rainbowgardener wrote:I start mine in the little cells like that also, but once they have a pair or two of true leaves they go into the 3 inch pots. The cells are too small to permit much root growth, so your plants will stay very small and shallow rooted. When I transplant the little seedlings into the 3 inch pots, I bury them deeper than they were in the cells and when I move them into the ground, I bury them deeper again.
This thread https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=60396&highlight=seed+starting+operation#60396 has a couple pictures of my seed starting operation. (There were three but one got deleted when I reorganized some things on Photobucket.) It's 16 running feet of shelves/ lights, but it takes up a minimal footprint in my basement and its all materials that were cheap or recycled/free. I built it up a little bit at a time, starting with just the bottom shelf, so I never spent much $$ at once.
Wow, that's a really nice set-up. I like how you utilized your space by going vertical. I have some questions for you.
How much electricity do the grow lights use? Are they simply regular fluorescent shop-lights? Do the grow lights have to be fluorescent lights or will any kind do?
Do you have the lights on during the day or at night? I'm assuming that you only have them on for about 12 to 15 hours daily.
Would plants do better in a basement with artificial lights than in front of a window or sliding door with natural light? This is the reason for my lack of space: I'm trying to keep everything in front of a window or door to get the natural light. I never even considered having the seedlings in a dark basement with only fluorescent bulbs for light. I felt that even on cloudy days, the plants would still get some light since the living quarters are always lit, as opposed to the basement, which is usually dim. I thought they would do terrible in a basement; it looks like I was wrong.
Thanks for giving me such a great idea. Although I might not be able to do it this season, a basement station is definitely something I will consider for next year if it will work. That would give the space I need to "pot up" my toms and other plants so they can achieve more growth and get a better head start.
If I can't swing a setup like yours this year, I will just try my luck with the little cells and see how the plants do.
One last thing, does Feb 1st. sound too early to start tomatoes? That is when I'm starting my peppers (which is literally a whole other thread). Since the toms will probably be kept in the small cells, they might not get overly large.
Thanks for answering all my questions, sorry for large quantity (eager to learn). I can see why you were made a moderator.