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Old March 29, 2018   #31
ginger2778
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Enchant don't forget to rotate the cells everyday, turn them around so all seedlings get light exposure. You might want to get new bulbs or new shoplights which are cheap. I think your lights themselves are weakish.
1&1/2 inches from the bulb is fine as far as distance.
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Old March 29, 2018   #32
enchant
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Good advice, Marsha. I actually do that multiple times a day. Once I see the seedlings bending toward the light, I know it's time to rotate them.

I was going to research this on my own, but plain old fluorescent from Lowes are just as good as expensive "grow lights" sold at a nursery, right?
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Old March 29, 2018   #33
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A new shop light is only $40.
But most like a light that is about 6500K, 4 ft long, 4 tube bulbs or more, t5 or t8 wide bulbs.This will cost more, but I think it's worth it. Mine us so strong that my seedlings can't get closer than about 4 inches, because it puts out some heat too. I have to watch the water in the seedling mix carefully.I spent about $120 on it, but its a one time expense, might need new replacement bulbs in a few years, but those are cheap.
In my opinion, grow lights are NOT the place to economize.

And you do not need to micromanage every single seedling's growth, just keep the light closest to the tallest. Once you get that leggyness under control, and you see how much stronger they are from the getgo, you will never go back to the philosophy that leggy is OK because they get strong after transplant. You will see the permanent differencd a great start gives them.
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Old March 29, 2018   #34
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4' long is probably a lot more than I need. I only have 36 plants. I don't see anything locally that would serve me well. But I'm seeing this at amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Light-4lamps-.../dp/B009GU4RMC
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Old March 29, 2018   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enchant View Post
4' long is probably a lot more than I need. I only have 36 plants. I don't see anything locally that would serve me well. But I'm seeing this at amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Light-4lamps-.../dp/B009GU4RMC
Looks perfect
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Old March 29, 2018   #36
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I hear ya enchant. I suppose it depends on what your temps are, but I've never needed a dome to germinate. Just sow seeds, sprinkle a bit of soil - and literally, they go under the lights immediate. I adjust the lights as they go. You might get's some stragglers that take longer to germinate but usually you just keep the light at the highest one per se.....

Having the light immediate IMO plays a huge role on
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Old March 29, 2018   #37
enchant
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but I've never needed a dome to germinate.
I honestly don't know that I absolutely need the dome, but I figure it does a couple of things. It keeps them moister longer and it keeps the heat from the heating pad contained more.
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Old March 29, 2018   #38
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Looks perfect
Agree, perfect.
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Old March 29, 2018   #39
ginger2778
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Quote:
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I honestly don't know that I absolutely need the dome, but I figure it does a couple of things. It keeps them moister longer and it keeps the heat from the heating pad contained more.
And it increases the damping off danger by like 1000X. I hate domes.
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Old March 29, 2018   #40
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Hard to tell, but it looks like diffuser shields over the bulbs. If so, I'd remove them. Also what's your lighting schedule? On seedlings I'm a minimum of 12on and 12off, and prefer 16on/8off.
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Old March 29, 2018   #41
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Hard to tell, but it looks like diffuser shields over the bulbs. If so, I'd remove them. Also what's your lighting schedule? On seedlings I'm a minimum of 12on and 12off, and prefer 16on/8off.
No, there are no diffuser shields over the bulbs. The bulbs might be custom-constructed with diffusion material, but the entire thing is molded down into the electrical sockets at the ends. However, the point is moot as I'm either going to buy new lights today or get them delivered on Saturday from Amazon.

I turn the lights on when I get up in the morning and off on my way to bed. So 16on/8off.
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Old March 29, 2018   #42
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I turn the lights on when I get up in the morning and off on my way to bed. So 16on/8off.
Perfect
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Old March 29, 2018   #43
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When the first seedling pops, put them under lights. The rest will sprout just fine.

Nan
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Old March 29, 2018   #44
enchant
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Lots of notes for next year's crop. Thanks again!
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Old April 8, 2018   #45
enchant
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A quick progress report.

Well, it appears my babies were definitely starved for light. That's the thing about fluorescents. They don't just pop out like incandescent lights. They slowly fade away. Over the years, I didn't realize how much they must have faded. When I turned this new light on, it was shockingly bright and white. The plants love it. Their stems are getting thick and hairy, the real leaves are coming in strong, and in general, they just look a lot stronger than they have at this point in their life cycle over past years (I keep copious logs).

The only thing is that now that they're transplanted into pots, I could really use another of these lights to fully cover all of them. But when I mentioned to my wife that I'd like to buy another light, she gave me that look. Apparently I've spent enough for this year, especially after having to buy 36 pairs of teeny tiny sunglasses.

So thanks again everyone for the suggestions.

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