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Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2016 12:56 am

Lights how?: Starting indoors for outdoor growing

Hi everyone,

I want to do indoor rockwool cube starts for my fall winter greens. I have a 1 bulb 4' t5 seedling starter grow lamp and a 4 bulb 4' t5 veg/flower lamp. I was wondering what the best way was to go about and prep my seedlings for outdoor growing. Since some of my greens claim a 45-60 day harvest, I want to get the seedlings ready for their hydroponic home outdoors ASAP. What is a good way to do this? The 4 blub is powerful enough to take these greens to harvest so should I make the switch from single bulb and hit the seedlings with 2-4 bulbs after the first sign of true leaves, or the first sign of stretching? How long after the 2-4 bulb do I go outside to harden off? Thank you!

Posts: 14096
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: Hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

When seedlings are about 2 inches tall you can start hardening them off. That is the size they would be when they transplant out.
the hydro system we have is in a poly house. there is a tray with oasis growing cubes that the hydro solution runs through for seed starting. Since it is in the same house, it does not require hardening off. Once the seedlings are about 2 inches tall the individual cubes are put in the rails or aero tower baskets. We no longer use a raft system. We have aquaponic cinder grow beds instead (ebb and flow system). If there are extra seedlings they are planted 8-10 inches apart in the cinder bed.