Return to the Growing from Seed Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Light requirment for growing seeds after germination

Posted by spinachqueen z6NC (My Page) on
Wed, Mar 10, 10 at 13:08

* Posted by spinachqueen z6NC (My Page) on
Wed, Mar 10, 10 at 12:54

The snow is finally melting and I'm in the mood for starting seeds. Styrofoam egg cartons are available and that's what I'll be using to start the seeds in. . I do plan to transplant to larger cups after the plants have 2 leaves. My question is about supplying light after the seeds germinate. Can I use a florescent light mounted over the trays? How many hours per day do you run the lights? This is the other option. I've made a cold frame with straw bales and an old glass window.Can I move the seedlings to this instead of the florescent lights and if so ,how soon can I move the seedlings to the cold frame?
Thanks for your help.
Jan


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Light requirment for growing seeds after germination

Hi Jan, try reading the FAQ on the front page for your questions about the fluorescent lights. I wouldn't move them to the cold frame until they are pretty big, have a few sets of true leaves, and you've hardened them off to outside temperatures. And then I still wouldn't leave them out overnight when the temps are getting down in the 30's. Lights really are a necessity with the short days we are still having right now. Best of luck!


 o
RE: Light requirment for growing seeds after germination

I don't usually do veggies, but Johnny's seed on line is a good resource for in depth germ/cultural requirements on specific seeds. Unless a seed needs dark to germinate (most don't) I always use lights as soon as I sow seeds (I don't wait til they come up). It helps with germination. I use 4' shop lites from the hardware store with regular cool bulbs (I've tried the special/more expensive kind & they don't make any difference). I suspend them from my basement ceiling with chain & put them on a timer for @ 12 hrs. a day. I also use bottom heat (a regular heating pad on low or med., depending on temp. requirement). It's probably not best, but I've been using reg. heating pads for years, since the ones in the seed catalogues are minimum $50 & they do the same thing. I line my surface with plastic sheeting, heating pad, seed container covered in half closed zip lock bag, lites @ 2 - 3" away & presto! Seedlings. Although spinach is a cool season veggie, definitely start them inside before the cold frame thing & consult Johnny's or a seed starting book. Good Luck!


 o
RE: Light requirment for growing seeds after germination

Thanks for all the advice. I needed it as I would probably have put my seedlings in the cold frame way to early. There are a couple of shop lights that I'm not using and will try to get these set up. Also maybe check for a heating pad.
Thanks again.
Jan


 o
RE: Light requirment for growing seeds after germination

Don't use a heat mat after the first seed germinates unless you have real bright lights. Heat and moisture, without lots of light, equals tall, lanky plant(s).

Mike


 o
RE: Light requirment for growing seeds after germination

No heat mat period.....after germination.

They should only be used for germinating...not after germination.

Seedlings need lots of light and ~50-60 degrees to thrive!

Happy Gardening

Keriann~


 o
RE: Light requirment for growing seeds after germination

"No heat mat period.....after germination"
Rather a broad statement!
I have not found this to be always true- mostly true for the most part. My garage stays at 50-60 and my coleus, impatiens and peppers all just set there and didn't grow AT ALL at those temps. I have plenty of light too- 3 shoplights per 24-48 shelf. I put them back on a heatmat and they all took off- it was just a small one though.
Most common plants started from seed don't need any heat however. Tomatoes definitely don't need it- they'll twist and stretch like crazy. I think most of the time people don't realize just how much light they need.


 o
RE: Light requirment for growing seeds after germination

Frank, good to know.

How do their root systems look?

I have found through my experiemnts that if I left seedlings on a warm-heat mat they were happy and grew faster but their root system was pathetic.

So when I transplanted them when I translplanted my 'non-heat mat' seedlings, it took a long time for them to catch up and they were not as stocky as the non-heat mat seedlings.

Keriann~


 o
RE: Light requirment for growing seeds after germination

This is not what I have found- quite the opposite in fact. Warmth loving tropicals like I grow often have weak root systems with 50deg temps. These are Tropical plants- not hardy annuals and perennials- perhaps you are fertilizing too much. That will make excessive top growth without much root growth. Warm roots and cool tops for TROPICAL annuals and perennials have given me the best results.
Photobucket
Photobucket


 o
RE: Light requirment for growing seeds after germination

They look great.

I will have to try that method!

Any excuse for more seedlings : )

Do you pinch back your impatiens? or take cuttings from them?

Oh and.. if that is a current picture, when did you plant them or how old are they. I am trying to compare to mine to get an idea of what I should expect from this method.

What other seedlings have you grown using this method?

Keriann~


 o
RE: Light requirment for growing seeds after germination

Keriann- these haven't been pinched and they are growing very stocky. They are 'Peach Butterfly' from park. I usually buy all my impatiens for the beds but these are for baskets- so I wanted something different. They were planted the first of Feb- I'm actually shocked that they are this dense- must be the variety? Only fertilized once with MG but the potting mix has the usual fertilizer that they all want to put in everything now. Here are some coleus just transplanted that are not on the mat- temps are rising now and don't need it thank goodness. They were on it though. Like I said none of the standard annuals and certainely no perennials need any heat- I grow them as cool as possible.
Photobucket

Here is a link that might be useful: Impatiens Peach Butterfly


 o
RE: Light requirment for growing seeds after germination

Only distinction I'd like to note (for those new to the process) is that using supplemental bottom heat on tropical plants is a very different situation than using it for non-tropical things such as garden vegetables.

Dave


 o
RE: Light requirment for growing seeds after germination

Dave,

You know what might be an interesting experiment: put the plan-ts under a good All-Blue LED light, keep them moist and on a heat mat set to about 72-73.

Mike


 o
RE: Light requirment for growing seeds after germination

to OP,

this is what i did and it seems to be working well. mind you this will be day 2 and im a first time from seed grower....

www.feethgarden.blogspot.com


 o
RE: Light requirment for growing seeds after germination

Hi, I am wondering if I put my seeds/seedlings by Southeast-facing bay window, do I still need to add supplemental light?


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Growing from Seed Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here