How to Grow a Seed Inside With a Regular Light Bulb. Indoor lighting provides a way to start seedlings indoors, even if you have poor window exposure or long, overcast days. Seedlings grow best when provided with light that provides both red and blue light wavelengths. Fluorescent full-spectrum lights work best … Grow lights are a great tool for making the growing process more efficient. Here are 10 things you should avoid doing when using LED
How to Grow a Seed Inside With a Regular Light Bulb
Starting seeds indoors is a great way to get a head start on your garden. Seeds need the right conditions to grow, but you don’t need special grow light bulbs or fixtures. You can get enough light with regular household light bulbs.
Planting Seeds Indoors
Start seeds indoors weeks before the last frost in your area. The specific timing depends on the type of seed. Check the seed packet for instructions.
Sterilize your flats or seedling containers by dipping the clean containers in a solution that is one part bleach to nine parts water, advises the Alaska Master Gardener Blog. Rinse the containers and fill them with a sterile, soilless potting mix. Failing to sterilize increases the chances of damping off and seed infections. Place one to two seeds in each container at the depth indicated on the seed packet. Avoid packing the potting mix, as it can make it difficult for the seeds to grow roots.
Water the seeds so that the potting mix is moist but not wet and cover the containers with plastic wrap or place the containers in a bag and tie it closed. This helps to maintain moisture so that the seeds can germinate. Check the mix periodically and add water as needed. Place the containers on a heat mat to keep the soil warm in order to optimize seed germination.
Growing With Household LED Bulbs
Germination time varies depending on the plant. Once you notice seedlings start to emerge, remove the plastic from the trays and take them off the heat mat. Place them under a light so that they can continue to grow. You don’t need to invest in grow light fixtures; you can grow seedlings under a regular household or shop light. Seedlings need approximately 16 to 18 hours of bright light each day, advises Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service.
There are several lighting options to consider. Growing with household LED bulbs is a good option because LEDs are energy efficient and don’t produce too much heat that may burn the seedlings. Fluorescent bulbs will also work. They usually cost less to purchase but are not as energy efficient as LEDs, nor do they last as long, advises the University of Minnesota Extension. Incandescent lights can work and are cheap to purchase, but they have several drawbacks. They are the least energy efficient, and they generate heat that can damage fragile seedlings.
Position the light about 2 to 4 inches above the seedling. You will need to continuously move the light up to maintain distance between the top of the plant and the bulbs. Connect a timer and schedule it so that the seedlings are automatically getting the required 16 hours of light each day.
Preparing Seedlings for Transplant
If you opted for seed flats rather than larger containers, transplant the seedlings to a bigger pot when they have grown two leaves. This gives the roots plenty of room to grow and reduces the risk of the soil drying out. Take care not to damage the fragile stem when moving the seedlings.
Check the soil regularly and add water as needed to keep it moist. Every other time you water, also feed the plant with a water-soluble starter fertilizer. Follow the package instructions for application.
Begin to harden off the seedlings when they grow to approximately 3 inches tall. This will acclimate them to the varying conditions outdoors and decrease the risk of shock or injury when transplanted into your garden. Place the seedlings outdoors during the day, gradually exposing them to more and more direct sunlight. Bring them back indoors at night. After about two to three weeks, the seedlings will be ready for transplanting.
10 Mistakes to Avoid When Using LED Grow Lights
Grow lights are a great tool for making the growing process more efficient, but they can also be harmful to the plant if not used correctly. Here are 10 things you should avoid doing when using LED and other types of grow lights.
Source: Maximum Yield, May 31, 2019
For people who use cannabis derived products on a regular basis, it is very tempting to try growing the plant at home. The benefits are quite obvious: the cost is drastically lower and there aren’t any hassles related to the actual purchase of medical marijuana.
Many people all around the world grow cannabis at their homes, be it for recreational or medicinal purposes, and while some of them do quite well and manage to produce a good product, for others it doesn’t work so well – their plants wither quickly or produce insignificant yields.
