|Shelves, trays, lights, bulbs, and seedling mix.|
|The original shelf and all the stuff stored there.|
When selecting flourescent bulbs be sure to buy the correct length, circumference, and light color. While a standard soft white bulb will work to sprout seeds, they will become leggy fast searching for actual sunlight. Flourescents come in varying circumferences (T12, T8, T5) and you should check the size on the fixture you choose and buy a bulb of the correct size to fit it. My fixtures require 18" T8 bulbs.
|Examples of different bulbs that would work for plant growth.|
Once I solved my light fixture problem I set up my shelf, moved all my junk onto it, then plugged in the power strip. It took a bit of arranging to get the lights hanging correctly. Then I wrapped tin foil over the cardboard from the shelving box and hung it over the back of the shelf. Finally, I planted some seeds, I will probably plant more today, but was surprised to find I could fit 29 pots of different sizes into one tray. I may not need more than that!
Below are more pictures showing the grow room space.
|The shelf all assembled, lights hung, you can't really see the tin foil but it's against the wall reflecting the light forward. I also set my thermometer w/min max on top to watch the temps here and in the green house more easily.|
|Examples of reusing last year's pots, and of phone book page origami pots.|
|21 of my pots filled and ready to go. I had to stop and make more paper pots.|
|Plastic dome over top. Seeded, watered and under the lights. Ready to sprout!|
I could have fit 3 trays under these lights but by the time I was done last night I was not prepared to plant that many seeds. Plus I think I'll need another bag of seedling mix first. Be sure to keep lights positioned just above the tops of the plants, no more than 4" above them to encourage short, robust growth and deter legginess. You can move the lights up as needed or move the plants down, whatever is easier. Lastly I wanted to mention that while researching on plant lights I found out that plants require and grow better with both light and dark times each day, so be sure to turn your plant lights off at night and back on in the mornings, if you are too forgetful for that then set a light timer to do it for you. Having dark time is nearly as important to plant health as having sunlight. Good luck!