The Q&A Archives: Sprouting Seeds Indoors In Rocky Mountain Winter - What Equipment?

Question: I live in zone 3, elevation 8500, in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. I want to start growing my flowers/veggies from seed indoors beginning in April. Where do I find the right equipment which will maintain a good growing environment?

Answer: The answer to that depends partly on how serious you want to be about this. I'll assume that rather than building a greenhouse, you want to start a few seeds indoors. To do this you will need some ordinary shop lights with fluorescent bulbs (one warm and one cool) and possibly a timer to keep the lights on for about 16 hours a day. The height of the light should be adjustable so you can keep the bulbs within a few inches of the tops of the plants. Apart from that, you will need table space for the seedlings in an area with temperatures between about 60 and 70 degrees. Many people find that a basement or spare bedroom works well. You will also need a protected spot outdoors to harden off the seedlings. Some people use a coldframe for this, others use a sheltered porch or other improvised location.

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