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Old February 12, 2012   #16
mysidx
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I recently realized that I need more light fixtures, after running out of room for my transplants, and back up seedlings that I just started. I don't see how Craig has so many flats of plants with only two shop lights, and how they don't suffer from insufficient light.
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Old February 12, 2012   #17
FILMNET
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Rotate evertime you walk beside then it shakes them also i just put mine in a different room on the floor which is cooler they slow down then and get fatter stems. Always water from the bottom i just put water in the tubs he uses on the floor put my pepsi container of 6-8 plants inside to drink. Lift up drain and the onto shelves i also have clear plastic on my shelves because there is light under each shelf. No more reaching under lights to water for me. Perfect set up every year i am starting later now this works great I can speed up or slow down. Gregg uses a garage i see and his trees are they I did not see any sun in his garage and the floor is cold?
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Old February 12, 2012   #18
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I'm always interested in other light/grow setups people come up with, share some photos with us Filmnet........
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Old February 12, 2012   #19
gryffin
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I use two 4ft Jump Start lights sides by side like Craig has shown. I've kept them in my living room, never thought about trying a cooler area. How cool is too cool? How big do the seedlings need to be before they can handle the cooler temps? I have a finished insulated basement- it has electric heat, but I never turn it on.
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Old February 12, 2012   #20
attml
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I use regular 40W flourecent shop lights from home depot for my seed starting setup and they worked great last year!


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Old February 12, 2012   #21
Pyrrho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnewste View Post
Damon,

I have now cut back the "On-time" from the original 12 hours - - to now 8 hours per day. The 3 lamps provide a pretty even lighting pattern over the 2 trays.

Pyrrho,

I normally put the plants outside in mid-March - - but this year with our temps running 5 to 15 degrees above historical normals, I am now aiming to plant out on March 1. I have two sets of back-up plants growing now, in case we get hit with a hard freeze. "Belt and Suspenders", so to speak...

Raybo
Raybo,

I'm with you on the 'Belt and Suspenders' approach -- I always have back-ups as well. In my case, I get my seedlings hardened off as soon as weather permits, and keep them outside as much as possible. I'm usually able to accomplish this around the time the plants are ready for their first potting up (first or second set of true leaves).

I figure hardening off is one of the few steps where something can really go wrong, and if it does, I'd rather have it happen sooner rather than later. This also avoids the need for anything beyond a shop light or two to get things started.

With your relatively mild climate, I thought you'd be able to do the same. On the other hand, you've got about twice as many plants as me (not counting things other than tomatoes), so it would be that much more of a pain to haul everything in and out each day. It's quality time spent with them, though!
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Old February 12, 2012   #22
FILMNET
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Default my setup

Here it is what i do went the seeds start growing i just use 1 sheet which holds 2-3 seeds in each tiny 2" by 2". Also Gregg uses when the 2nd leafs are open I put 1 plant in the same pots he uses 4"4" pots . This blue tray will have 8 plants and will be under the lights, 2 of them under 1 light, So 4 trays under these lights. 32 plants , as they grow i put them under the shelf with a 8ft light higher. I do not move the lights use boxes under the trays to get the plants closer to the lights, as they grow i move the boxes out. It so nice to pick up each , if 1 plants is growing slower i move it to the same tray. To water i put each tray with 8 plants in large tray on the floor with 1inch of water , then put it back , never water form the top. Also the plants on top here are moved out The plants on top get sun for a few days then on the floor to slow down, I will only do 3 with 8 in each of tomatoes 24 plants and, 2 for peppers 16 plants. Peppers under the lights were so slow growing.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg light1.jpg (389.7 KB, 100 views)
File Type: jpg setup.jpg (505.7 KB, 92 views)
File Type: jpg tray.jpg (363.5 KB, 83 views)

Last edited by FILMNET; February 12, 2012 at 07:16 PM.
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Old February 12, 2012   #23
SEAMSFASTER
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I raise my seedlings in five stages:

1. Seedling heat mat - two trays, thermostatically controlled, temperature set according to what's sprouting, humidity domes, topped with blankets to conserve heat, trays or insert sections removed immediately when emergence is observed.




2. Fluorescent lights - five shelves, 10 fixtures, homemade cranks, old metal display rack with scrap wood (both rescued from trash), holds 10 trays + partials, total cost <$120.



3. Metal Halide lights - one bulb covers 16 sf, about 12 trays, seedlings can manage ok under these for several weeks, lights can be raised as needed.



4. Hoop house - 16'X7', cheap plastic, double layer, holds about 50 trays, small heater, cost for materials (excluding lumber for raised bed) around $80.



5. Outdoor - to garage as needed to escape cold wet conditions, trays kept on carts made from old doors and castors (only significant expense, about $10 per cart), garage can hold about 150 trays.



I'm planning to crank out over 5,000 starts this year. Obviously this is all on a very tight budget. Perhaps someday I'll be able to afford a real greenhouse...
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Old February 12, 2012   #24
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Seamsfaster, it looks as if your system is working out well for you...very well.
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Old February 12, 2012   #25
salix
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Seamus, same as my system - only yours is x10 more so! A lot of shuffling, but worth it.
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Old March 14, 2012   #26
Michael
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When you say "T5", are you talking about standard 28 watt, or 54 watt High Output?
Just wondering. The old 40 watt T12 lamps would be fine if you are mixing a diversity of color temps.
I like to mix 3000K and 5000K (available in T5, T8 and T12). Long time lighting salesman, Mike
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Old March 14, 2012   #27
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I bought the "economy" shop fixtures they sell at Walmart, each fixture taking two T8 elements. I initially purchased both the bright and the warm lights, but found the seedlings were attracted mainly to the bright. I'm now using mainly bright lights and the seedlings are thriving! ...Well...actually, now I have the seedlings all on the front porch, abnd I intend to keep them there for the next week! Our weather here seems to think it is late May or early June!!!
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Old March 14, 2012   #28
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I use one T12 40watt fixture with warm bulbs and one T8 fixture with cool bulbs. Both fixtures per shelf have worked out well for me.
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Old March 15, 2012   #29
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Just a thought but if your handy and have a drill (or a husband who is) you can make a pretty easy hood for those light fixtures. I went to home depot and found some of the 3" diameter ducting they sell in 1/2 pieces that you connect, so it was somewhat like a half of a circle and I reshaped it into more of a parabolic shape. I drilled 3 sets of 2 holes 1/4" in diameter through the ducting and bottem portion of the balast evenly spaced out. Then I used spray adhesive and glued mylar to the inside surface of the ducting and mounted them. Just by looking it seems to have not only increased the light intensity by about 50%, but it also gets better coverage on the outskirts of where you would normally not want your plants (leaning). Total cost is maybe $4 per fixture. It makes good use of all that light that is being directed upwards and outwards. I need to get my camera out and take a few pictures soon and I'll update.
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Old March 17, 2012   #30
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