arisachu
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New set-up for baby seeds

[img]https://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y15/UntilStrawberrySherbet/seedsetup.jpg[/img]

My boyfriend made this for me to keep the kitties out. Hopefully it will work. :3 We spent about 2 hours trying to find that stupid grow lamp, as it was hidden on the bottom shelf next to the black lights at Lowes.

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rainbowgardener
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But you really didn't need the "stupid grow lamp." Regular shop light fixtures with regular fluorescent tubes work fine for starting seeds.
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hendi_alex
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It looks to me that the position of your light will give a problem when the plants emerge. Artificial light intensity drops off very quickly with distance, so the bulb should be directly over the plants and within 2-6 inches of the tops of the plants. Your set up will likely produce leggy, bent plants that are stretching toward the light.
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arisachu
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Oh! The box said that we shouldn't put it closer than 1 ft, but I will try putting the seed trays on top of something to get them closer to the light. Only the brussels sprouts have sprouted up so far, so this will be fairly easy for now.
The fixture is actually seated on nails in the wall, but we taped the side since it was a bit wobbly and as extra precaution against four-legged plant foes. ;)
As for closet space, when we moved in we shoved everything we didn't want to deal with (and that's A LOT of junk and boxes) into the two closets in the apartment so now they're all filled to the brim and daunting to go into. :lol:

I meant "stupid" grow lamp in a joking fashion, only that it was so frustrating to find since it was hiding. ;) It was actually the cheapest of the lights of that nature that had plugs, the other ballasts that came empty had to be hard-wired, and the other plug-in ones with lights were more expensive for some reason. I'm also stubbornly going to find some reason to have it since we searched for it for so long. :P

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soil
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no offense but that's not going to be enough light, your plants will end up "stretched" as they grow for the weak light. even with moving it closer unless your able to put them outside quite often to get real sunlight. spend the 10-15$ on a shop light and some bulbs. when you spend 15$ on lights and seeds and get 100$+ worth of food in return its worth it. having stretched seedlings will give you weaker plants and in turn a lower harvest yield in the end.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

arisachu
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I found this chart when looking for how much light I would need
https://www.plantlighting.com/growing_area_table.htm
Is this about right? Should I add more lights, or find one that is way higher in wattage? I mean, these lights were built for this purpose, so it has to do something beneficial, right?

This is only for the germination. Will this still pose a problem? I know the brussels sprouts have already sprouted, so they might need a little more light than the others. The light seems to be pumping out a fair deal of light.

Marlingardener,
I may go with your closet idea and clean out the less messier one. That will have to be a spring break endeavor.

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hendi_alex
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Brussels sprouts should go straight to the garden at about any time. For sure put them out in the direct sunlight each day until ready to plant them in the garden. I direct seeded arugula, lettuce, and radishes. All are up and doing very well. The tender plants like tomatoes should also be placed outside during sunny days. That will help make sturdy, hardened plants from the beginning, with no need for hardening off before planting in the garden.
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arisachu
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Oh I'm glad you brought that up! I was wondering when to bring them outside and when I could put them in the ground.
Is it okay that it's still a bit chilly outside? I didn't want to put them outside while it was so cold, but if it's okay to do so, then I definitely want to do what's best for their growth. I'm very excited about the speed at which the Brussels sprouts are growing, the packet said 7-10 days of germination, but it's been about 4 days already and they are about an inch or so tall.
Each pot had about 2-3 seeds planted in them, should I pull out the weaker plants to give the strongest one more room to grow and develop?

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Each pot had about 2-3 seeds planted in them, should I pull out the weaker plants to give the strongest one more room to grow and develop?
Well I'm showing my frugal side again. Don't waste the weak seedlings just prick and transplant into a 4" pot or so. You could always give them away or sell :wink: To answer your question, 1 seedling per pot.

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arisachu wrote: Is this about right? Should I add more lights, or find one that is way higher in wattage? I mean, these lights were built for this purpose, so it has to do something beneficial, right?
No, it's not close to right, unfortunately. A 600 watt, 72,000 lumen MH bulb will decently light a 4x3 foot area. Even then, the seedlings on the edges will tend to bend toward the light. If you really want to learn about lighting, Google Daily Light Integral and Mols Per Day Plant Growth. It may sound technical at first but is really quite simple. How many lux (or footcandles) does a plant receive and for how many hours does it last.

