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Seed Starting setup question

Posted by dragonjaze 5a (My Page) on
Wed, Jan 26, 11 at 15:45

Some things to note: This will be the first time starting plants from seed on more than a single plant basis. I am a complete novice! :)

I am about to set up my seed starting area in the basement, and I have a question about lights. I am planning on having 2 fluorescent fixtures, each 4 ft in length, your standard run-of-the-mill shop lights.

My plants will be on a sawhorses and plywood table, and the lights will hang from the ceiling. Is it a good idea to have the fixtures independent of each other, so I can raise and lower each one separately, or can I tie them together in one system?

Again, complete novice, so I have no idea how fast the following plants will grow. This is what I will be attempting:
Bell peppers
pole beans

My original plan had the lights fixed together so I could raise and lower as one unit, but I got to thinking about it, and was wondering if I would come to regret it when the tomatoes got so much taller than the lettuce?

And a small fan for air circulation is good, right?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Seed Starting setup question

Wow! You have an awesome plan and you are correct, I would keep them separate, each plant will grow at a different rate. You can always use something to raise the plants up to the lights, like books underneath, to try to even them out better.

One more tip, make sure you look at when to plant your seeds so you don�t start too early or late. I was so excited my first year I planted everything in Jan and come May I had a jungle that was such a nightmare to water and shift around and my plants did not like getting transplanted to large.

Have fun and keep posting your progress : )


RE: Seed Starting setup question

I only question the pole beans, zucchini and watermelon. You might find those are best planted directly in your garden. You'll be amazed how fast they sprout up. I started zucchini in pots last year and within 2 weeks, they were outgrowing their pot. Conversely, the seeds I planted later directly in the ground took off just as fast as the ones I planted in pots. Same with pole beans. Not all plants like to have their roots disturbed by sowing in pots then transplanting. You might want to try an experiment by starting some indoors, and direct seeding others. See which ones work out better for you in the long run.

Good luck!

RE: Seed Starting setup question

yes, I had to look up the indoor starting time for the beans and watermelon, because those weren't on the package. I know they aren't normally started indoors, but I'd like to try. Didn't even think about doing it both ways, thanks!

And I'm so eager to get started that I'd like to plant stuff NOW, but I'm making myself wait :) I have a nice little schedule planned out as to what gets started when.

I'm aiming for the second or third week in May for planting out. Our last frost date around here is usually about Mother's day (burbs of Chicago).

I can't wait to see green growing things. SOOOO tired of winter.

RE: Seed Starting setup question

Loribee hit the nail on the head.

I am in the same area as you dragonjaze and that is the schedule I use as well. I look more at soil temps then air temps becuase I can always cover seedlings, but some really hate cold soil.

I would do both as suggest!

I cant wait for spring as well! Have fun :)


RE: Seed Starting setup question

Beans are best grown directly into the ground. They do not like to be transplanted. Lettuce grows pretty fast once planted in the ground. Tomatoes usually take 4 - 5 weeks before needing transplanting into the ground. Watermelon & Zuccini also will only take 4 or 5 weeks at the MOST before needing transplanting. Peppers I start about 6 or 7 weeks. They take the longest.

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