Tools

Replaced the lights

on Mon, 03/14/2016

Well, I found that I really liked the other light I purchased better, so I packed up all the lights that I had purchased and returned them. When I bought them they weren't what I had wanted in the first place, and the way I had them hooked up made it difficult for me to water plants, move them around, etc. They'd said if they didn't work out I could bring them back within 30 days and that's exactly what I did. Now I have the new lights hooked up and I hope these are going to work better for me. It's much easier dealing with one light, two cords, and two chains on each shelf than two lights, two cords, and four chains. Ended up saving about $100 this way.

Bought a new light...

on Sun, 03/13/2016

So Friday I went out to buy a new set of lights for the third shelf since my eggplant had popped up and I didn't want it to get too "leggy". Went to my usual store and they only had one light (I needed two). They said they might have more in later in the day, but didn't know. Didn't even offer to put one aside or order one. I bought what they had and then ran around town trying to find another. No such luck.

So I went to Home Depot to see what they had. Couldn't find any 4' T5 lights that plug in, but did find some T8 ones. They were just under $18. Then a set of two daylight bulbs for the fixture was like $9. So for less than $27 I got a light that actually works better than the T5 ones I bought previously. They're brighter and are longer (even though all of them are supposed to be 4'). So I think I am going to see about taking these other ones back and replacing them. I haven't been entirely happy with them, but they were what I could find. For the $40+ I spent on each one, I would expect more.

How-to: My setup

on Sun, 02/21/2016

Over the last few years, I've learned a lot about growing vegetable, herb, and flower starts indoors. The first few years I just put them under my dining room light and a lamp and wondered why they were so spindly and weak looking. Why they often times died. Then I realized that they must not be getting enough light.

We have a grow store nearby that sells lighting, plant food, light stands, trays, and more for growing plants indoors. A good amount of it is targeted to marijuana growing (which is legal in my state), but is also excellent for growing your seedlings indoors.

Lighting setup

2016-02-21-09.38.jpgI went in and talked to an employee and explained what I was doing. They sold me a Hydrofarm 4' light that has 6 tubes as well as a 4' Jump Start stand that can hold the light. This pretty much covers my entire dining room table, even when I have in the leaf. I absolutely love this light. It is amazing the difference between when I was just growing them under a lamp and when I got a real grow light. The plant grow stronger, bigger, and faster than under just a plain old light.

This will be the third growing season that I've used the lamp and stand. They've served me well. And when we had an issue with some of the connectors breaking on the stand, Jump Start sent me new ones at no charge. Excellent company and I love their products. Thus far I have not had to replace any of the bulbs and I have my light on about 12 hours a day for a few months. I haven't noticed much of an increase in our electricity from them, either.

This year I decided to increase the amount of seedlings I can grow at a time, so I purchased a heavy duty shelf at Home Depot, some chains and s-biners to hang the lights, and some more 4' grow lights. I originally planned to do one light per shelf for 3 of the shelves, so I bought three lights. But after hanging them, I realized that I wasn't getting quite as much light as I might like when the lights were down low, so I decided two lights per shelf might be best. So I went ahead and set it up that way. I currently have two shelves covered and will be purchasing two more sets to do a third shelf. The other two shelves are being used for storage, such as seeding soil, trays, tray lids, and pots.

A big upgrade

on Fri, 02/05/2016

So this year I decided to put in a big upgrade to my seedling growing setup. I've been very successful ever since I added a nice big grow light over my seedlings. That led to a lot more extra seedlings, which meant a good amount of sales of my plants. Last year was a very good year, which meant some money left over after paying for all the expenses related to growing the plants. As such, I decided to put that towards an upgrade in my system.

2016-02-05-15.23.16.jpg 2016-01-31-16.47.jpg

Transplanting herbs

on Sat, 03/14/2015

So today it's time to transplant more of my seedlings. This time it's the herbs. Once they start to get several true leaves on them, I go ahead and move them to the planters they'll be in outside. I go ahead and plant them all, as I know only some will make it through the process. If several of them end up growing large, I'll transplant them again to another set of these planters that I have, which means more herbs for me! ;)

With the basil I can also transplant it into some of my larger tomato planters once those are going, as the two plants love to be together.

Problems with planters

on Mon, 03/09/2015

So over the last few days I've been transplanting all of the bigger seedlings into larger pots. The first ones were my zucchini. Every day I've been checking the watering tray to make sure there was still water. Not only was there still water, but it was about the same level. That really perplexed me today, so I decided to look further.

Turns out that the planters have a problem from when they were manufactured - the holes are missing. As such, the plants can't get to the water in the tray.

Subscribe to Tools