Mike

arisachu
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DoubleDogFarm wrote:
Well I'm showing my frugal side again. Don't waste the weak seedlings just prick and transplant into a 4" pot or so. You could always give them away or sell :wink: To answer your question, 1 seedling per pot.

Eric
Okay, thank you. :) I will try to get them out into new pots, though some are very close together, and I don't know if I'll have enough room in my mini-garden to plant upwards towards ten Brussels sprouts plants! :) What would you suggest is the best way to re-pot them? Are the roots not too weak to be moved right now?
Also, would you think that putting a few into a Tupperware and lightly covering would be able to make it on a 1 1/2 hour flight to Illinois? I would like to maybe give a few seedlings to my grandmother at the end of march for her birthday (she's very excited about my new-found garden love), providing they don't grow too large at that point. Of course, I would have to check the TSA rules to ensure that I can even take something like that through security in the first place. (Would the x-ray machine kill the plant?)

arisachu
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wordwiz wrote:
No, it's not close to right, unfortunately. A 600 watt, 72,000 lumen MH bulb will decently light a 4x3 foot area. Even then, the seedlings on the edges will tend to bend toward the light. If you really want to learn about lighting, Google Daily Light Integral and Mols Per Day Plant Growth. It may sound technical at first but is really quite simple. How many lux (or footcandles) does a plant receive and for how many hours does it last.

Mike
Alrighty, thank you for your advice. I will look into this. I'm not that great with technical math and such, but I will take a few notes and ask my boyfriend to help me out with the technical things I don't get. For tonight they should be fine, nothing is too far grown to have suffered much (just the Brussels sprouts) and tomorrow if weather permits I will put them outside for a few hours for some decent sunlight or next to a window. Hopefully the grow lamp will be enough to catch any new buds I don't see coming until I can get them some proper rays. :)

Thank you everyone for helping me out. I greatly appreciate all the advice. My poor plants would suffer from my eager negligence without you all. ;)
(When I find something I like doing I fixate and obsess haha)

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I'm in Camden, S.C. and have been placing my plants outside most every day for two or three weeks now. If the temperature hits over 60 degrees then the plants are out in the open, except maybe blocked from the wind. If the temperature is between 50-60 degrees, the plants are placed outside in cold frames. You may want to consider constructing a makeshift cold frame for this season and then maybe buy one for next season, if the garden bug takes over. I've been leaving my tender annuals outside in the cold frame overnight anytime that the lows stay 40 degrees or above.
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arisachu
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I'll have to see what I can rig up. I don't have too much money to spend on building one, but I do have a slight abundance of free time. It's been consistently 40-50 degrees lately, and I have no idea when it's going to let up, so it would be nice to be able to construct one of these since apparently the good ol' Georgia weather has decided to play tricks on me. (It was in the 60-70+ range not too long ago, go figure)

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arisachu,

If the Brussels sprouts have just sprouted, I would wait until the first few true leaves before transplanting. I just use a pencil for pricking the seedlings out. Basically push the pencil in deep and heave up and pop. You will most likely disturb all the seedlings, but thats ok, they could be planted deeper anyway.

I think the seedling would handle that short flight with no problems. Plants are shipped in the mail all the time.


Eric
Last edited by DoubleDogFarm on Tue Mar 08, 2011 3:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

arisachu
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Might be a silly question, but what's a pence? :lol: I tried to google it, but all I was coming up with was a penny and I wasn't sure how to use a penny to accomplish my task since they seem so much bigger than the seedlings themselves. xD If you did mean a penny I feel like a dumdum now haha. :P

DoubleDogFarm
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I'm the dummy. I misspelled pencil twice. :lol: :roll:

Sing a song of sixpence, blah blah blah. :)


Eric

arisachu
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:lol: Okay, I'll give it a shot, hopefully I won't destroy my baby seedlings, though if I do mess up I have a whole bunch of seeds left and apparently they grow in like, MILLISECONDS haha.