These issues can be related to improper usage of lighting. (The same issues affect other types of plants as well.) Grow lights are a great tool for making the growing process more efficient, but they can also be harmful to the plant if not used correctly.
In this article, we’ll provide you with the 10 most common things you should pay attention to when using LED grow lights so you can grow healthy looking plants and avoid any unnecessary hassle. This information is extremely relevant to beginners.
Overheating the Plants
You will know the plant is taking too much heat if the leaves that are closest to the light start turning brownish. The first signs look like thin outlines on the outside of the leaves, so if you catch this quickly you will have a chance to avoid further damage. If some of the leaves start curling up, it might also be a sign that the plant is too close to the light. Good ventilation usually also helps with this issue.
Providing Insufficient Lighting
It is important to consider the scale of your operations. Think about how many plants you’re growing and how many LED lights you’ll need in order to illuminate them properly. You should also be aware of the luminosity of the lights you’re using. For example, a 200W LED light is said to be sufficient for a yield of about 100 grams. Make sure that you have enough lamps but still look for a good balance between providing sufficient lighting and not overdoing it.
Setting the Lamps at an Improper Distance
Overheating or insufficient lighting can result from having too many or not enough lights, but it can also result from placing the lights too close or too far from the plants. There is no universal rule for setting the distance but it’s recommended that LEDs are placed 12 to 18 inches away from the plants.
Using Inferior Products
Light is among the most vital factors to consider when growing plants because it triggers the photosynthesis process. If you’re using regular incandescent lights, you’re not very likely to grow strong and healthy plants. Therefore, for best results it is recommended that you use full spectrum LED grow lights. They are specifically designed for the purpose and have the feature to deliver light in the exact spectrum the plant needs.
Selecting the Wrong Light Spectrum
In order to grow efficiently, plants need different types of light for each growth stage. With full-spectrum LED lights this is easily achievable, but if you select the wrong setting, the plant will not develop well. You should also take into consideration the conditions in the room where you’re doing the growing. For example, plants benefit most from light in the blue spectrum when they’re in the vegetative stage of growth. That means that if you set the light to emit light in the red spectrum, you will only be hindering the plant’s growth.
Using the Wrong Light Schedule
You should be careful not to leave the lights on all the time, or worse, the opposite – forget to turn them on. It might sound trivial but it’s quite easy to mess up the light schedule and even a minor change might have a negative impact the plant’s growth. Cannabis needs about 18-24 hours of light during the vegetative stage and 12 hours of light during the flowering stage.
Forgetting to Adjust the Lights
Many people forget to adjust the height of the lights as the plants grow bigger and end up with burnt leaves. Another important thing is to occasionally rotate the pots in order to prevent the plants from leaning towards the light too much.
Not Protecting and Maintaining the LED Lights
LED grow lights are your friend and an important investment, so you need to take proper care of them. They bring numerous benefits to the growing process and a little maintenance and preparation can save you a lot of trouble. It is recommended that you set up a power stabilizer and connect it to the lights in order to equalize the incoming voltage, thus protecting the chip inside the LEDs.
Overwatering When Switching from HIDs to LEDs
Regular HID lights produce a lot of heat and generate lots of infrared light. This dries out the plant and the soil and results in the need to water the plant more often. However, LED lights generate no infrared light and don’t emit nearly as much heat, so there is no need for abundant watering.
Not Considering the Other Factors
LED grow lights are a great aid when growing plants indoors but by themselves they cannot do much. In order to produce big and healthy yields there are a lot of factors that need to be considered – room temperature, airflow circulation, soil, nutrients, plant genetics, and many others things. Don’t just focus on a single part of the growing process. Instead, try to get an overall understanding of the whole chain and how everything is interconnected.
Grow lights are a vital piece of equipment that every aspiring grower should have. Although they are easy to use and set up, you should pay attention to this list of common mistakes and save yourself from headaches.