How to prepare your family to survive and thrive in todays uncertain world

Garden Season 2013 Begins

grow-lightSo with the climate here being different from what we’re used to, and colder at this time of year, I’m going to be making a much deeper foray into seed starting and early growing in the house.

While I’d prefer to do much of this outside in a green house, that’s just not in the cards until we move.  So not only the seed starting happens inside, but also a fair amount of the early vegetative stage as well.

It definitely feels a little odd to be close to starting with the garden when there’s still a foot of snow on the ground.  Totally not used to that.

Anyhow, I talked at length with a guy who runs a local hydroponics shop.  While I’m sure most of his customers aren’t growing vegetables like we are, he had some good advice.

I’ll be taking the grow rack concept I had last year and building out a new one that is somewhat similar, but has more focused lighting requirements.

There will be a detailed post with pictures and so on once it’s done (the fixtures and  bulbs are on order) so for now a quick summary will have to suffice.

For the first stage of sprouting and growth I’ll have fixtures with a mix of warm and cool white light, which is a well known and accepted way of getting seeds started indoors.

Once the true leaves are out, I’ll put them under a blue spectrum light.  I talked to the grow guy and he said that all the research right now says that blue light is fine for vegetative growth and full spectrum lighting isn’t necessary.

We’ll use a simple timer to turn the lights on and off, aiming for about 18 hrs of ‘sunlight’ for the plants.  I’ll wrap the rack with cardboard or something so that the light (and heat) will be contained.

That’s the quick version.  Still need to order some new seeds this week … as is usually the case I intend to grow way more than I should.  Oh well.  It’s fun, right?

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3 Responses to Garden Season 2013 Begins

  1. My first seeds arrived in the mail yesterday!! This will be my first year of starting seeds indoors and we’re on a budget that doesn’t provide for lighting but our place doesn’t have enough natural light. Sigh. The money will have to come from somewhere so what to cut this month? We’ll figure out something. Please give more info about the warm and cool lighting and what bulbs you will use for each. Thanks for sharing what you’re doing. Look forward to seeing your results.

  2. Do to the food shortages we started our garden early. Everything by seed.. We started everything in our home.I was wondering, I tried to grow corn and it has only grown about 6 inches and stopped. How do I get it back growing or do I just need to start over?

    • That’s a loaded question … it depends on where you’re at. The problem with starting early is you have to be able to either provide ample light of the correct wavelength or you have to time it so you can transplant outdoors before they get too big.

      There’s a few plants that shouldn’t be started and transplanted … peas and beans are a good example here. I think Corn is another.

      That doesn’t mean you can’t grow them indoors … the local hydroponics guy has corn growing indoors, but he’s not transplanting either.

      Hope this helps, feel free to email or leave another comment with more specific questions.