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Old 03-28-2014, 09:44 PM   #1
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Seedling and Lighting Question

I'm using an old florescent light fixture I pulled out of a house we renovated to start my seeds this year. It has a diffuser on it.

Is it better to take the diffuser off and let the plants grow towards the bare bulbs or use the diffuser?

I know I should get the correct spectrum bulbs but budget rears it's ugly head and I'll use what I have.

I've kept the diffusers on so far and the spinach is going good so far. Just wanted to hear from those of you who have more experience then me the best way to go on starting seeds.

Once the weather allows me to put them outside that's where they go but I'd like to get a head start and hope some of you with experience could point me in the right direction.

Thanks in advance and the best of luck in your harvest.

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Old 03-28-2014, 09:51 PM   #2
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I would take the diffuser off. I'm assuming by diffuser, you mean something underneath the tubes, and not the sides of the fixtures? I used to grow all my flowers and veggies under grow lights in the basement, and just used standard fluorescent fixtures with a mix of cool and warm tubes, and later, the more expensive grow tubes. With seeds, they really don't care, it's when they get to be bigger plants that they may start to get leggy.
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Old 03-28-2014, 10:11 PM   #3
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I didn't realize that seedlings don't really benefit from the specialized grow lights. It makes sense though. Thanks for the info Dawg.
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Old 03-28-2014, 10:13 PM   #4
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Thanks Dawgluver.

Yes I mean the cover under the tubes that softens the light.

I kind of figured it would be better to remove it but didn't know if it might improve the spectrum of light for the plants.
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Old 03-28-2014, 10:23 PM   #5
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While I'm here. Does the amount of light matter?

I was taught they need to rest but I've also been told to keep the light on 24/7.

I have them on a timer and give them 16 hours now.

Ma Nature lets them rest so why shouldn't I?

Soon they'll be out with Ma so I'll let her worry about light.

I'll just have to worry about how to keep those damned snails away.
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Old 03-28-2014, 10:31 PM   #6
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While I'm here. Does the amount of light matter?

I was taught they need to rest but I've also been told to keep the light on 24/7.

I have them on a timer and give them 16 hours now.

Ma Nature lets them rest so why shouldn't I?

Soon they'll be out with Ma so I'll let her worry about light.

I'll just have to worry about how to keep those damned snails away.
Surround the edge of your garden with just plain table salt. Kills them instantly. And should they get past that, just a few grains sprinkled on them will do the job also. Not too much. You don't want to make your soil to salty.
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Old 03-28-2014, 10:34 PM   #7
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I kept mine on timers, 16 hours is fine. Again, as little seedlings, they really can handle any light conditions, especially when you're going to put them outside soon. It's the bigger plants that can get leggy, but they grow out of that once they're outside. Put the light source as close as possible without touching the seedlings. Watch out for damping off.
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Old 03-28-2014, 10:39 PM   #8
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Surround the edge of your garden with just plain table salt. Kills them instantly. And should they get past that, just a few grains sprinkled on them will do the job also. Not too much. You don't want to make your soil to salty.
Oh dear, no salt! It will poison the soil and not much will grow. Try jar caps with a bit of yeast and water, or beer. Diatomaceous earth sprinkled around will work as well, but it disappears when it rains and you need to reapply.
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Old 03-29-2014, 09:19 AM   #9
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Oh dear, no salt! It will poison the soil and not much will grow. Try jar caps with a bit of yeast and water, or beer. Diatomaceous earth sprinkled around will work as well, but it disappears when it rains and you need to reapply.
+1. Diatomaceous earth has worked great for me.
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Old 03-29-2014, 11:30 AM   #10
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Surround the edge of your garden with just plain table salt. Kills them instantly. And should they get past that, just a few grains sprinkled on them will do the job also. Not too much. You don't want to make your soil to salty.
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Oh dear, no salt! It will poison the soil and not much will grow. Try jar caps with a bit of yeast and water, or beer. Diatomaceous earth sprinkled around will work as well, but it disappears when it rains and you need to reapply.
Salt will kill any plants it comes into contact with. I would not use it anywhere near my garden.
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