Outdoor growing can be especially problematic for gardeners who live in areas where seasonal change is unpredictable and getting a jump on growing just isn’t possible. After all, nothing can signal disaster for spring plants faster than a late season cold snap after seedlings have been planted into the ground. Plant lights and an indoor space to help those seedlings thrive under better conditions, however, can turn the tables on Mother Nature.
Getting started with indoor growing doesn’t have to be a big undertaking either. While hydroponic designs work extremely well, they are costly, complex and might take up a little more space than the average backyard gardener really wants to dedicate. Indoor plant lights solve that problem. Here’s how to get started:
- Stake out a space – Unlike hydroponic setups that require a fair amount of space for all the materials, indoor plant lights deliver a more compact option. These lights fit into any ordinary socket and deliver the lights plants need to thrive. That means growers really only need an area big enough for their plants. A simple table where a light can be affixed above in the corner of a room will do. The entire garage or an unused bedroom does not have to be dedicated to the cause – unless that’s the desire.
- Set up the lights – Plant lights should be placed above the growing area, but not so high up they fail to cast a steady stream of light on the seedlings below. The height of the lights will depend on their power. Be sure to read the product recommendations closely. A good rule of thumb is about 1 to 3 feet, depending on that power.
- Pick out the plants – Green leafy plants tend to do the best under plant lights. For growers that means lettuce, indoor house plants and other seedlings that are a good fit for the particular light. Make sure seeds are properly planted in trays with nutrient rich soil and do keep up with watering as the lights are used. If the plan is to grow entirely inside without an outdoor transfer, be mindful of the need to move seedlings into larger pots as they really begin to thrive under the plant lights.
Getting started with seasonal growing can be a crapshoot when it comes to timing. Plant lights provide an edge that enables growers to more readily control the conditions that help lead a project to success.