Apr 1, Choosing Garden Grow Lights for your Indoor Garden

Find out the cheapest and easiest ways to garden productively in this article.

Hi everyone, Jason from Jason’s Indoor Guide here. When I got started with hydroponic gardening more than 20 years ago, my first garden used rockwool cubes and B.C. Nutrients….and I remember thinking to myself yeah, sure, there may be a lot of advantages to gardening with hydroponics, for example there are very few pest problems, therefore very little pest control, no weeding, no plowing or tilling the soil, no soil testing or having to add things into the garden soil, no watering the garden….but for someone who just wants to grow their own vegetables and have more control over their food supply and the quality of the food that they eat, the cost of constantly having to buy grow media and hydroponic nutrients makes this an expensive hobby for most people.

I suppose when you take into consideration how much money you save NOT having to buy food at the grocery store, it is surely cheaper to grow your own food hydroponically even with the cost of high quality nutrients. Nevertheless, I didn’t have a whole lot of money to work with and I needed to make my efforts as affordable and effective as possible….and in the last 20 years I HAVE learned a thing or two!

As you browse through Jason’s Indoor Guide, you will notice all of the systems that I use personally are homemade systems. As I got 3 or 4 years of experience under my belt, I quickly adopted a preference to standing water systems and systems that use expanded clay pellets or lava rock, because the media is re-usable and it eliminates a huge operating expense. So once a hydroponic system is built, garden maintenance is minimal- check and adjust the nutrient solution daily, and to change it completely every 2 weeks….and the biggest operating cost is the hydroponic nutrients. (and the electric bill, lol).

And, regarding the cost of the nutrients….I experimented for about 3 years with making different compost teas and nutrient teas, but there is still a lot of expense $$$ associated with making high quality nutrient teas….like kelp meal, liquid seaweed, rock dust, bat guano, un-sulfured molasses, worm castings. You can eliminate a lot of this expense by becoming an expert at making high-quality colloidal humus compost, and use your properly made compost as the basis of your hydroponic nutrient solution.
Make a year's worth of compost in one week!What is colloidal humus? Make the world's best compost

Unfortunately, I have been gardening for over 20 years and I have only just recently mastered this difficult skill….and even then, only because I happened to find a very easy to follow, high quality technique and decided to follow the instructions to the letter. I produced more high quality compost in just one week than I was able to use in a whole year! I highly recommend it. It is one of the top 3 things you can do to increase the productivity of your food production efforts, while at the same time decreasing the amount of effort required to grow all of your own food, and decreasing the total cost of operating your food production system.

And when I say decrease operating costs, I mean decrease them to almost ZERO, especially if you are producing your own nutrients.

One final solution to eliminate the cost of your hydroponic nutrients: Imagine a hydroponic system that does not require you to buy any nutrients, does not require you to make your own compost, and does not require you to brew your own nutrient tea. Seriously! No cost and no effort as far as providing nutrients to your plants is concerned. Plus, at the end of the gardening cycle, you harvest all of your garden vegetables, PLUS YOU HARVEST FISH from the system!

Click Here to learn more!

This solution is aquaponics. If you are serious about producing all of your own food and being self-sufficient, this is the ultimate solution for reducing expenses (as much as possible), reducing the total amount of work required, and maximizing the productivity of your gardening efforts. I have been gardening for over 20 years, and it is the perfect food production solution in my opinion.

Produce garnden vegetables AND fish together. Eliminate fertilizer costs!

Besides mastering how to make high quality compost, learning aquaponics is one of the top 3 things you can do to increase your garden productivity, reduce your total costs, and reduce your total work. The product that I learned from is called Aquaponics4you. With all of my hydroponic gardening experience, the first time I came across the Aquaponics4you product I knew immediately that it was something very special! Place an aquaponics system outdoors and use the sun instead of grow lights, and you have reduced every garden expense to nearly ZERO!

