User avatar
PunkRotten
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1990
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:48 am
Location: Monterey, CA.

Do you need lights to start seeds indoors?

Hi,

Would it be possible to take your seed starts outside to get some sun daily and bring them in everyday rather than having grow lights set up? I don;t have much space and also trying to cut down on costs.

I saw someone doing something like this on a youtube video. ANyone try this before?

Thx

User avatar
soil
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1855
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:40 am
Location: N. California

what time of year?
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

User avatar
PunkRotten
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1990
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:48 am
Location: Monterey, CA.

Like in mid febuary for spring. I am in zone 9.

User avatar
soil
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1855
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:40 am
Location: N. California

you should be fine, and if the night time temps are warm enough you can just leave them out. specially in a cold frame.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

User avatar
PunkRotten
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1990
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:48 am
Location: Monterey, CA.

I have a small garden, I will probably only be starting about 15 pots. So I wouldn't mind bringing them in everyday. How many hours sunshine should they get? Also, what is a cold frame? Sorry I am new and don't know much.

tomc
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2665
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:52 am
Location: SE-OH USA Zone 6-A

Punkrotten, a read over on Trudi Davidoff's wintersown.org page might be a pleasant winters diversion for ya.
Think like a tree
© 2016 Invisable Inc.

User avatar
PunkRotten
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1990
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:48 am
Location: Monterey, CA.

Ok thank you

User avatar
soil
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1855
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:40 am
Location: N. California

i used to live near LA and the good thing was there is no worry of frost. specially around this time of year.

google what a cold frame is, its basically a real cheap, real small mini greenhouse. since where you live i doubt youll need one. but just in case it drops below 40 at night you could use one. but i doubt it.

give them as much sun as you can unless its brutal like 100+, then keep them in half sun/half shade.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

User avatar
Ruffsta
Green Thumb
Posts: 424
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:17 pm
Location: Rhode Island - USA (6B)

personally i don't use any lights when seed starting indoors. i just put them on a window sill that has enough day light after they have sprouted. if anything, i use heat lights at night time to time... really depends on my goals are and what seeds i have started.

just don't start them too early.. depends on what seeds you start (such as beans and squash), because they can grow big really fast. peppers tend to take longer to grow from my experience.

but then again this is all my opinion based on my experience here in Rhode Island.
I am proudly CROWDFUNDING to open my own bistro: Devil's Cut Bistro

bren.t
Full Member
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 5:17 pm
Location: Houston

I agree with Ruffsta. A window sill that gets ambient light should be fine. If the seedlings start to stretch you know they're not getting enough light. At that point you could take them outside to get more sun (so long as temps aren't too high or low).
Timing is important since the seedlings will stretch if they're inside too long and they won't do well outside if the climate isn't right. I built a seeding cabinet that gets tons of light and can support up to a foot of growth. This gives me a little more wiggle room when it comes to timing.

User avatar
PunkRotten
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1990
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:48 am
Location: Monterey, CA.

Ruffsta wrote:personally i don't use any lights when seed starting indoors. i just put them on a window sill that has enough day light after they have sprouted. if anything, i use heat lights at night time to time... really depends on my goals are and what seeds i have started.

just don't start them too early.. depends on what seeds you start (such as beans and squash), because they can grow big really fast. peppers tend to take longer to grow from my experience.

but then again this is all my opinion based on my experience here in Rhode Island.

Do you think cucumbers and melons would grow fast and big?

cynthia_h
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7501
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

These are two of the *most* heat- and light-loving garden plants there are. They flourish when the days are long and the heat is on (from Sol). Starting them from seed in the spring would give you a few weeks' head start, but trying to grow them indoors during even a SoCal "winter" won't work.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Yeah you really don't need to start cucumbers and melons indoors, just wait until the ground warms up and direct plant them in the ground. They do get big very fast.

I don't know what else you were planning to start from seed, but the main thing for you will be timing. You could probably start a lot of things from seed, in little pots so that they can be carefully nurtured, kept moist etc, but do it all outdoors since you have no frost to worry about. Then you wouldn't need to worry about lights, but you probably don't have to worry about bringing them in either, as long as you get the timing right.

Here's an interesting chart of planting times that is meant for warm climate gardeners:

https://www.al.com/images/hg/spring_garden_calendar.pdf

and here's a link to a planting schedule for zones 9 and 10:

https://www.thevegetablegarden.info/resources/zones-9-10-planting-schedule
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

User avatar
PunkRotten
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1990
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:48 am
Location: Monterey, CA.

I am a little worried cause temps are in the 30s and 40s, mostly 40s in winter. And during march and even first week or two of April still under 50F.

User avatar
Ruffsta
Green Thumb
Posts: 424
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:17 pm
Location: Rhode Island - USA (6B)

PunkRotten wrote: Do you think cucumbers and melons would grow fast and big?
again you "can" (and i say that loosely).. grow them indoors.. but really be prepared to have enough heat and light to cover them fully.. and i would use some type of fake grass under them so they are not sitting on the floor itself.. also would use stakes/poles or something because they get viney.

i started cucumbers, zucchini and pickles indoors.. took awhile for them to get going but managed them - they just started getting too much for me indoors to deal with.. so unfortunately i had to end the process on those. atm i have a purple bean (green bean but purple), growing indoors.. it started flowering.. if I'm lucky i'll get 12 - 15 beans from it.

[img]https://img221.imageshack.us/img221/4396/photo0122s.jpg[/img]

but to answer your question, they will grow... maybe not so fast and so big.. again that goes right to what i said above about providing the right amount of conditions. i would say you would have more luck with the cucumbers over melons indoors tho.
I am proudly CROWDFUNDING to open my own bistro: Devil's Cut Bistro

Return to “Seed Starting Forum”