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I'm getting into vegetable gardening and I have a lot of different seeds to grow...beans, tomatoes, herbs, etc. Do I need once shelf/light set up for each type of plant so that the height of the light can be adjusted correctly for each plant? It seems that I will need a lot of lights for this to work. Just wondering what other people do when they want to sow a lot of different things at once.
What I do is make sure that within each little 6-pack I only have one type of seed. That way they should all germinate on similar timing and grow at a similar rate. I start seeds that way, and as things germinate and grow I shuffle the little 6-packs around so that things of a similar size at any given time end up under the same set of lights. You'll still need to have a few different lights available, but at least you don't need one for each type of plant you're growing.
Why adjust the light. I adjust the plants as they grow. I use the plastic salad containers upside down as a "stepping stool" and place the plant on that. You can use anything, even a cup to raise the plant closer to the light. As plants grow, place them on a lower stepping stool.
You also want to make sure you're growing each vegetable at the right time of the year if you're intention is to eventually plant them outside in Florida. Things like beans, peas, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, radishes have to be planted in the fall when the weather is beginning to cool down. Things like peppers, tomatoes and herbs can tolerate our summers and therefore can be grown year round.
When I first tried growing vegetables in 2007 in Florida I had most of the timing wrong. I quickly learned there is a right and a wrong time even though the weather is warm year round.
Great idea, blomma! Why didn't I think of that? ;)
amorecuore, I am slowly figuring this out...timing is so different here in FL than anywhere else. If course, I can't complain about the length of our growing season, but finding accurate info has been a challenge.
passiflora, unfortunately our growing season is short and confined, but my sister in Jacks and I have been exchanging ideas on vegetable gardening for several years. Although your growing season is almost infinite, you still are subject to those freakish freezes seen all across the country over the last couple of years. I have suggested to my sister that she try container gardening for crops like peppers and tomatoes. I also have raised beds which can be covered with old window panes for extended harvesting. It's amazing how much food can be grown in a 4' x 8' raised bed. So you might check out the ‘container gardening’ forum as well as the newest form on ‘high yield gardening’.