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New to this... germination under lights question.


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#1 MegaSpokaneMan

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 11:07 PM

Hey all,

I have my first round of seeds in the dirt (first because I am still waiting for the majority of my seeds to come in the mail). My question: do they need to be under light ? Are fluorescent lights going to provide enough heat for germination to take place ? Currently I have them under three T8's and next to two others. Let me show you what I have going on:

Posted Image

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Am I on the right track ?

#2 meinchoh

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 11:21 PM

Light will do nothing for germination - moist (not wet) soil and warmth (82-85 degrees) are the most important factors...Keep the soil moist and use a heating source UNDERNEATH and you'll do fine! Happy growing!!!! :) ....And :welcome:
John 14:16-17, Hebrews 13:2

#3 Siliman

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 11:30 PM

Yea, no need for light until they germinate. However....those lights MIGHT put off enough heat to get some germination going. Get a thermometer and put inside your dome and see what temps you get. You WILL need to measure in there or you might cook them, or it might run cold and take a longer time.

Otherwise, find a place that is warm from the bottom. My hot water tank worked great until I upgraded to a heat mat. Others have used computer modems, fridge tops. But do get a thermometer in your germination area to find out fo sho, and shoot for the 82-85F range during germination.

#4 PaulG

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 11:57 PM

Great advice from the master!

:welcome: from fellow Pacific Northwester, SpokaneMan!
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#5 MegaSpokaneMan

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 08:53 AM

Hey all thank you for the information: Sadly there are a bunch of pipes shooting out of the top of my water heater. Will a small modem really provide that kinda heat ? Anyone every place seed tray on a home heat vent? We keep our home at 60 when we are gone and 68 when we are home. Think I would get good temps by placing a seed tray on they vent then covering the whole thing with a blanket ? I should just order a heat mat... I hate spending money.

#6 patrick

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 09:01 AM

Great advice from everyone. I'd just like to add a couple of things. One is the florescent lights probably won't generate enough heat to get the temps up to a good level, definitely get the thermometer. If you're keeping the house at 60 through 68 setting the tray over a vent won't do much good either since the furnace isn't going to run often enough to keep the temps consistent, blanket or not. You don't have to spend the money on a heat mat, they weren't around back in the day and farmers sure don't use them. Just be prepared to wait a month or longer before you see any seedlings peeking through the soil.

Best of luck to you MSM
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#7 theghostpepperstore

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 09:12 AM

I have been known to set flats of seeds on top of my refrigerator when I run out of room. Just being 6ft off the ground can get you 2 or 3 degrees warmer, on top of my frige is usually 5 - 6 degrees warmer than the rest of the room.
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#8 Siliman

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 02:05 PM

... Will a small modem really provide that kinda heat.... I should just order a heat mat... I hate spending money...


My bad, the modem trick is used by some when germinating seeds in baggies or little cups, not a full tray.

Patrick may be right--I was thinking of 4-ft T8s which I use and get temps to 80F no problem. Looks like yours are 2-footers, for a total of 5 bulbs? If you enclose the area with foil and get the lamps right down near the top of the dome, you might still pull it off. Never know till you try.

Click this link to the True Glog Master of the NW--scroll to the bottom of page one to see his enclosure/germ station using lights:
PaulG: master of time, space, light and heat

I hear what you're saying about heat mat purchase, specially for a small grow. (Plus you pretty much need the spendy $30 thermostat also, IMO).

So get your enclosure going, get a thermometer in there and find out! And next time you drive to Boise, bring me a few bales of ProMix BX. You can get it for $34 there, and it's $60 here!

Edited by Siliman, 23 February 2012 - 02:06 PM.


#9 MegaSpokaneMan

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 08:22 PM

Hey All,

So I bought a couple of heat mats, now I can't get temps below 90. Seriously do not have 60 bucks to spend on thermostats. Any ideas ? Also, Here are a couple of pics of my set-up as it is now. I have 60 jiffy pots (the larger disc size). Think I am close to enough light to get these guys going for a couple months ?

All comments are appreciated.

The light board height is adjustable.


Posted Image


Not sure about the Kelvin rating on these lights, three of them are Lights of America Grow Lights, the other two are Lights of America under cabinet lights.

Posted Image


- MegaSpokaneMan

Edited by MegaSpokaneMan, 25 February 2012 - 08:30 PM.


#10 Siliman

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 02:05 PM

Darn, i was hoping the temps from the lights would do it in your domes w/o the heat mats. Oh, well. Pash posted a solution in a nearby thread called "humidity in domes" . He put some cardboard between the mat and tray to reduce the temp.

To get more info on your bulbs, you might Google-search the name and numbers of your grow lights and find their lumens and color temp. Looks like a good grow area, but keep in mind flouro lighting is really effective only directly below the 'footprint' of the lamp fixtures. Keep the bulbs close to the sprouts, as they run pretty coool.

Good luck... :cool:

Edited by Siliman, 26 February 2012 - 02:05 PM.


#11 Lando

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 03:29 PM

It is looking good :)
you might find this link helpful

http://fatalii.net/g...id=12&Itemid=26

#12 patrick

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 07:39 PM

You can put a towel or something between the heat mat and the seeds to lower the temps. 90F and above is getting into the cook the seeds range. If you're going to continue to use it you should probably get a thermostat. I'm not familiar with the bulbs you listed, are they T5's or T8's or something that you find a Walmart or Target? If it's the latter you'll want them within three inches of the tops of the plants. I don't use the "T" bulbs so can recommend a distance.
Patrick
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