Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Under The Lights

Grow Light Set Up
I am not known as a very mechanically-inclined guy. Nor am I known for my prowess with a hammer. So it is with a touch of pride that I completed a wood-working project yesterday evening. Granted, Rich did the cutting for me (I think he's more afraid of me cutting myself than I am!) but I did the rest. And the rest was building a wooden frame from which to hang the fluorescent light fixtures I'd purchased and then to put the seedlings, which have mostly sprouted and seeking for the meager light available to them. Luckily there are piles of wood surrounding the barn, so I had my choice of old wood. It's not the best wood, a little damp and a little warped, but for this purpose, it's just fine. The lights hang from the chains they came with, and as the plants grow, I can raise the lights to keep just a couple of inches above the tops of the plants. I'm using both cool and warm tubes, as I've read that the combination of the two does wonders for plants. I've never grown seedlings under lights before. While living in Denver, I always had either south- or west-facing windows with adequate light to work out alright. But here, we don't really have good south-facing windows (and it's a lot cloudier here than in Denver), so lights are a must. The project took me about two hours to complete, and this morning, I transfered the seed flats to the lights. Hopefully they'll grow nice and strong. A few of the early-germinated ones were beginning to look a little leggy. 
Seedlings under the lights.
The weather has been cold and cloudy the past few days. Not well-suited for prolonged time working outdoors. We got just over half an inch of rain last night, and it's been cold and foggy today. But there's a warm-up in the forecast for the week, and I'm hoping to get some time outside getting the raised beds cleaned up. I think they're still too wet to plant seeds in, but I am ready when the soil is. Of all the varieties of plants I started last week, only the dandelion, purslane and one variety of onion have yet to push their little heads above the soil.  I'm not too worried yet, as I know onions take a while to sprout, and I've never grown the other two plants (but assume since I have always known them as weeds that they'd be quick to shoot up).

No comments:

Post a Comment