Gardening in Apartments forum: Compact seeding lights

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Name: Matt Saba
Lower East Side, New York, New (Zone 7b)
Sabaladas
Jan 26, 2015 7:18 AM CST
Hi apartment gardeners -

Do any of you use seeding/grow lights? And if so which ones do you like best? I am debating buying one this year, and saw a 2' wide 32" tall light with stand at Johnny's seeds on sale for $62 that struck my eye because of it's compact size. Any thoughts on other models?

Name: Gordon
Brooklyn , New York
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GordonHawk
Feb 8, 2015 2:46 PM CST
Most all will work just fine...being adjustable up and down is helpful when they start growing ... I use bunches of fixtures..but all are 4 ft long and use the T-5 fluorescents ...so I only have to buy one size bulb.. They have two..four or eight bulbs.. As the cuttings/ seedlings get bigger they go into a window lit on the inside by a 400 watt metal halide light...
Bottom heat is helpful in gettings seeds to sprout.. I have a few water bed heaters and a heat mat I can put under the sprouting trays....it really jump starts them
Name: BetNC
Hendersonville, NC (Zone 7a)
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BetNC
Jan 3, 2016 6:54 PM CST
I followed a YouTube video to build my own gro set-up. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifimJYiPw50) A whole set-up cost about $50 after the upgrades I made.

I live in a one bedroom apartment, so for the 10-11 months when my gro set ups aren't in use, they easily break-down (get dis-assembled) and stored under my bed.

PVC makes the stand, from which a 4-bulb heavy-duty shop light is suspended. (Upgrades: a 4-bulb shop light, sturdier set of suspending chains than those that come with the fixture and two longer pieces of PVC pipe for the legs of the stand. . than what were called for)

bulbs are 4 foot long and the set-up grows 2.5 1020 seedling trays, set in line with the lights; after transplanting, each set-up will pold 5 1020 trays of 3" cups (20 cups per tray), set perpindicular to the lights. Total plants grown: 100 plants.

The first pic shows the 2 seedling trays (after germination) and the called-for-in the video short legs (before transplanting)
Thumb of 2016-01-04/BetNC/f55009

This pic again shows the 2 trays of pre-germinated seedlings, with their humidity domes, and the upgraded longer legs
Thumb of 2016-01-04/BetNC/10811f

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Name: Gordon
Brooklyn , New York
Charter ATP Member Miniature Gardening Container Gardener Region: United States of America Butterflies Garden Art
Tropicals Plumerias Roses Ponds Birds Plant and/or Seed Trader
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GordonHawk
Jan 4, 2016 12:37 AM CST
It looks like a great set up... So what is it you are busy growing out for those 2 months it is out from under your bed
Name: BetNC
Hendersonville, NC (Zone 7a)
Annuals Seed Starter Tomato Heads Hellebores Gardens in Buckets Plant and/or Seed Trader
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BetNC
Jan 4, 2016 6:24 PM CST
tomatoes and annual flowering plants: each year it's different varieties. Last year (my first indoor seed starting) tomato varieties were: Fourth of July, Early Girl, Rutger's, Super Sioux, Red Tumb;ling Tom, Bush Big Boy, Ace 55, Abraham Lincoln, Baxter's Bush Early Cherry and Big Beef.; flower varieties were Magellan yellow zinnia, Zahara Starlight Rose Zinnia, 2 mixes and 3 varieties of french marigolds, and pompon white chinese asters.

For THIS year: I haven't finished selecting which tomato varieties I'll grow (Fourth of July WILL be one of thewm!) but flower seeds arrived today: celosia, dwarf sunflower, Red Velour tidal wave petunia and the returning Naught Marietta marigold.

What do YOU want to start with, your first year? (I purposely sedlected very easy, nigh on fool-proof varieties so that any problems would be instantly attributable to ME & my tecnique: I estimated that about half the seeds I started would eventually die before plant-out, so I sowed twice what I thought I'd need. ^#&%^ things ALL lived!!! nodding I had sowed three seeds in each germinating cell: untangling them to pot them up for their last month was terrible! HINT: NEVER EVER sow more than 2 seeds per cell!!!!~! After MY gatrden was full, my garden helper filled up HIS garden and gave two OTHER neighbors the rest! My immediate neibors had front gardens of marigolds and containers of tomatoes on their back patoos! Thumbs up )
Name: Gene Staver
Portage WI 53901 (Zone 5a)
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gasrocks
Feb 27, 2016 7:47 AM CST
I'm new to this site and forum. I over winter 2000 house plants in my small house. No greenhouse, no basement. Just a few windows. I have about 24 T5HO fixtures. The most efficient light you can get and not heat up the house too much. Wire shelving. Yes, I start and grow many things from seeds. Right now it is Key Lime trees, Meyer Lemon trees and some Papayas. Light falls off as the square of the distance so it is very important to keep the lights as close to the plants as you can. T5HO run so cool that the leaves can touch the bulbs without serious damage (not that you want that but nice when you get behind moving things around.) As me questions, please. Gene

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