For many people extended garden seasons mean artificial light. Starting seeds gets a jump start on the season but setting up fluorescent grow lights is more than just turning a light on.
Drainage and heat also make a big difference in the success of your growing lights. Knowing the soil temperature and proper water issues can get seeds off to a great start or doom them to failure. Good drainage is important as well as air and soil temperature in the room. Without consideration of these factors even the best of grow lights is doomed to failure.
Fluorescent grow lights have advantages in altering the amount of light seedlings get to a consistent time. The use of timers when setting up fluorescent grow lights means they will be a known amount of light given to the seedlings. Unlike daylight hours which vary from summer to winter, the use of grow lights can give you 12-14 hour days in February. Along with proper soil health and temperature, this helps to insure success with higher germination rates.
For the gardening enthusiast this is a big factor! This is what, in many parts of the country, allows for healthy young tomato and pepper seedlings that are well grown and often producing flowers when those waiting to plant outside are just getting started. Grow lights along with indoor grow tents allow getting produce earlier in the season due to an earlier start and paying attention to those key points of light, temperature and water.
This can also allow for an extended season in other ways. You can start outdoor seedlings and transplant at the same time, allowing multiple crops in a different way than succession planting. For those with limited space you could start the year with one variety of heirloom plants and end with another, reducing the chances of cross pollination.
There are many reasons to consider setting up fluorescent grow lights but the ability to produce consistent, healthy produce is a big one!
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