Germination Station – Lighting Your Seedlings

Friday, March 16th, 2018

Germination Station – DIY Indoor Seed Starting

Putting a few pots of seeds in a sunny South-facing window may be fine, but for those wanting to start enough seeds for a larger garden, we need a Germination Station! The simplest method is to buy a heavy-duty wire shelving unit. This gives you the most growing space in the smallest square-foot area of your home.

Seedlings in Trays

You’ll want to hang 4-foot long fluorescent shop lights from the underside of the shelves, with 2 light tubes each. There’s no need to purchase the fancy growing lights, regular fluorescent tubes will work just fine. Make sure to turn the lights off at night, so the plants don’t become stressed.

After germination, you’ll want to lower the lights (or raise the plants) to keep the tops of the plants just a smidge below the light tubes, so they’re almost touching. Keep the lights on for 12-14 hours per day, and keep raising them as your seedlings grow.

Watering is simple: pour water into the trays up to 1/4-inch deep, and let it stand for 30 minutes before pouring off any excess. If the top of the starting mix dries out, mist with a spray bottle. If the idea of spraying that much makes your hand cramp, try using an empty dish soap or condiment bottle with a squeeze top to dribble water over the surface without spilling.

Once the first set of true leaves appear, you can separate the crowded seedlings into individual containers. One method is to break the outer tines off of a plastic fork and use it to gently dig out the seedling. Only hold it by the seedling leaves, never hold the stem or the true leaves when transplanting.

Once your seedlings are in their new home, put them back under the lights right away.

For ideas on containers and trays for seedlings, look at our post on Choosing Containers.


Copyright 2018  Everwilde Farms

2 thoughts on “Germination Station – Lighting Your Seedlings”

Leave a Reply