When growing garden plants from seeds, you sometimes have to start them inside well before the summer growing season. Some plants have a very long germination period, like peppers. It is recommended to begin growing peppers from seeds indoors well before the first week of March if you want to have a fruitful pepper season in the heat of summer. But what happens when you do not have enough light in your home during those winter months?
You implement a grow light! Grow lights have different wattages, just like light bulbs, so choosing the proper wattage is important. This leaves you wondering, can I put seedlings under 600w bulbs?
Yes, you can put your two-week-old seedlings under 600w bulbs. You will want to pay attention and ensure that the lights are at least 24 inches away from your seedlings to avoid wilting or stressing out the plant. You can begin lowering the grow lights by about an inch every other day, closely monitoring how your seedlings are reacting.
If they begin to wilt, raise the light back up and allow your plant to return to normal before progressing. Read on to learn more about grow lights and how to implement them in your home garden.
Do I Need a Grow Light For Seedlings
No, you do not necessarily need a grow light for starting seeds. You could place your seed pots in a northern-facing window and hope for the best. This method is tried and true and is what most gardeners have been doing for centuries.
However, as the understanding of plants and the science of gardening has evolved, grow lamps have become an important part of indoor gardening. Seedlings need a lot of energy to grow from a small sprout to a mature, fruit-bearing plant.
Grow lights help provide more of the vital component of photosynthesis for plants, sunlight. Plants take the energy from the sun or grow lamps and turn it into sugar to be stored in their little plant bodies. They then use this energy to grow and repair themselves.
With grow lamps, you can control how much light your plants are getting. Most sun-loving plants, such as tomatoes or peppers, thrive in 7-9 hours of light but will love up to 18! Just be sure to give your plants at least 12 hours of darkness for rest and repairing themselves.
Can I Use Grow Lights In My Greenhouse
Greenhouses are an amazing addition to any garden. If you want to have produce year round, a greenhouse with grow lights is essential. Thanks to the grow lights, you can have a consistent garden all year, even in winter.
Just be sure that the temperature in your greenhouse does not dip too low. You will also want to grow your vegetables in pots, not in the ground, due to colder ground temperatures than the air in the winter if you live in a place that gets frost or snow.
If you do not want to tend to your garden greenhouse every day, you can set your grow lights on timers. This will help create consistency for your plants. They will always get the same amount of light during the same parts of the day, allowing them both times of photosynthesis and rest. The benefits of using grow lights in your greenhouse are endless and non-negotiable if you want a year-round garden.
Can I Use A Regular Light As A Grow Light
If you are new to plants or are unsure about investing in a grow light, you may be wondering if you can use a regular light as a grow light. The answer is not necessarily a simple yes or no. All plants need light to perform photosynthesis, so any light should work technically.
The short answer is, yes, you can use a regular light bulb as a grow light. However, a standard light bulb will not provide the range of color that a grow light produces. So while you can use a regular bulb to grow plants, they will not be as beneficial as a proper grow light.
Are All Grow Lights White
While all grow lights seem to give off white-colored light, the light combines different colors and wavelengths. You should choose your color and wavelengths based on what benefit you are looking for. The most common types of light in grow lights are either blue light or red light.
Blue light helps your plants’ leaves and foliage grow and thrive. If you grow your plants for their flowers or fruit, you will want to pick red light. Do not let the red or blue light terms confuse you; while these lights are “colored,” they do not look red or blue.
The light will still come off as white, and these color shifts are so small our eyes cannot tell the difference. In fact, we use red or blue lights all the time in our homes already. Blue light tends to be called cool, and red light is called warm. The best choice for a basic all-purpose grow light contains a balanced blue and red light combination. This will allow your plants to grow and benefit both their foliage and blooms.
Grow lights can seem confusing or unnecessary, but they can provide many benefits. Choosing a well-balanced red and blue light will be a great addition to any home garden or greenhouse. Implementing grow lights can help you grow plants in unique and difficult places all year-round instead of being limited to the sunshine of the summer months.
While they can help grow seedlings quickly and efficiently, keep the lights far enough away from fresh plants as they cannot handle immense light on their fresh leaves. It is best to keep your grow light about 24 inches from your two-week-old or older seedlings.
You can begin lowering your grow light inch by inch every few days until the light is about 8-10 inches from your plant. Grow lights do not need to be intimidating. Now you are ready to implement them into your home gardening practices.
Hi there, my name is Allie and welcome to my blog; GareningWithAllie!
Much of what you see written here is just our personal experiences with gardening. Along with the content I write here, there is also a unique collection of gardening topics covered by some of our close friends. I hope you find everything you read here to be helpful, informative, and something that can make your gardening journey the most lovely experience ever! With that said, Happy Gardening!