Saturday, February 18, 2012

New Lights


Today we went shopping and put down the majority of our investment into our container garden.  We significantly improved our lighting situation and bought most of the containers we intend to use.

For tonight's blog, I will focus on the lighting, because I left the containers in my car and am too lazy to go get them right now.

For the light, I decided to suspend a 48' florescent shop light from the top of my slanted bay window area.

I bought the lights from Home Depot.  The SLC Home Depot has a MUCH BETTER florescent light selection than Lowes.

The light was only $10.86.  For the exact model, check out this link

I was told that seedling require that the light source is very nearby, so I bought 10 feet of small-gauge, lightweight chain, cut it in half, and hung it from hooks I put near the top of my window.  I can adjust the length of the chain as the plants grow.

I used Plant and Aquarium bulbs in the light fixture to ensure that the plants get the proper spectrum of light.  The Wikipedia article on grow lights indicates that early growing stages of plants requires a blue color spectrum, while the later flowering stages requires red and orange colors.  The University of Missouri seems to illuminate the subject of lighting plants.  

I think the dual-bulb setup I have puts off around 500 ft-candles (crazy english units).

I couldn't find much information on how long to use the lights.  The best estimate I heard was 14-16 hours, and to leave them on during daylight hours, unless the seedlings show signs of excessive light.


The aloe plant that I am reviving had some dead-looking outer leaves.  I looked up some aloe pruning tips and clipped the outer leaves off near the base of the plant.

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