I blame Carol at May Dreams Gardens for making me seed crazy so early in the season. She posted a bunch of seed starting questions that were a lot of fun for me to answer. But now I've been spending way too much time thinking about seeds. My January is usually spent leisurely browsing seed catalogs with a nice cup of hot chocolate and thinking about all the possibilities. This year all my catalogs are already worn out and I've got post-it notes stuck to most of the pages and an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of what I'm ordering and from who. What happened to the hot chocolate?
Since then, Carol has moved on to ask other questions, like what makes you a gardener but I'm still stuck on the seeds. Oh well, I may as well just go with it. Expect more seed related posts this week.
I recently mentioned how I'm a big fan of Gardeners Self-Watering Seed Trays. Now it's time to talk lighting for seed starting.
I'm envious of everyone with nice bright sunny window sills. My house has gigantic eaves that keep all of my southern facing windows in the shade. Sure it's great for keeping the AC bills low, but terrible for starting seeds. When I start my seeds, I am forced to go down to the basement.
To grow things in a basement you need some artificial light. Luckily for me and my budget, starting seeds need a lot less light than growing plants completely inside. All of my seedlings go outside and grow in the real sun once the weather warms up. So there's no reason for me to invest in Metal Halide or HPS Lighting solutions. Regular 4 foot shop lights are just fine for my needs.
You could do a lot of research on what kinds of bulbs to buy for your shop lights. There's natural light, cool light, white light, grow lights, aquarium lights and they all have different amounts of green wavelengths and red wavelengths and etc, etc, etc. Here's what I did and I get great results. I bought at least one full spectrum light for each shop light. Done. Full spectrum lights only cost about $5 so they won't break the bank either.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have some more seed shopping to do.