Thursday, March 04, 2010

We had a super set of Classes last evening but if you weren’t able to attend I will attempt to provide you the take home message.

Starting Seeds at Home Take Home Points:

• Lighting is very important. Regular Bright light Fluorescent bulbs will provide a very desirable visible spectrum for plant growth. They are as good or better than the so called plant grow bulbs. Do not use incandescent, too much heat, and not enough usable light spectrum.

• Lighting should remain on throughout the germination phase and as long as they are grown inside. A 16 hour cycle of lighting will be best and the light should remain 2 to 3 inches above the plant canopy while grown indoors for optimum growth.

• Air circulation is very important after germination for two reasons; it helps to reduce disease problems and it also helps to strengthen the stems.

• A soil thermometer will help you gauge temperature levels in the seed starting area. Different plants prefer different temps but as a general rule between 70 and 80 degrees will suffice.

• Light fertilization should begin shortly after germination and as a general rule begin with a halved rate of fertilize based on the indoor plant feeding directions found on the back of your choice of soluble fertilize.

• Pay attention to the planting depth of your seeds and cover lightly if necessary.

Backyard Greenhouses 101: From Building to Growing.
• Greenhouse construction is not an exact science. Your means, desires, and potential use will all play into what you end up with. This link, Hobby Greenhouse Construction, will help weigh all the options.

• Ventilation is one of the most important factors to consider. On a sunny day in late winter early spring a closed greenhouse can heat up past 120 degrees in no time flat.

• Best greenhouse skin is two walled Acrylic (expensive), next is twin walled Lexan (less expensive) and final best is two layer 6 mil clear poly (1/10 cost of the first two, but will only last three to four years).

• Disease, insect, and water management are the primary issues with growing in a greenhouse environment.

Just let me know if you need any more information.