Grow Lights Grow!

Less than three weeks ago I posted about my new grow light setup.  I’m happy to report that things are working out well.  We picked our first small salad today.  The top picture shows thinnings and cuttings of a salad mix that germinated profusely.  The mix can be seen in the second flat from the right in the second picture.

On the far right I’ve got a flat of lettuce mix which did not have spectacular germination, but is still putting out some nice plants.  I used a lot of old seed, so there are some bare spots, but I’ll fill those in with new seed.  I hope to have continuous production out of this setup until it will have to make way for seed starts for the outside garden.

I’ve got enough room for three flats with a little bit of room left over.  I had some tomato seedlings that volunteered out of nowhere.  I’m guessing they came in with the compost I mixed into my potting soil.  I saved the four biggest plants and potted them off.   I can’t devote this space to trying to grow tomatoes to maturity, but once the plants are a little bigger, I’ll see if they can make it in the sunroom.  This will be an experiment.  If I can keep them alive until warm weather, I may have a chance at some very early tomatoes.

Behind the tomatoes is a Sweet Marjoram plant we picked up at the Madison Herb Fair.  Judy has been cutting from it.  Some went into Thanksgiving stuffing and some went into soup. The marjoram is putting out a lot of new leaf under the lights.

On the far left some basil seedlings just put out their second leaves.  Half the flat is bare.  I seeded really old spinach seed that never got out of the ground, leaving a bare patch.  I’ll spread out the basil in this flat, but still drop in a few new salad seeds to get production out of all the soil space.

I’m confident we’ll get a lot of greens from our grow lights before I have to use the space for starting my garden vegetable seedlings.  I’ll start my onions in late February, with everything else following in late March and early April.  When that time comes I’ll move the flats of greens to the sunroom.  Hopefully, with the longer spring days, we can keep things going in the much cooler sunroom without the aid of auxiliary lighting.  But as I continue to ramp up indoor food production, I may have to invest in another heat mat.

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One Response to “Grow Lights Grow!”

  1. Anneliese says:

    I was hoping to have my own indoor salad garden, too, but Mojo the kitty cat ate all my lettuce seedlings this morning. I guess I’ll have to replant the EarthBox and then figure out how to cat-proof it. I’ll also have to watch where I step when I get home tonight. Odds are good that I’ll find partially digested lettuce seedlings in a hairball blob on the bathroom floor.