Saturday, February 20, 2010

Seeds to Plants

My seeds germinated nicely in our bathtub.  Now, they can be moved to the shop to grow under the full spectrum grow lights.  The cold of the shop won't bother little plants at all.  It isn't freezing in the shop since it is attached to the house.  It is just too cold to germinate seeds down there.  We can work in the shop comfortably wearing a sweatshirt on most days.
As you can see from this picture, most of my seeds sprouted into little plants.  This was good considering my seeds were several years old.  I do keep them in the refrigerator while we aren't using them.
Here is a picture of the grow cart that Michael made.  If you look at the shelf with the plants, you can see that the lights are very low to the plants.  They are almost sitting on top of the plants, but they aren't touching them.  This is a very important step in growing young plants under grow lights.  If you leave the lights far away from the plant, the plants will grow leggy.  They will not grow a sturdy root system.  Instead, they will put all of their energy into growing the stem long to reach the light.  These plants will never mature into good plants because their root systems are so weak.  We hang our lights on chains that can be moved up and down as needed depending on the size of the plants.  We can also add more lights to double our growing area.  We just don't need them right now, and the full spectrum grow lights are expensive.  I am sure I will be purchasing them when we are growing our next batch of plants.  I will let my little plants grow a bit more in their tray to let the root systems get stronger.  In the next few days, I will be transplanting each plant into its own little pot.  This is when the work really starts!

grace and peace,


TX Doodler said...

Julie,I love how detailed you got in this post. Your photos & explanations were great. Once again you've inspired me. I still have all of my heirloom seeds in the fridge from last year. I think I'm going to give it a try again this spring. With all your helpful tips,maybe I can get some plants going this year.

My beans took real hardy & grew high faster than the rest of the seeds last year. What is your recommendation on how high or when to repostition the grow lights with varied heights?

TnFullQuiver said...

Tx Doodler,
I am so sorry it has taken this long to answer your question. Please forgive me. When my plants are tiny, I keep my grow lights almost touching them. I watch them daily because they grow so quickly. Each day I move the lights up just a bit as needed. This is what keeps those stems from becoming leggy. We hang our lights on chains so we can move them one link at a time. Hope this helps. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask me..maybe I will be better about answering in a timely fashion! Happy Growing!!!
grace and peace,