Beginning seeds indoors is a fun way to get the garden going early; imagine being able to extend the harvest of springtime plants; imagine being able to put out the tomatoes and cucumbers that have grown to a full foot-high at the annual Memorial Day planting session. All that work, usually, begins indoors. The indoor seed-starting-setup doesn’t need to be overly complicated; a baker’s rack in a hallway, or a windowsill in the kitchen, will work for a location. The most important aspect of the setup is the grow lamp. Here’s a few of the options to think about when you choose lighting.
The intensity of the light over the plants is one, if not the one, most important aspect to seed starting. Seedlings require bright light; a weak seedling is likely to be suffering from a lack of light. LED and other types of fluorescent grow lights are expensive, but they do the job—they are specifically designed for this kind of work. The grow lights provide less heat and a brighter vibrancy than most other types of lights; and an LED-type grow light will also consume considerably less electricity. You can also use a standard shop light (make sure it’s LED, because incandescent bulbs may provide too much heat for the seedlings, which will cause other problems), and position the light within three inches of the plants.
The second concern is the length of time during which seedlings receive light. A seedling should receive 14 to 18 hours of light each and every day. One method to ensure the seedlings receive enough sunlight is to use a light timer. Timers are relatively simple to use, and ensure that the lights turn on and then turn off—slim margin of error.
If you have any questions about the best type of soil or fertilizer to use for your seedlings, or if you are planning ahead to the needs of next year’s garden, then make sure to call the compost and soil experts at Rocky Mountain Compost today.