Lights to start seeds--wow, what a difference!

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by country lady, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. country lady

    country lady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2008
    NW Tennessee
    My neighbor replaced his kitchen florescent light fixture. My DH repaired it and what a difference. I am growing so many heirloom tomatoes this year and they are beautiful: Brandywine (also new black), Cherokee, Granny Cantrell German Red, Carbon, Amish Paste. Arkansas Traveler. Also I am trying two French cantaloupes. Baker Creek seeds are great! Hope everyone else has a super year. What are all of you planting?
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I've got broccolli that is almost ready to harvest! Red cabbages, Bell peppers, beans, corn, squash and of course. TOMATOES... I will soon have TONS... the chicken poop really does work!
  3. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    And here I sit in Va where it is cold and raining and night before last it was 28F degrees. [​IMG]

    I have been wondering about just plain flourescents and how plants will grow under them inside. Has anyone used those very expensive 'grow lights'?
  4. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    Quote:I'm with you! I've got all the prep done, and while it's supposed to hit 55 today it will be a high of 42 Monday, with tomorrow bringing another wet, cold front...

    I want light, mild sprinkles in the morning, and warm, sunny afternoons!!
  5. heritagebirds

    heritagebirds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Eastern Shore MD
    I hear's still raining here, though we do need it [​IMG] My brother is bringin awhole lot of heirloom plants over today. I hope it stays warm enough that we don't lose them!
  6. girlsaint

    girlsaint Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 8, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    I am going to hang all my tomatoes this year... thanks for the tip- I think I will try a grow light with the seedlings
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2009
  7. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

    Apr 22, 2008
    I have seedlings the have started sprouting in the last couple days. We have corn, watermelon, cantaloupe, acorn squash, butternut squash, pole beans, bush beans, cucumber, pumpkin, lima beans, carrots, jalapenos, and some herbs. This will be my first garden. We always had a garden when I was a kid, but all I did was complain about having to pull weeds...
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2009
  8. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    Quote:I use regular fluorescent lights and hang them about two inches over the tops of the seedlings. In the past I've used one regular bulb and one gro bulb but I didn't notice a difference.
  9. country lady

    country lady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2008
    NW Tennessee
    I've grown seeds in the house for a number of years but they never did this well. They really need the light. I started mine in peat pellets, which were set in open egg cartons, then transplanted to little cups or pots with potting soil around the peat pots. They don't dampen off. I have mine on an enclosed porch which gets pretty chilly sometimes, in the 40s, and they do fine. At night I have been bringing them in and putting the trays on my kitchen counter under the heat vent overhead. I think plants also could use a little wind, maybe a fan. My neighbor does that and swears by it. The problem I have now is having too many plants to pot. I will be giving several away.

    I am going to try zucchini, melons, and cuc seeds two weeks before May 1st, which is our warm soil date. They always got leggy on me. Then I am going to put the wall-o-water thingies over them. Since cabbage doesn't need pollination, I have wall-o-waters over some of them now, along with row covers. I keep them covered to keep the moths away. I can't grow corn here because of coons.

    Don't all of these things just go together like a puzzle, chickens, gardening, and quilting!
  10. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    The keys to preventing leggy plants are temperature and the positioning of the light. Once the seedlings sprout and get their second set of real leaves, move them to a cool area - 45-65 is ideal. Hang or position the fluorescent lights two inches above the plants in a darkened room and keep raising it up as the plants grow. This will ensure that the plants don't reach for a sunny window and grow too tall. The cool temperature will help them grow thick, stocky stems. An oscillating fan is also helpful when they get taller to help strengthen the stems.

    I always start the seeds in my sunroom where it is warm and then move them to my basement. A couple weeks before the last frost date for your zone, move them outside during the day to a shaded location (a porch is ideal) and gradually expose them to longer periods of sun. Bring them back in at night. Don't set young plants directly in the sun until they are used to it or the sun will burn them. A gentle wind will also strengthen the stems and get them ready to be planted.

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