Saturday, March 21, 2009

Indoor Plant Light

To help fill the new expanded garden space we decided to upgrade the desk lamp grow light so we can start more seedlings indoors. Last year I attempted to start some brassicas without artificial light, but even though they sat at a south facing window it was not enough. The plants grew tall and spindly and fell over and entangled with each other, making separation fatal for some. According to some more experienced gardeners I also started them too early which was part of the problem (early April). Fortunately many survived the transplanting and produced a bountiful harvest.

This four foot Shoplight from Canadian Tire ($25) should help the plants get a better start. I installed two 40W "plant & aquarium" wide spectrum bulbs (~$6 each).

The lettuce and cilantro planted last December really perked up under the new light, with larger and more numerous leaves, especially the lettuce. The large green pillar behind is a Yellow Plumeria, a souvenir from family, bought in Kauai but native to Mexico, Central America & Venezuala. So far it hasn't done much, but likely slow growing in the less than ideal untropical conditions.

I started some Prairie Pride Tomatoes, North Star Sweet Bell Peppers & Southport White Globe Onions on March 7. This is a relatively early start for tomatoes, the plan being to stagger some plantings to spread out the harvest over the summer. I was lazy and didn't bother disinfecting the planter (not even sure if possible without destroying these flimsy disposable type seedling starters), so we'll see how much that effects things. Two cells (peppers) did not germinate, but everything else did within a week or so.