Friday, March 23, 2012

Lights, Water, Grow!


By Alexis Kidd   Philadelphia Master Gardener Class of 2010

Growing seeds indoors requires more than seeds, soil and water. Your seedling plants need plenty of light to grow. This time of the year mother nature does not provide young seedling plants with the optimal amount of sun light they need.  Sixteen to eighteen hours a day light to grow! Therefore, it is necessary to provide your seedlings with artificial light.

To provide enough light, you can buy one of the very expensive grow light units that are on the market. Depending on the size of the unit, they can range in price from $100-$400.  Gardener’s must always make the decision when to spend on an item or save. In this case, I decided to save by building my own grow light stand with the help of You Tube. 

There are many how-to-videos on YouTube.  Click this link to view how to make your own grow light.    http://youtu.be/PRaculPMakY

I used 1 pvc pipe for additional stability. The cost of the pvc pipe and connectors is less than $10. The shop lights can be purchased at your local home repair store and cost about $10 each. You will also need to purchase two plant/aquarium lights ($10 each) for each light fixture. Plant/aquarium lights are usually smaller (size T8) than the standard florescent light, so make sure that the plant/aquarium light will fit your shop light.

TIP #1: Short on space? No need to glue the parts together…simply assemble, then when you are finished using the grow lights for the season, take the pieces apart for storage.

Tip #2: You don’t have to purchase the pvc snipes, simply use a hacksaw!

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