2017 Grow Season – Growing Seedlings

3/22/2017 – Growing Seedlings

Greetings! Thanks for checking in on what’s happening as I’m growing seedlings for the 2017 Season.

This week I changed the positioning with my lighting again. Last week I changed the positioning as well. But the way the lights were facing down at an angle didn’t strike me as very beneficial.

Turns out I had some metal campfire skewers lying around that I could put to good use. Basically, I just made a simple bridge between the stools and set the lights on it. At first, I set them on the lowest level, then moved them up one higher. Not certain how beneficial either position will be yet though.

They were moved up because of the flood light effect. You can see what I’m talking about in the pictures below from before and after. I think this will be a much better setup than what it was previously.

growing seedlings
Before
growing seedlings
After

As you can see, the flood light effect provides light to the entire tray. I’m just not sure if it’s strong enough.

In the first picture, you can see that the lower setting has very concentrated light in just the middle of the tray. Many guides say that grow lights should be very close to the seedlings. I’m going to experiment with this setup to see if it makes a difference.

Kale, Collard, and Swiss Chard

growing seedlings
Growth on the left side of the tray

All the kale (far left 2 rows) seems to be growing pretty well. The problem I’m having, though, is that they are all leaning over towards the stronger light. I don’t want this to continue because when they get bigger and more hardy I’m afraid they’ll stay like this.

One or two plants I bought from a local greenhouse last year were like that and it was kind of difficult to train them to do what I wanted when they were mature.

Hopefully the lights being up high will help change this. That’s the goal anyways. I’m considering planting a few more seeds where none have come up. Not everywhere, but definitely more so on the right side of the tray. I’d like as many hatch green chilies as possible.

Sugar Snap, Spinach, Hatch Green Chili

growing seedlings
Growth on the Right side of the tray

I’m glad to say that some more spinach has started to come up and the only hatch green chili looks pretty well. The one sugar snap is way outpacing everything else. But it’s also leaning over towards the light like the kale is.

Over the next week or two, I will leave the lights in the higher position to see if it makes a difference. Although if I notice any changes within a few days I may go back to a previous method.

Working With What I Have

Recently I explained how I bought these lights from Amazon and they weren’t very expensive. At this point I’m really wishing I had sought out a better lighting option.

Tube style fluorescent lighting like this one found at Home Depot are more expensive. I think the application would be better for growing seedlings. The lighting would be more consistently over the seedlings.

The floodlights I currently own are probably great for specific applications. Think of how well they could be over an individual small tree or mature plant that’s being overwintered inside. If I can manage to keep my Moringa trees alive then this will definitely be good for next winter. Perhaps I can save a healthy potted pepper plant for 2018 as well.

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