The Q&A Archives: Starting plants indoors

Question: We live 30 miles south of Iron Mountain Michigan so we have a fairly short growing season. We are starting many garden plants indoors. What should we do to keep them from bolting and getting spinly? Help. Katie

Answer: When seedlings do not get enough light they become leggy or spindly so the key is to provide adequate light. I use regular shop lights. They have two fluorescent tubes and a hood, and can be outfitted with chains or ropes so you can adjust the height of the source of light. After the seeds sprout, place the lights about 2 inches above the tops of the plants. Move the lights up as the seedlings grow, keeping it only 2 inches above the plants and keeping the lights on 14-16 hours a day. Your plants will be stout and sturdy by the time the weather's warm enough to plant them outdoors. Best wishes with your seedlings.

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