This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Monday, March 31, 2008

a light for the seedlings

light 2
With a streak of cloudy weather, I have resorted to a plant light. I set up a make shift arrangement using my fish tank lighting. I didn't want to burn the little seedlings, so I looked up how much light is OK:

"Experiments and tests have demonstrated that most vegetables and flowering plants need 25 to 30 fluorescent light watts per square foot. Houseplants and seedlings do well with 15 to 20 watts..."

It looks like I have about 5-6 sq ft of illuminated seedlings, so I need 75-120 watts. I have two 98 watt compact double fluorescent tubes in the fixture - a bright white and an actinic blue. The blue is mainly for penetrating water to reach corals, so I'll just go with the daylight bulb. The recommendation for timing seems to be 16 hours per day, so I'll set the timer for 6am-10pm. I have the set up in the window, so this will also add whatever natural light is available.

I wish I could join my plants and enjoy the nice bright light. A few more months I guess....



Blogger alec said...

which company are the artificial lights from?

April 01, 2008 4:28 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Well, its a Jalli A18 fixture and they are Jalli bulbs. But these are marine aquarium items, so I don't think you'll find them at a garden center. I imagine there are better (and cheaper) ones for plants. This just happened to be what I have around. I don't think my aquarium will miss it for a few weeks.

April 01, 2008 5:07 PM


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