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  • #71909
    Frank AKA seasider
    Participant

    Evening all. I am at the moment altering my home made propagator to make it a bit taller and renewing the polycarbonate sides. I try to grow bedding plants from seed as some of you will know having seen my efforts on here. I have never thought about lighting before, just set the seeds off and hope for the best. I do struggle a bit with seeds like Petunias, I know you can buy the plugs quite cheap but there isn`t much choice of trailing ones etc. I did better last year but I was wondering if they are short of daylight, does anyone use grow lights of any description or is it worth the bother?.

    #71914
    Yewbarrow
    Participant

    Have read about lighting and would think professional growers will use them at this time of the year to get stuff ready for us to buy, worth looking into

    #71915
    Frank AKA seasider
    Participant

    Hi Jenny yes I will have a look at some of the websites. it was just a thought really and was wondering if anybody else had tried it.

    #71942
    Allan
    Moderator

    Frank, Tony uses them for his onion growing, Message him and when he comes on, He will answer you.

    #71943
    Frank AKA seasider
    Participant

    Thanks Allan I have had quite a lot of messaging with Tony over the last few years mostly about growing spuds in tubs of which he is the expert I think, following his advice has certainly improved my yield a lot. I noticed he was on here a couple of days ago, I commented on his post, I will ask him about lights.
    Whats got me thinking about lights is I am just messing about trying to improve my home made propagator by making it a bit taller with new side panels etc. I was just looking at some of the very expensive ones on the market and a lot of them are selling lights so I just wondered if they are worth the bother. I followed your suggestions a year or 2 ago regarding Petunias from seed and I am certainly doing better. At first I had hardly any germinated but last year I got quite a lot enough for 2 baskets about 40 plants. The biggest problem I have now with them is sowing the tiny seeds, one year I tried mixing them with silica sand so I could see them but I think I used to much sand and they must have got partly covered so I only reared a few. I am now back to sowing on the top of compost but they are hard to spread thinly with them being black and tiny but I will persevere. :lol:

    #71944
    AliCat
    Participant

    Hi, my better half bought me a large T5 light system for Christmas last year. I used it for Chilli & Sweet Peppers as they need an early start to ensure good fruiting but do tend to get very leggy with early sowings without light. I used it on a timer switch & suspended it with its rise & fall ropes above my heated propagator. The difference they make to the sturdiness of the plant growth is quite astounding. Well worth the investment if you grow a lot of plants from seed

    #71948
    Frank AKA seasider
    Participant

    Thanks for that Ali, I am growing more of my own plants from seeds now, not that I need so many plants but I find you have a much better choice and at least they haven’t been brought on just for the Garden Centres so when you buy them they don’t always grow on very good. Plus it is an interest, I am not an expert at it but I keep asking questions and learning a bit more each year, learning from my mistakes. I will have a look at some lights. I grow mainly tomatoes, cucumbers, and bedding plants for tubs and baskets.

    #71949
    dandlyon
    Participant

    Frank you can get small grow tents that will sit on a garage bench, T5 florescent grow lights come in a range of sizes, they do not give off much heat so can be quite close to the plants. Control on / of with a timer, wilko timers do the job .I start my seeds in a propagator and wait ’till I pot them up before putting under lights, Great for getting short sturdy tomato plants

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    #71952
    Frank AKA seasider
    Participant

    Hi Tony thanks for that information, I see you don`t use grow lights until after germination. I usually start seeds off in a propagator in the greenhouse, which works pretty well, I am never too sure what to do after germination. Is it best then to remove the seedlings or do they need to stand in the propagator for the bottom heat with the grow light above? I am not sure what temperature they need to carry on growing, I probably leave them too long. I generally use propagator for seeds such as tomatoes, cucumber and bedding plants like petunia and anything else I fancy each year. I even use it to start off runner beans and peas to get even germination, I do remove these to the greenhouse bench once germinated and finally into a cold frame before planting out, but I am never too sure about bedding plants. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    #72095
    dandlyon
    Participant

    Frank when the seedlings start to straighten up I pot them up, to lift them out of the compost I use an old table fork. The supports do two things as the onions grow, they keep the onion upright so its an even shape and prevents the leaves falling over and stopping growth

    #72109
    Frank AKA seasider
    Participant

    Thank you Tony for that information, I will be getting started soon all being well. :good:

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