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re: do it yourself 'grow' lights (grow19@aol.com)

  • Subject: [cg] re: do it yourself 'grow' lights (grow19@aol.com)
  • From: Don Boekelheide dboekelheide@yahoo.com
  • Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2005 10:35:37 -0800 (PST)

Hi, Judy,

I do the same thing, standard florescent bulbs in
cheapo fixtures, rigged up with a simple height
adjustment (mine are inexpensive chains from the
hardware store - I hook a simple 's' hook through the
fixture at each end and move it up by slipping the
hook into the next higher link of chain). I have 4
fixtures grouped next to one another (I grow out a lot
of seedlings), and use an old kitchen table as my
surface. I saw a cool set up a couple years ago at the
ACGA conference in Chicago, where somebody used those
open wire racks used in restaurant kitchens to make a
3 layered version.

I agree with Mike about lumins. From what I've seen
around here, the biggest beginner mistake is to keep
the lights far too high above the plants. They need to
be right down there, almost on top of the seedings,
and you move them up just above the seedlings as they
grow. Think '3 bears' for watering, too - not too
much, not too little, always there.

My setup is in our insulated but unfinished basement,
which stays quite a bit cooler than the rest of the
house. I sometimes use a plant heat pad for warm
lovers, but mostly not. Works great.

Good luck!

Don Boekelheide
Charlotte, NC

PS: Our community college horticulture program has a
big proper greenhouse not far from where I live - they
are so nice about letting me use their space
(including misting tables, etc, etc) that I don't rely
as much on my home set up any more. You might want to
check around at a nearby high school or community
college. The additional payoff is I get to show
students what veggie transplant growing is like, and,
even better, recruit volunteers and sometimes even
gardeners for local community gardens.

> From: Grow19@aol.com
> Date: Mon, 19 Dec 2005 15:22:08 EST
> To: community_garden@mallorn.com
> Subject: [cg] do it yourself 'grow' lights
> anyone have simple designs for inexpensive 'grow'
> lights; not for  
> hydroponics; for seed starting.  something simple
> for use in a classroom on  top of a 
> table.
> thanks!
> judy tiger, washington dc

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