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Friday, January 1, 2016

Lighting and Vegetable Seed Starting Closet Principles and Design Ideas: Save Money and Grow More Vegetables in Your Garden

Lighting and Vegetable Seed Starting Closet Principles and Design Ideas:
Save Money and Grow More Vegetables in Your Garden

Please Visit The Rusted Garden Vegetable Seed and Garden Shop

Some great reasons to seed start your own vegetables indoors are:
  1. You will save money over buying transplants
  2. You will be able to start different varieties of vegetable plants you can't  buy as transplants
  3. You will have a great activity to enjoy during the cold months
  4. You will be able to maximize space and production in your garden
Cost does not have to be expensive. If you have extra money, you can certainly buy pre-made systems that are very effective as they can cost 100's of dollars. If you have a tighter garden budget, you can make grow light systems in your closet or even in totes pretty inexpensively. It is an upfront cost for that year but you can use them for years and years after the initial build. The money you spend building the lighting system gets paid back in the ability to plant more in your garden, spend less on transplants and through buying less store vegetables. Here is is video that presents a couple of design ideas.

Starting seeds indoors will actually save you 100's of dollars. Sometimes even in the first year. Grow light stations aren't just for vegetable plants. You can also start rosemary and lavender.  All kinds of other herbs too. They easily sell for $3 a transplant. You can start perennial flowers and annuals. Add in starting peppers, tomatoes, eggplant and other transplants that can run $2-$3 a plant and the saving starts. Not to mention you can start flats of lettuces, peas, kale and all kinds of cool weather crops.

Aside from saving money on transplants, you also maximize space and production. Basically, while your garden beds are full with actively maturing plants... you start their replacement transplants indoors. As the cool weather crops might be coming to an end, you already have mature transplants of warm season crops to replace them. You easily replace them with transplants that mature more quickly and thus bring you more vegetable production. The indoor systems can also be used in mid July to start seeds as the house temperatures help manage the high heat that quickly dry out seed starting kits left in the sun. Here are a few light systems you can make for your home. 

If you love growing tomatoes and peppers, you will have the chance to buy seeds from catalogs that literally opens your garden to 1000's of varieties you can't find as transplants at your local stores. A lot of people ask why not just put a seed in the ground? That of course works but we all don't have long growing seasons or we like to have  vegetable plants mature earlier in the year so we end up with more production. And it is really a lot of fun to grow plants in the winter months. 

The final thing you need to understand is lighting. You have to learn what the terms Kelvin and Lumens means and the videos below will explain it to you. These values come in ranges that effect the growth of seedlings. You need the right ranges.

Generally speaking, how long to leave the lights on varies in my videos. To keep it simple, you want the lights on for 16 hours and off  for 8 hours. Absolutely invest in a timer to make this easier for you. It is worth it! Understanding these values will let you buy inexpensive lights at your local stores instead of paying too much for lights sold as plant grow lights. The two videos below are essentially the same but come from my two different YouTube Channels if you are interested in subscribing to them.

The videos above will give you enough information for understanding the principles needed to build you own grow light stations. I hope you give it a try. You will love having something to do in the cold months and it really saves money. Here are more videos on the subject too if you didn't get your fill.

Good Luck with Your Garden,
Gary (The Rusted Garden)

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