seeds in starter pots - Knowledgebase Question

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Question by weinberg69
March 13, 2010
I planted seeds in starter pots & put them under a plant light. Should I cover the pots lightly with plastic wrap? How close to the pots should the light be?

Answer from NGA
March 13, 2010
The seeds won't need light until they sprout. Once they do, you can set them under your light source. How far away they need to be depends upon the type of artificial light you're using. Fluorescent tubes are my preference because they remain cool to the touch. These types of lights can be placed within about 2" of the tops of the plants. Move the lights up as the plants grow. If you're not using fluorescent lights, check to see how much heat is generated by your light source. If you cannot comfortably place the back of your hand, and hold it for several minutes, beneath the light, you may have to keep it 12" above your seedlings. This won't provide enough light to keep the seedlings happy for more that about 10 days. At that time you should move your seedlings outdoors into the sunlight. Otherwise they will stretch towards the light and become tall and spindly. Don't cover the pots with plastic wrap. Water will evaporate from the sides of the peat pots and that's a good thing. Fresh air is important to keep fungal diseases at bay. Just set the pots rim to rim in the tray and water when they begin to dry out. Hope this answers all your questions!

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