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newbie qs on grow lights for winter greens

Posted by joannaqcw NY 4/5 (My Page) on
Mon, Feb 2, 09 at 15:36

I've been growing kale, chard, tatsoi and Chinese cabbage in a greenhouse attached to my house during the last 4 winters. Spring and fall production id quite good, but during the darkest part of the winter the plants recover fairly slowly. (I'm in upstate NY in a Lake Effect area where winter tends to be fairly cloudy.) I'd like to try enhancing production with grow lights next year. I have some shop light fixtures and full-spectrum CF plant bulbs. I have a few questions:
How far above the plant tops should I keep the grow lights?
Is it OK to rotate a couple of grow lights among several boxes of plants (For instance, each box might be under lights for 4 hours/day...)?
Has anyone grown lettuce under lights? Our attempts to grow lettuce in the winter greenhouse have failed so far; I'm guessing it's light not temp. that's the limiting factor.
Does adding white reflectors around the sides substantially enhance the amount of light plants receive?
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: newbie qs on grow lights for winter greens

I just got into the indoor gardening, so I'm certainly not an expert. I have done lots of research. I ended up with an Aero2-36 hydroponic system, and my light is a 600 watt fixture, using a Metal Halide bulb. I have the lights on for 18 hours a day off for 6, I get noticeable grow each day. I can barely eat the lettuce fast enough.

I'm having a blast and making lots of greens!

Bottom line nothing beats a metal halide, I know they can be expensive but if you want to be successful you have to use the correct components.

Good Luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: My Lettuce Project

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