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lighting Picture of our seed starting rack with questions...

I built this 2' x 4' seed rack last Friday and I am getting it ready for this season. One row each of 32 and 60 cell Rootmaker trays and both will be lit with the 8 tube T5 HO Amazon fixtures. I have found that it's too big for our spare bedroom and the garage is full. The last option is the back porch that is fully covered but I would prefer enclosing it to prevent rodents and birds from getting to the plants.

I will use thermostat controlled heat mats, what is the minimum ambient air temperature that should be maintained?

Should the enclosure be reflective on the inside or is overhead only lighting preferred?


As the plants get bigger they'll start blocking out light to the bottom leaves so having reflective wall should help. As far as ambient temps Id say 68 to 75 degrees same range where humans would be comfortable plants should be too

I am looking at options now for reflective sides.

My girlfriend started annual flowers, to early IMO but I learned from a previous marriage not to argue LOL. She has a lot of varieties that have germinated and are looking good.

Soil temps have been high, 80+ with the lights on so I have turned the heat mats down pretty low.

We keep the house cool, really cool (lucky me) and the rack is in a spare bedroom so I am sure we will get the soil temperature under control.