Vegetables and Fruit forum: Bender over and looks wilted

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JustinGatCat
Mar 4, 2018 12:26 PM CST
Hey everyone! I'm pretty new to gardening and I have a huge problem. My Tomato and Broccoli seedlings are bending over. I just noticed it yesterday. They've been getting 4 houses of light from a grow light and 3+ hours from the sun when it shines through my window, and I water every 2-3 days. The seedlings are about 4-5 weeks old. Are they dead? Can I save them? I also feed them once a week
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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Mar 4, 2018 2:35 PM CST
Better start new.
They need 16 hours under a 6500 k rated grow light, that's as close to them as possible without burning them.
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Ed
Crenshaw County, South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Vegetable Grower Zinnias
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Intheswamp
Mar 5, 2018 7:36 AM CST
I agree with Philip. Tiny seedlings need 16 hours of light. 4 hours of distant lighting will create spindly, weak seedlings as they strain to reach the light.

I am using two 4' florescent shop lights (T8-type). I have my old (modified/over-driven) shop light and just bought another one that I haven't modified(yet). For this last one I bought a couple of the T8 tubes that have a 2900 lumen rating...other "utility grade" tubes had something like a 1900 lumen rating which makes them not as bright. Philip has me wondering, now...did I get the 5000k ones or the 6500k ones? I'll have to check on that aspect of it (thanks for mentioning that Philip, I've already been off googling light temperatures!).

I have my seedlings in/on my makeshift seedling shelf. I have both of these light fixtures plugged into a cheap power-strip (one of those multiple socket strips with a short cord and an on/off switch). I plug the power-strip cord into a cheap dial-timer so that the timer runs both sets of lights. I really should have the lights closer to the seedlings but it's a cobbled together lightstand that I *really* need to work on for easier adjustments. For now I have to raise and lower the plants rather than the light...just opposite of the optimum setup.<sigh> But, it worked last year and seems to be working this year. Here is a picture of the seedlings from the other day and you can see how close I have them (which could be a bit closer)....and the timer keeps the light on around 16 hours a day. Remember, though, that the seedlings do need darkness...they need their rest just like we do!! Thumbs up

An option to the florescent shop lights are LED shop lights. I looked at a couple of the LED fixtures at Walmart but didn't (at this time) feel comfortable in making a decision on them with what was available. I will most likely revisit the LED shop lights at a later date but I'm happy for now with the florescents.

Incandescent light bulbs can be used (if you can locate some) but they run HOT and you have to be careful not to burn your plants (or house) with them. Plus, they use a lot more electricity.

For just a plant or two or three you might could get by with some of the higher-wattage (100+w) spiral compact florescent bulbs. I think the high-wattage LED bulbs would be too expensive for this and a shop light would have a better return-on-investment.

The seedlings in my picture look a little droopy...the top of the potting soil in some cups had dried out a bit and they had all just got a good watering. A few of them (a couple in the front, for example) are leggier than I'd like them to be. When they first started germinating I only had the old over-driven shop light and all the seedlings couldn't be close to the florescent tubes (or even under the reflector!) so some got leggy on me. Sad I finally got another shop light and hopefully they'll respond to the better lighting. One thing about tomato plants is if they do get a bit leggy you can lay them down in a trench when you plant them in the garden and they'll root along the stem...but you still want them strong and healthy...four hours of light per day will result in weak plants. My seedlings just spent the weekend by themselves so I'm hoping all is well when I get to the shop today.

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Ah well, I get carried away sometimes with my replies...sorry to be so long-winded. *Blush* Well, I'm not *really* sorry! Big Grin

Best wishes,
Ed
South Alabama - 8a/8b
The Enchanted Land of Humidity
www.beeweather.com
2017 Garden Photo Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm1zSVfK
“It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.”
― Rod Serling
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Image
Philipwonel
Mar 5, 2018 12:48 PM CST
Howdy there 😎 ! Justin and Ed 😀
I'm not a expert-a-mumbo. But studied up, and use my lites.
We all can collaborate, Ok ?

Y'all have a little fan blowing on seedlings ? Makes seedlings strong, and provides air circulation. Yep ! Plants need air.

A plant warming pad, to use till seeds germinate. Maybe longer, if your not starting seeds inside, where it's warm, or you keep your house cold.