When constructing a cold frame, could I go to someplace like Lowe's or Home Depot for a bit of help/instruction? Their commercials boast the ability to help with home improvement and the like, but do you think they'd be able to help me out, or should I just scour the internet for some really good instructions? The people in the garden section at my Lowe's don't seem to really know much about gardening and appear to have been placed there since they also didn't know about the other home improvement areas. :P

DoubleDogFarm
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Take a look at these. I just Googled Cold Frames.

https://www.sunset.com/garden/backyard-projects/cold-frames-00400000018537/

https://www.woodworkersworkshop.com/resources/index.php?cat=388

Many different designs.

Eric

arisachu
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DoubleDogFarm wrote:Take a look at these. I just Googled Cold Frames.

https://www.sunset.com/garden/backyard-projects/cold-frames-00400000018537/

https://www.woodworkersworkshop.com/resources/index.php?cat=388

Many different designs.

Eric
Oh wow! Thank you! When I tried to Google it I looked at the Wikipedia page and a few other less helpful sources. :) Is it okay to keep it above ground? I see these instructions say to place it underground, but I think the property manager might get a little miffed if she came by to see a giant box in the middle of the lawn area. :lol:

DoubleDogFarm
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arisachu,

If you look at the Sunset.com design, it has rope handles. Even though the articles talks about burying 10", you can see this one in the photo is made to be moved around. :D I think it's a rather attractive design also.

Gets me thinking. Do I build 12ft wide by 20ft long High Tunnels or a bunch of cold frames. Hmm :?:

Eric

arisachu
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Oooo High Tunnels look like fun. :) What are the pros to building these High Tunnels?
:sigh: If only I had the space for bigger things. Then again, maybe it's best to have concrete limitations, otherwise I'd get way ahead of myself. (There I go obsessing again ;))

That is a very attractive design. :) A bit big for my scale, but I'm sure I could adjust accordingly with that newfangled math nonsense everyone talks about. :P

DoubleDogFarm
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Looking at the Sunset design. I would not do the goofy back frame with the rope and pulleys. I would prop open with a notched stick system or lid prop.


Eric

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High Tunnel is similar to a greenhouse, but easier and cheaper to build. You can build both over concrete. :wink: :lol: Basically a season extender. Plant earlier and grow longer into the winter. You can stand inside and work. Try to do that in a cold frame. :P

Eric

arisachu
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Nice play on words there. ;) As for soil to put in the cold frame, what would you suggest I get to put inside the box since I can't put it underground?

arisachu
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That's a good idea. :) I had thought about stopping by the greenhouses on campus and seeing if there was anything I could volunteer for. :3
Not sure about senior centers around here, I'll have to look into it. There's this really cool park area in town, a little bit farther away from home, but it's very nice and I know they welcome volunteers. :) I'll go check them out.

arisachu
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Just to make sure I'm not slowly killing them, are these guys looking good? I've just moved them to the window for much better lighting. Today's weather looked promising, but alas.
If I put them outside, should I cover them?
Picture is kind of blurry, my phone doesn't do so hot with close-ups.

[img]https://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y15/UntilStrawberrySherbet/0308011230.jpg[/img]

:D

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I put this off because I didn't want to be the bearer of bad news. :( Your Brussels sprouts are very leggy. This is do to not enough light. I suggest that you start over and put the light right over the pots.

Eric

arisachu
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DoubleDogFarm wrote:I put this off because I didn't want to be the bearer of bad news. :( Your Brussels sprouts are very leggy. This is do to not enough light. I suggest that you start over and put the light right over the pots.

Eric
That's what I though. :( It's okay to be the bearer of bad news, because the earlier I know, the earlier I can get new ones going and have happy, healthy plants. :D I'm glad you said something.
I re-potted them to house one seedling per pot and planted them deeper, do you think they are at all able to be saved? They will be getting dedicated sunlight from here on out to try and make up for my neglect, just in case they can be saved. I saw a few other posts around here about leggy plants and they all seemed to be hopeful souls.
This is what happened to my flowers a couple years back when I tried planting them from seeds, and they were next to a window all the time! I wonder if I really do just have a black thumb of plant death. :? :roll:

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You may find out that this time of the year your window will not work either. Give it a try. Also bring the soil all the way up to the top of the pot. Being down in a hole maybe shading them also. :wink: and no fertilizer! I use a simple mix of peat moss and perlite nothing else.