This is where my advice ends for people growing in water. But some of you out there are in love with soil gardening and organic gardening, and rightly so! It’s a pro-human activity. It is pro-conservation. It is pro-life. It nurtures and promotes life at all levels, from the micro-organisms to beneficial insects, to healthy humans. It’s natural. it’s spiritual. Gardening is written deeply into our DNA, like how you feel watching a bonfire or sitting by the ocean or next to a river.

My friend John at Food4Wealth has more than 20 years experience organic gardening, so he reminds me a lot of myself. He knows organic gardening like I know hydroponic gardening, and over the years he has learned just about every trick there is to organic gardening. He knows what makes the plants grow, and he knows how to do it with as little effort as humanly possible. His garden never needs digging, naturally repels pests, has no weeds, always produces more than his family is able to eat, produces vegetables everyday all year round, and….only requires 8 HOURS of light, easy effort PER YEAR!

Low effort organic gardening!

Years and years of experience and results can’t be argued with….the Food4Wealth gardening strategy is one of the top 3 things you can do to increase your productivity, reduce your total costs, and reduce your total work….specifically for organic gardeners who love soil gardening. THIS is the most efficient and productive way to do organic gardening, period! And combined with the ability to make a years’ worth of colloidal humus compost in just one week (see World’s Best Compost), this overall organic soil gardening strategy is just unstoppable- foolproof, low cost, and low effort!

Learn about high yield organic gardening

View the original article here

Sep 14, How Plant Growth is Affected by Temperature

high temperature leaf burns

The ideal temperature range for plant growth without CO2 supplementation is 70-75 degrees. Temperature is probably the factor that causes the most problems in an indoor garden. When the temperature in a garden climbs higher than 85 degrees, plant growth damage can happen quickly. As far as temperature is concerned, you have the following factors working against you when you begin to improve your garden area…

the more watts you add to an area
the more enclosed you make the area
the less adequate your exhaust system is
the smaller the area is
The worse your heat problems get!

The general idea for controlling heat is to exhaust the hottest air out of the area and, at the same time, introduce cool, fresh air in to replace the exhausted air. This source of cool air is critical. Plant growth slows in hot, humid conditions, and your ability to control the temperature in the garden area is only as good as your source of cool, fresh air.

Indoor/Outdoor Garden Thermometer The most important thing is that you know the temperature in the hot spot of your garden area. This is usually directly under the center of your grow light, at the tops of your plants. The plant growth in this area is the most vulnerable to damage from high temperatures in the garden. For this, every indoor gardener should have an indoor/outdoor thermometer (the kind with a cord and remote probe).

Here are four strategies you can use to help reduce the temperatures in the plant growth zone of your indoor garden area…

1. Open the grow area to allow air circulation with a larger volume of air
2. Keep the grow light exhaust and the garden area exhaust as two separate systems
3. Increase the size and number of exhauste fans for the area
4. Add air conditioning

Larger volumes of air act as a buffer against temperature increases. A garden grown in a small closet with a 400 watt light, an oscillating fan for circulation, and no exhaust fan will have a problem with high temperatures.

On the other hand, the same 400 watt light placed in the corner of a large bedroom, with the same oscillating fan, may operate without any problems of high temperature (especially in winter months).

Let’s say you had a 600 watt light in a high quality reflector that had nice big 6 inch vent holes thru it and glass in the bottom. Let’s say you placed this light in a completely enclosed 4 foot square box. You could duct air in from a window, through the enclosed light, and exhaust it back out the same window.

With the light efficiently cooled, far less heat ends up in the grow box and the temperature inside rises much more slowly. This means you can run an exhaust fan that kicks on and off as it is needed. Now you can run an exhaust out from the grow box and run it on a thermostat.

Once you no longer have to exhaust continuously to control the heat, you will be in a much better position to use carbon dioxide to try to maximize your plant growth.

The exhaust from a grow box should always be somewhere near the top of the box (because heat rises). This makes it only natural to make the fresh air intakes lower to the ground, around the bottom of the grow box or grow chamber.

Again, your ability to control the temperature will only as good as your source of cool, fresh replacement air.

