Fresh From The Garden...

Welcome to my new blog... My First Vegetable Garden. It is dedicated to new gardeners and I plan to blog about and video the entire 2014 gardening season.

I will cover and teach you about every aspect of home gardening that you can think of! Please follow my blog as it will take you from starting your own seeds to harvesting 2 pound heirloom tomatoes and more! Learn how to grow the vegetables on your right...

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Starting Mixes, Seed Cells and Seed Starting Set Up

Friday, December 13, 2013

How to Have A More Successful Vegetable Garden: Building A Grow-Light Box for Starting Seeds Indoors

How to Have A More Successful Vegetable Garden

Building A Grow-Light Box for Starting Seeds Indoors

You can save a lot of money by starting seeds indoors and growing your own vegetable transplants. You can easily spend 3 or 4 dollars on a tomato or pepper transplant from a nursery. A vegetable 6 pack of lettuce is another 3 dollars. You can start seeds indoors and grow your own transplants! A grow-light box is one way to do this. It provides the right amount of light intensity to bring you healthy garden vegetable or flower transplants.

Seed starting is quite easy but you do have to follow some basic principles. I covered starting mix and preparing the seed cells in this entry - Seed Starting Mix Preparation for Germination: Pre-Moisten, Pack Cells and Bottom Watering.  Starting mix, watering, cell preparation and lighting are all keys to high germination, strong seedlings and great transplants. And warmth gets thrown in there too.

Before you can start your seeds indoors you must make sure you have enough light to help them grow. If you don't have enough light, your plants will get 'leggy'. Which is a term for  plants that have abnormally long stems (because they are reaching for the light). They are thin, weak and have overdeveloped stems and underdeveloped leaves. This all comes from not having enough light at the right intensity. A grow-light box addresses a plant's light needs and the issue of  plant 'legginess'. A grow-light box will help you have a more successful vegetable garden.

Here is another grow-light design for starting seeds indoor. It is an open design.

The second video (below) shows you how to manage the light for your seedlings. The principles hold true for both designs. However the above design is opened and it has a lot of air flow. DO NOT bottom water your plants inside the CLOSED LID grow-light box design. The closed lid design and having pooled water in the container will cause humidity in the box. That is bad for diseases and electricity. Just water your plants outside the grow-light box and place them back into the closed grow-light box after they absorb water into their soil. There should be no excess water sitting in the closed grow-light box design.

A general rule is to keep the grow-light about 2 inches above the plants. You want intense light. You can do this by raising or lowering the light fixture or by raising or lower the plants. Stack a book under them. A general rule of thumb is 12-14 hours of light. If you want to buy a timer the fits in the outlet... you can set it and let the light turn on and off automatically.

If you want to learn more about the grow-light bulbs here is a link to +Praxxus55712 . YouTube Channel. This video talks about different sized CFL bulbs for plants. It is very helpful. EZ Answers to Lighting Questions.

Gardening is not about perfection. It is about enjoying, learning and changing methods. The best thing you can do is to just get gardening, have fun and see how it goes. I will be doing an ongoing series for 2014 called: How to Have A More Successful Vegetable Garden. The key word is more... each year we improve a bit. The series will follow my general path in the garden which typically starts with getting ready to grow plants indoors in my grow-closet come January.

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My First Vegetable Garden

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