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Article: Seed Starting 101: Setting up Light Shelves for Starting Plants from Seed Indoors, Without a Greenhouse: HI have a question on lights

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Forum: Article: Seed Starting 101: Setting up Light Shelves for Starting Plants from Seed Indoors, Without a GreenhouseReplies: 5, Views: 118
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taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 2, 2008
9:28 PM

Post #4613484

Hey Critter
wow good article i always am learning something new.
I have old 2yr old lights im wondering if i can still use them for seed starting. ?
also Tamara and i were trying to figure out what kind of lights ? and what wattage 20 or 30 or does it matter.? I m trying to get 3 ' lights to fit some new shelves i got, also is it warm,daylight or cool . You said cool was ok ? is this correct. Thanks
I sure do miss our canning threads. I m looking forward to canning and getting the Joy of Pickling book. So we can do some more canning fun. I miss our stupid canning accidents , that was fun. :)
thanks
sue
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

March 2, 2008
11:07 PM

Post #4613781

After about 15 months, the florescent lights on my aquarium get noticeably dimmer... I replace the florescent tubes on my violet shelves every year or so, but I figure I'm only using my seedling lights for 3-4 months, so they should be good for 3 or 4 years.

I don't know if your 3 year old tubes have been in use for 3 years straight, 12 hours a day (in which case they're probably too dim) or if they're from fixtures that only get occasional use (probably fine). I have noticed that as fluorescent tubes age, they get darker on the ends (even when the light is turned off, the tube looks dark at the ends).

As I've been adding new lights, I've been putting 1 new tube and 1 two year old tube in each fixture... That way, I can put in half new light tubes every other year and keep the light output fairly even.

It's a good idea to write the date on the end of a new tube so you don't have to guess how old it is.

As for wattage, Tom DeBaggio taught me that you need 80 watts (two 4 ft. T-12 tubes) of cool fluorescent light or the equivalent for two standard 1020 flats of seedlings. It depends on the lights you use... T-8 bulbs may even be a little brighter, and a 4 ft. T-8 tube is only 32 watts. 30 inch tubes aren't going to give off as much light as 4 ft. tubes... so instead of four 4 ft. tubes for a 48 inch shelf that holds 4 flats, you might need five 30" tubes for a shelf that holds 3 flats.





taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 3, 2008
12:01 AM

Post #4613998

Thanks Critter
Ok so i have those 48 " lights but my shelves are only 3' lol i can get some 2x4 to extend my shelves ?
The ones i was looking at at HD are the single fixtures and i was going to use two of them. (3 ' ) on each shelf ?
so it would be only 60 .
I guess i can extend my shelves to get the 4 ft lights . LOL :)
Thanks alot for the help. :)

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 3, 2008
12:16 AM

Post #4614058

well this isn't on lights but can i ask what you do for seed starting mix ? i only find the small Jiffy ones in the store. I know you can make your own, i googled it. But am warry of doing that. i have limited space.
Can i ask for more guidance please ? :) ( begging with hands praying with sad little face ) LOL
i have alot of seeds to do and i would have to get alot of them little bags.
thanks Critter
sue
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

March 3, 2008
4:51 AM

Post #4615312

I get big bales of Pro Mix at my local nursery... our Home Depot sometimes carries it, but more often they just have the Miracle Gro Mix, which seems to work OK if you pick out any really big bits of bark when you're filling seed starting trays. I think any good quality soil-less potting mix (not "garden soil") works well for starting seeds. You can lighten the mix if you like by adding extra perlite, and then you've probably got something more like commercial "seed starting" mix. Since I don't trust any mix to be sterile out of the bag, I sterilize my mix for seed starting trays... check out my article on "The Dreaded Damping Off (and How to Prevent It)" for more about that.

(There's a link to the rest of my articles at the bottom of the above article.)

HTH!

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 3, 2008
9:57 PM

Post #4618046

Thanks Critter
Yes i have been looking and reading the articles . I didn't really think to look at the dampning off one , ha makes sense . Thanks again.
Thanks again
sue

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Other Article: Seed Starting 101: Setting up Light Shelves for Starting Plants from Seed Indoors, Without a Greenhouse Threads you might be interested in:

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
Great information! doccat5 12 Jan 20, 2008 2:20 AM
Great article! wind 9 Jan 17, 2008 8:35 PM
Wonderful! gloriag 1 Jan 17, 2008 9:51 PM
Thanks Critter! Seandor 3 Jan 21, 2008 5:28 PM
Planting Out Probs Jax4ever 3 Jan 18, 2008 12:40 PM


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