Garden Quest 2015 #002 – It’s working. Maybe?

 

Grow little seedlings, grow!

Grow little seedlings, grow!

 

I think things are going okay. It’s been 14 days since I sowed mesclun mix indoors. I’ve played around with the light position of the HPS grow light. I’ve wondered if HPS was a mistake (spoiler: I think yes) versus a T5HO fluorescent option. But plants ARE growing. That’s what they’re supposed to do. I am a bit worried about how leggy everything seems, so I’m strongly debating adding a T5 fixture so that the good crops like lettuce and broccoli aren’t set back by a bad grow light.

The math in my previous post is pretty wrong. No way does this fixture provide enough light for three trays. I’ve tried a few different heights, but I’d guess one tray, maybe two, tops.

The spinach I sowed, however, was a miserable failure. I got <15% germination, so I’m starting over with a fresher batch of seed and the old seeds will get tossed somewhere out of the way once the soil is workable.

Garden Quest 2015 002-02

To ensure very little light is wasted, I rigged up some reflectors using stockpiled cardboard boxes, aluminum foil, and generous amounts of painter’s tape. To the naked eye, it does seem brighter over the tray. Not pictured is a little gap in the reflector to allow a fan to blow through, as I’d forgotten about how important air circulation is when growing indoors. (A gentle breeze stimulates stronger stems and helps avoid fungal growth.)

Garden Quest 2015 002-03

I decided I should probably plug in my heat mats just to make sure they work. And no matter what happens with the grow lights – success, failure, whatever – it’s better than looking at the current state of my outdoors garden:

Garden Quest 2015 002-04

Winter, you give me a sad face.

 

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