Now to lites 😀😀😀
I bought a T5 LED grow light.
LED T5s, are suspose to be the most energy-efficent, and last something like 20,000 hours. If I remember right, something like, twice as long as regular florescent.
They burn so cool, if the, opps 😮! Seedings grow and touch the bulds, they don't get burnt. 😮🐕
So I figured, over time, it will pay for itself. 👍👍
The guy at hydroponics store said it would work for what I wanted it for. Those guys know there stuff ! There not just for marijuana.

Now ?
Some technical stuff.
My lite is rated at 6500 K, and 8,000 lumens. I keep it one to two inches above seedlings. It's hanging from ceiling, on little chains, with S-hooks. I can move it up a quarter inch, or however high I need.
I read, and was told, that the the big thing that matters, is to have, at least, 6500 K builds.
Now !🤔??? Lumens, I still don't understand ? Maybe, one of y'all could help me understand the who, what's, and whys of lumens. What difference lumens make or do ?
My lite is 8,000 lumens.

I have read hear, of NGA members using, a single screw-in, led bulb, for just a couple three plants. They used a GE, LED, daylight, bulb. That replaces a 100 watt, but uses only 15 watts. It's rated at 5000 K, and 1600 lumens.

So 😎 ??? Who, where, want, Y'all think ?🤔???
Anything ! Shrug! !😀!
Philip 😎😎😎























Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Ed
Crenshaw County, South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Vegetable Grower Zinnias
Image
Intheswamp
Mar 5, 2018 3:39 PM CST
I tip my hat to you. to you, Philip!!!!! That sounds like one NICE light setup!!!! I'm embarrassed to show my light setup. But, the way I adjust the distance from top of plant to light is to add or remove 4x4 pieces of wood, 1x4 pieces of wood, the odd book, uh, there's also a plastic box that the plastic box holding a small batch of seedlings is sitting on....1/4" adjustments, er, uh, I don't think so. ;) I do have a fan hooked up, though. I've got it plugged into the power strip with the lights. Just slight movement of the seedlings.

With my setup, I have a total of 5800 lumens (supposedly) with the new shop light. With the old, over-driven one I'm not sure what the intensity is and I'm really not sure what tubes are in it...I'll have to check on it one day. The "over-driven" mod results in higher intensity light.
What you do is cannibalize a shop light by removing it's ballast and rewire that ballast into another shop light that already has a ballast. Then, rather than sharing a ballast between two tubes each tube gets it's on ballast/power source....makes them pretty bright!

Lumen measurement (the way I figure it) is the intensity/brightness of the light source at a given distance...one meter, I think. Say you move the light to within an inch of the top of a seedling. The only way to increase the intensity is to increase the lumens of the light source because you've already moved the source about as close as you can get it. Your 8000 lumens is KILLER!!!!!!(in a good way). Green Grin! So, I would think that if they measure lumens at a meter then your 8000 lumens is more than that at seedling distance. I think there is a limit to the brightness that the plants can use, though...can't remember what the cut-off amount is. Those guys growing the cash crops have probably spent more time than anyone else figuring the science out about these things...I'd definitely pay attention to their recommendations!!! Uh,...the recommendations about the lighting, just to be clear!!! Whistling

LEDs have come a long way. MY BIL and I used to tinker with them back before they started showing up in consumer lighting. We took many a MagLite (especially the Mini-Mags) and modded them with LEDs, resistors, and camera batteries. Had lots of fun...even with the yellowish ones back then...when the white ones showed up that was amazing. It seems after they figured out how to get rid of the yellow tints they started working on the brightness...amazing where they are at now!!!! You've got me interested in the LED growlights...maybe something to mention to Santa Clause this year. But, really, no more seedlings that what I foresee starting each year the florescents will probably work well enough for me. But again...nice setup there, Philip!!!!! nodding
South Alabama - 8a/8b
The Enchanted Land of Humidity
www.beeweather.com
2017 Garden Photo Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm1zSVfK
“It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.”
― Rod Serling
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Image
Philipwonel
Mar 6, 2018 12:41 PM CST
Hey ya Ed 👍😀
Gee, Ed, I wasn't trying to sell you on anything, or put your system down.
It's my first grow lite experience, so why should I TRY 😭!!!, to go messing around buying a regular lite, and convert it. I'd probably end up blowing myself up. Rolling on the floor laughing

Your set up sounds great.
What do they say : If it works ! Don't fix it ! 👍😀😀😀

Did you see the K ratings of your bulbs ? That's what I've heard and read, to be the big part. Im guessing, but I belive the K ratings also determine the color mixture, more blue, less red for growth. The opposite for bloom.

