The Q&A Archives: Light Requirements for Germinating Seeds

Question: I am in the process of growing seeds under flourescent lights. I have read that until germination begins, it is good to leave the light on 24 hrs. a day. After the seedlings appear, to drop the amount of light to 14-16 hours a day. My seeds are germinating at different rates, which is to be expected with different types. Is it best to drop the light level to 14-16 hours a day now or to maintain 24 hours a day light until all the seeds have germinated? Will maintaining 24 hour light harm the seedlings that have already emerged? Melinda Bartoszewicz Tallahassee, FL

Answer: I'd leave the lights on 14-16 hours a day all the time and not do the 24 hour treatment. There's really no need for it. Most seeds don't require light to germinate and the ones that do only need a normal daylength. As long as the soil temperature iswarm, just put the light timer on for 16 hours and you'll be all set.

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