings. all flower plants
Photobucket


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Growing under Lights Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here