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Need narrow, tall, cat proof grow light setup

Posted by ginnyginny Zone 9 Calif (My Page) on
Wed, Jan 4, 12 at 14:19

I have done a little propagating of seed and cuttings with my Hydrofarm 4' light setup. I had it in the cold garage but decided it should be inside my warm house even though I using a heat mat and cover.

I have two questions - will I be happy (your best guess) spending more $$ on 2' growlights/florescent tubes, and buying a 5" metal rack from Home Depot or should I just try to make do with the setup I currently have? I would rather this hobby take up less space in my small extra bedroom.

The second concern is my two indoor kitties. I think it would be easier to keep them away if the plants were higher up- I know I may need to construct some sort of barrier.....

I need something that is easy and quick to setup. I've seen how you can suspend lights and hood with chain from these types of racks.

I can't wait to plant zinnias, marigolds, and who knows what else. I still have tall marigolds blooming (yes it is 65 in San Jose right now) and had given up on marigolds because I thought they were too common - I was wrong!! Of course the huge variety of zinnias you can get online is amazing and they too put on a spectacular show all summer.

Happy New Year and thank you!!

Ginny


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Need narrow, tall, cat proof grow light setup

I just stopped by HD and see that they do have 3' florescent lights and hoods but they cost much more than the standard 4' "shop light." I also saw the 2' Hydrofarm setup but it looks way too small.

I think my best bet is to stick with the standard 4' light and get a rack that will allow me to hang 3 lights. I love gardening, so what better use of a spare bedroom!

I would love to see any pictures you have a indoor light setups.

Thanks again,
Ginny


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RE: Need narrow, tall, cat proof grow light setup

Cats always seek the highest places. If you use a free standing shelf unit, do secure it to the wall.
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These are two set-ups I have used(with 4 cats, mind you)...
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I just expand the fencing and raise the light as the plants grow and take up more room.

This was a not-so-successful-didn't-use-fencing method...
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Hope this helps, good luck to you.


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RE: Need narrow, tall, cat proof grow light setup

WOW!

Thanks for the reminders about cats natural instincts. You are great to post those pictures.

It certainly gives me food for thought.

Ginny


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RE: Need narrow, tall, cat proof grow light setup

It really depends on the individual cats, too. I've started seeds with as many as 4 cats in the house and they've never caused any trouble.

Now the squirrels, as soon as I put the pots outside, on the other hand...


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RE: Need narrow, tall, cat proof grow light setup

Excellent photos, noinwi. LOL! I was going to post saying nothing is cat proof, but that wire looks like a spectacular idea. We might be taking a trip in April and I've lost seedlings before when the neighbour forgot about my lights in the basement. If I could rig up something like what you have there with the wire, maybe I could bring them upstairs when we leave. Hmmmm...

Here's my setup in the basement. The shelving unit was $80 at Costco and the lights are standard 4' units with one cool and one warm light in each. Someday I might get to upgrade, but this is working so far. :) Seeds sown in covered, plastic flats and set on top of the lights, like a heat mat. Once they sprout, they go under the lights. Ignore the big pots not directly under the lights. They were my little one's experiments (she wanted to plant tomatoes and carrots inside in January, lol).

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RE: Need narrow, tall, cat proof grow light setup

That's a good set-up, Macky77. I wish I had a dedicated space. DH had to build the shelf in the bedroom so I wouldn't have to have the light hanging in the living room(we're in a rental).
To keep cats off of your type of shelving, I would attach chicken wire or fencing on the sides and hang a separate piece on the front with maybe S-hooks so it could easily be removed for working with the plants. I'd also make sure the shelving was secured to the wall.
It's nice your DD wants to grow things! If your toms get too leggy, you could always take cuttings to keep them going until spring.
Ann71, the cats are indeed individual. One ignores the plants, two like to be near the light for heat and one will rattle the chain to wake me up in the morning(at the risk of being squirted with water). He's the same one that knocked everything over on the range...he's just a rascal that knows how to push our buttons. Once the weather is nice enough for them to go outside, they don't really bother with the plants. I keep a container of wheat grass growing for them all winter to chew on too, instead of chewing on my few houseplants.


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RE: Need narrow, tall, cat proof grow light setup

I loved the cat pictures! Our cats are all deceased at this time and we are too old to get more, but the pictures brought back the joy they were. Ginny I think you are on the right track with the shop lights. For most seeds the amount of light is not important, but once germinated, light is critical to produce good seedlings. I went through fluorescents before deciding the extra expense of the 400 watt Mercury vapor lamps was worth it. For the amount you are doing the shop lights will be fine as long as you plan on moving the lights close enough to prevent leggy seedlings. Al


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RE: Need narrow, tall, cat proof grow light setup

Al, I keep thinking I'm too old to keep anymore cats too, but they keep showing up needing rescuing, lol. If I wasn't married, I'd be one of those old ladies with a zillion cats that you hear about on the news! We're trying to keep it at four, but another half-feral started crying at the door recently(runs into the woods when I open the door), so I started putting out a little food in the evening next to the door(sigh).
Sorry about going off topic, Ginny. Do post photos of your set-up and let us know how it's working.


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RE: Need narrow, tall, cat proof grow light setup

I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet. It sounds like a big job to me at this time.

It would be much easier to have the seeds in the garage as I've done before.

Ginny


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