Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Growing seeds under lights

If you've tried starting seeds before and been disappointed because the plants looked tall and leggy, most likely there wasn't enough light for your seedlings.
Light is essential for seedlings to grow and develop properly and even the best natural light can leave your young plants with thin, weak stems and pale leaves.  Supplementing the natural light in your home doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are some of the different grow light options available to you. Incandescent bulbs usually come in low wattage (60-90) and tend to emit more heat than light. They will cover an area of approximately 2 feet, just about one standard seed starting tray.
A better choice would be one of these CFL’s. Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL) will fit a standard socket, just like your incandescent bulb, but they run cooler, so they can be closer to your seedlings and they tend to be brighter, and less expensive to run than incandescent bulbs. 
A 23 Watt CFL is equal to a 100 watt incandescent bulb. A 55 watt CFL is equivalent to 230 watt incandescent.   These CFLs are full spectrum bulbs. This means they produce light similar to natural daylight.
Fluorescent lighting is another option. Fluorescent grow bulbs come in two sizes, T12 and T5. T12 bulbs are the familiar “shop light” bulbs. They are available in full spectrum and work great for growing sturdy seedlings. T5 bulbs are smaller, run cooler and with this system, you may choose between a vegetation bulb and a flowering bulb, depending on what you are growing.
You can buy single T5 bulbs or T5 fixtures which can hold up to 8 bulbs.
This Jump Start system is an easy way to add light for your seedlings. Each 2' or 4' Jump Start system comes complete with a stand, a fixture and T5 bulb.  A 2' fixture will cover one standard seed starting tray.
A 4' fixture will accommodate two standard seed starting trays. Once your seeds have germinated, they need a lot of light in order to grow properly. Supplementing your natural light with full spectrum grow lights will help you produce a healthy crop of seedlings ready to go into your garden.


  1. And it helps if you give them some wind every day to strengthen the seedlings...

  2. And it helps if you give them some wind every day to strengthen the seedlings...