The Q&A Archives: Classroom Growing

Question: What vegetables or flowers would be the most successful grown from seed this time of the year in a classroom with a west exposure? I do have a couple of shop lights I can use. Would I hang the lights in the window and use them WITH natural light, put the plants in the window with no lights or use the lights alone away from the window?

Answer: I would definitely use the shop lights. If possible, hang them in the window to supplement the natural light. Be sure to keep the lights just a few inches above the tops of the plants. You'll need to rotate the plants frequently because they'll tend to bend toward the light.

You can grow all sorts of things--tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, beans, marigolds, etc. You won't get the abundant fruit and flowers you would outdoors, but you may get some. It really depends on what you want to do with the plants. National Gardening Association published a book called GrowLab: The Complete Guide to Gardening in the Classroom that gives lots of tips and suggestions on growing indoors. (Call 800-538-7476 ext. 143 for ordering info.)

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