I paid a hundred bucks for mine !
Then !!! My sister decided she wanted one too. She got one, the same as mine, for fifty bucks. 😭😭😭 !!! Where ? On the internet.

Good chatting with you friend 👍
😎😎😎






Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Ed
Crenshaw County, South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Vegetable Grower Zinnias
Image
Intheswamp
Mar 6, 2018 1:19 PM CST
Oh no, Philip! I wasn't taking it as a put down of my system, no, not at all! I'm glad you shared your setup with us. It gives food for thought...down the road, ya know! nodding

As for the modding of the light, I did that several years ago during a weak gardening urge. I pulled it out of mothballs last year. Talk about blowing up....I was *very* hesitant the first time I plugged it up...I was waiting for sparks to flyyyyy!!!!!!!!!! Whistling

I hear you on going with something good to start with. Might as well invest in something good since you know you'll be using it regularly.

The two tubes I put in the shop light I just bought are the 5000k ones.<sigh> Oh well. I might bump them up a bit. I'll have to dig in a little later and see what's in the over-driven light. Seedlings seem to be doing pretty good for now...hopefully they'll keep on! Hurray!

The 5000k, 6500k, etc. , is the color "temperature" of the lights. As you said, the mix of colors. Google "color temperature"....you'll have all the info you can read! ;) Here's a simple chart to get a bearing on natural light... http://www.bobatkins.com/photo...

$100 to $50...ain't that the way it goes?!

Always good to talk with you, Philip. I'm getting ready to start the tomato adventure again...hopefully I won't be crying so much this year!!! Thumbs up
South Alabama - 8a/8b
The Enchanted Land of Humidity
www.beeweather.com
2017 Garden Photo Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm1zSVfK
“It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.”
― Rod Serling
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Image
Philipwonel
Mar 6, 2018 6:45 PM CST
I think you'll be good with 5000 K.
I've talked with some people that still use the o'l standard tube bulbs.

Really beats me why I mentioned, about raising my lites a quarter inch at a time ! I'm not that CRAZY Whistling , USUALLY ! ....……
Of course, Whistling Rolling on the floor laughing

Latter, my friend 😀
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Ed
Crenshaw County, South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Vegetable Grower Zinnias
Image
Intheswamp
Mar 10, 2018 7:21 PM CST
Phillip, I came in Friday morning to find the new Wallyworld "Lights of America" shoplight dead. Sad Well, I took it back to them last night and got a different one. While I was there I got a couple of 6500k tubes, too. I figure I can use the 5000k for backups. Thumbs up

Since I had the bad fixture taken down I checked out the over-driven fixture to see what type tubes were in it. It didn't say so I had to look the Phillips tubes up on the internet. I guess I must have been paying attention to the color temperature when I did the modification to the fixture being as the ones in it are 6500k. So now I'm good to go on both of them!!! Thanks for bringing up the 6500k aspect of plant lighting!!

South Alabama - 8a/8b
The Enchanted Land of Humidity
www.beeweather.com
2017 Garden Photo Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm1zSVfK
“It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.”
― Rod Serling
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Image
Philipwonel
Mar 11, 2018 1:15 PM CST
Sounds like you getting a faulty fixture, worked out for you Ed !👍 😎! Hurray!
I'm glad for you. 😀
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Ed
Crenshaw County, South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Vegetable Grower Zinnias
Image
Intheswamp
Mar 11, 2018 1:51 PM CST
I was in town this morning and stopped by the shop to check on the seedlings. They all looked happy as could be and told me to tell you thanks for getting me squared away on the lights!!!! Really, they told me to tell you!!! No, the meds seems to be working good... nodding
South Alabama - 8a/8b
The Enchanted Land of Humidity
www.beeweather.com
2017 Garden Photo Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm1zSVfK
“It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.”
― Rod Serling

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