Eric

arisachu
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DoubleDogFarm wrote:You may find out that this time of the year your window will not work either. Give it a try. Also bring the soil all the way up to the top of the pot. Being down in a hole maybe shading them also. :wink: and no fertilizer! I use a simple mix of peat moss and perlite nothing else.


Eric
I'll add some extra soil to the top of the pot, and when I went ahead and re-potted them most of them got soil farther up. I just went to see my friend's basil plants at her apartment and her's look pretty similar to mine, only further along, and she said she was just doing what the greenhouse kit said to do. She puts her right up at the window, too. I'm getting this feeling that no matter what I do I won't be able to get it to work out. :/
I used your pencil trick and it seemed to work well. :) I hope I didn't mess them up and hurt the roots or anything.

I'm thinking about going into the plant science building on campus with my tray of seedlings and just wander around teary-eyed until someone helps me. :lol:
I'll try putting the seedling tray on a box and get them close to the light and see if that works.

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They were looking really stretched, but they are also tiny babies, that haven't even opened their seed leaves yet, much less true leaves. So they can certainly be saved if conditions are corrected. If you do some browsing around this section, you will find lots of pictures of people's seed starting set ups.

Even though they sell window sill seed starting kits, for most people and most plants window light just isn't enough, especially this early in the season, when there are still not lots of hours of daylight. If you happen to have a south facing window that is not shaded by any other buildings or trees AND you live in a sunny climate, you probably can start seeds by a window.
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arisachu
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The one good thing I've got going is that I do have a south-southeast facing apartment. Today is looking dreary out with no sun so I'm going to make good use of those schoolbooks and prop thee seedlings closer to the light. ;) They are looking even more leggy today I don't know how to contain the crazy night growth, as that seems to be when they do most of their growing. Cross your fingers for me that I can find a way to not kill them. :P

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I don't know how to contain the crazy night growth, as that seems to be when they do most of their growing
It's like when someone is watching over your shoulder while you work, it makes you uncomfortable. Stop fussing and staring at them during the day. :wink: :lol:


Eric

arisachu
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But I thought all the eager carbon dioxide that I emit from my giant pie-hole was good for 'em! ;) :lol: :P

I moved 'em up this morning using my ever-so-useful textbooks ;) and they seemed to be enjoying the light, but those darn seedlings on the outer edges were practically clawing for the light when I got home just now! I wish I could rig a way to hang the light overhead instead of mounted on the wall. Instead my solution is to just keep turning the container every hour or so in order to try and prevent them bending. xD My methods are so MacGyver-ey. :lol: (<3 Richard Dean Anderson)

But the light at the end of the dark, dreary weather tunnel is that it will be super nice out this weekend! I'll be able to stare at them ALL WEEK LONG next week on spring break. ;)

arisachu
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One cilantro and the thyme seeds sprouted last night. I'm afraid that I'm killing them, too, even though they just germinated. xD Today I have some homework to do, though, so they're going to be a bit farther away from the light. :lol:

I built another book mountain for the second tray since so many are popping up now. They should be close enough to the light, I'd say about 6" give or take. I'm running out of textbooks, though. :lol:
This is the cilantro. It seemed to grow this big practically overnight. :shock: Does it look like it's doing okay?
[img]https://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y15/UntilStrawberrySherbet/0310011112.jpg[/img]

Sorry for all the picture spams, I'm not great at describing things. More of a visual learner. ;)

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Still looking kind of thin and stretched. But that sometimes happens when seeds pop up in the night. Give it a couple more days and see what happens. But 6" is still a lot. I have fluorescent tubes about 2" over my seedlings.
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arisachu
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Alrighty. I'll find some more books to prop them up on. :P
I'm probably going to go out and get another light to put on the back wall. Should I get another grow light, or a regular fluorescent?

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I'll quote Rainbow, :wink:
I have fluorescent tubes about 2" over my seedlings.
I keep hearing they are about $15. fixtures.

Eric

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Oh derp ;) putting 2 and 2 together is obviously not my strong point today. :lol: I'm going to wal-mart tomorrow so I'll grab a light there. :) Thanks guys

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