Christian1971
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Grow Lights

I am thinking about getting the slimstar grow lights. But its $200. Can I use the simple grow lights they have at walmart? thanks

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applestar
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Re: Grow Lights

What will you be using this for? If for growing seedlings, then yes, just shoplights will be sufficient. I prefer two-tube/bulb ones with 12" wide reflectors.
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Christian1971
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Re: Grow Lights

For tomato seeds bell pepper seeds, chinese cabbage seeds. Plus dahlia tubers.

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applestar
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Re: Grow Lights

Yep. Regular shop lights.

Check out this sticky thread in the Seed Starting Forum Subject: Seed starting basics for newbies Note in particular that best temperatures for starting those seeds are very different.

Also look around that forum for some other interesting threads. I have a new pepper (and tomato) seed starting method I'm exploring, but it might not be for everyone. :wink:
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

Christian1971
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Re: Grow Lights

in regards to watering seeds. would using spray bottle to give soil a good spritz rather than pouring water.

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skiingjeff
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Re: Grow Lights

As you will read in the thread Applestar provided a link to, most gardeners endeavor to bottom water to avoid dampening off issues and also to avoid mold and bacteria growing on the top of the pots. The idea is to water enough but let the soil dry out somewhat before watering again.

Spraying on the top of the soil for seed which are planted beneath the surface of the soil doesn't provide enough moisture to the seed and eventual plant in my experience. In addition, once germination happens you want to build strong healthy roots to your plants and have them seeking the water from the bottom of your pots/containers.

Hope the was helpful but if you read the thread many of your questions will be answered which of course may lead to additional questions since everyone's situation and setup are different.

Good Luck! :)

Susan W
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Re: Grow Lights

As mentioned, we all have different ways to start the seeds. My system is crude at best, and works for me. Using kitchen table and an addition shelf with south window exposure, regular lights. I use peat pellets in 10 -12 per tray, have many varieties, different sprout time etc. I top water (the horrors!!), just very careful with itty bitty seeds not yet sprouted. I use a 2 cup measuring cup, go around in the AM, water and check everyone. Some thristy, some not. The kitchen table group gets a fan blow a couple times/day (small clamp on fan). A few get a short watering later in day. In counting now, 42 trays total, 6 of those in veggie drawer of frig for chill time. That's 400+ starts.
Starting today, some of these get bumped up to 3.5" pots, and the trays of pots can go back out in sheltered area. I don't know who is happier, me or the baby plants!

I won't say all of these make, but then I'm starting some different things.

If I were just starting a veggie garden, figure what I like to eat, try some from seed, and fill in with buying starts. Even with the above going, I buy some starts.

Keep it fun. It's work, but don't let it become a burden and drag.
Have fun!
Susan

Christian1971
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Location: West Central Minnesota

Re: Grow Lights

I have to agree. Sometimes things get overanalized to the point of not sounding fun. Some folks are more devoted and love to try things. It can very easily become an expensive endevour. I just need to chill.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Grow Lights

but no, misting is not a good way to provide water. If your seedlings have sprouted, it's very easy to promote fungal diseases by having the leaves wet, but in the meantime it is very difficult to get the soil moistened all the way to the bottom (even the bottom of small cells). As noted, best is bottom watering - have everything in trays and just pour a little bit of water in the bottom of the tray, until it just touches the bottom of the cells/ pots. Then the soil can wick it up. Very easy and foolproof.

Next best would be adding water directly to the soil, from the top. For small seedlings, you might want to do this with a pipette or turkey baster, for control and not drowning things. In this method, you would keep adding water until it comes out the bottom. But then you would empty the saucer/ tray or whatever, so they don't just sit in water.
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NJ Bob
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Re: Grow Lights

Hi! I use the 48" T8 Walmart fixtures and a couple of Daylight fluorescent bulbs from Lowes. That will give you ample coverage for a couple of 2' flats. All added up, less than $20. Have fun!

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bryce d
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Re: Grow Lights

I have a friend that perfected grow lights. Had a whole bunch of them in his basement. Swore that he could grow anything.
he gave it up after the police found-out about his plants and put him in jail.
If I don't answer quickly I'm out in the garden picking morning glory.

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