If the air temp outside is 70 degrees, than you should be able to get the temperature in your garden area down to 75 degrees….if your exhaust fans are good enough, that is. Box fans and oscillating fans are needed in the garden to circulate the air and to help all the plant growth breathe properly, but as exhaust fans they suck! They do not move nearly enough air.

There are two types of fans used (efficiently) to exhaust indoor garden areas. They are…

squirrel cage and centrifugal fans

The main difference is that centrifugal fans are quieter, more powerful, and more efficient than squirrel cage fans. They are also more expensive. However, if you plan on using a carbon filter, have to get a centrifugal fan….squirrel cage fans just don’t have what it takes when it comes to pulling air in volume through a carbon filter.

As a general rule, the CFM rating of your exhaust fan should be able to exhaust the square foot volume of your garden area in 5 minutes or less to be ok. Practical experience has shown me it usually takes even more than that to control temperatures in a garden, especially when no air conditioning is used.

Get more information on garden exhaust fans here.

Air conditioning is the final solution when it comes to controlling indoor garden temperatures. With AC, you are always guaranteed a quality source of fresh, adjustable cold air. Gardeners that use air conditioning do not exhaust their gardens continuously.

The strategy for using air conditioning is usually to run the lights on a separate exhaust system from the garden area. Whenever the temperature gets too warm, the garden exhaust fan kicks on at one end of the area while the air conditioner operating at the other end acts as the fresh air intake.

Gardens using carbon dioxide to maximize plant growth would then release CO2 once the exhaust fan(s) shut off.

It is generally accepted that gardens can be ran at higher temperatures when using CO2 supplementation to maximize plant growth. While this is true, it is important to understand that this is only the case when all other growth influencing factors are kept in their ideal ranges. The ideal temperature range for the indoor garden is 70-75 degrees. With the addition of CO2 you can run your garden up to 10 degrees warmer without seeing any negative effects.

The other place where temperature is a concern is in your nutrient reservoir. In the plant growth and oxygen page, I describe how the uptake of nutrients (in the root zone) only occurs in the presence of oxygen. The fact is, water looses it’s ability to hold dissolved oxygen as it warms up.

If the nutrient solution gets too warm, your plants will not be able to take up any nutrients (and therefor they will not grow). Worse yet, the nutrient solution will begin to favor a number of pathogenic micro-organisms at a warmer temperature….nasty things like fusarium and pythium. The ideal temperature for your nutrient solution is 65 to 70*F. If your garden is in the basement, keeping the nutrient reservoir on the concrete floor will usually keep it at an ideal temperature.

Leave Plant Growth and Temperature and
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Check out other Hydroponic Gardening Tips and Tricks

Dirt Cheap organic and hydroponic gardening suppliesFind out the cheapest and easiest ways to garden productively in this article.

Hi everyone, Jason from Jason’s Indoor Guide here. When I got started with hydroponic gardening more than 20 years ago, my first garden used rockwool cubes and B.C. Nutrients….and I remember thinking to myself yeah, sure, there may be a lot of advantages to gardening with hydroponics, for example there are very few pest problems, therefore very little pest control, no weeding, no plowing or tilling the soil, no soil testing or having to add things into the garden soil, no watering the garden….but for someone who just wants to grow their own vegetables and have more control over their food supply and the quality of the food that they eat, the cost of constantly having to buy grow media and hydroponic nutrients makes this an expensive hobby for most people.

I suppose when you take into consideration how much money you save NOT having to buy food at the grocery store, it is surely cheaper to grow your own food hydroponically even with the cost of high quality nutrients. Nevertheless, I didn’t have a whole lot of money to work with and I needed to make my efforts as affordable and effective as possible….and in the last 20 years I HAVE learned a thing or two!

As you browse through Jason’s Indoor Guide, you will notice all of the systems that I use personally are homemade systems. As I got 3 or 4 years of experience under my belt, I quickly adopted a preference to standing water systems and systems that use expanded clay pellets or lava rock, because the media is re-usable and it eliminates a huge operating expense. So once a hydroponic system is built, garden maintenance is minimal- check and adjust the nutrient solution daily, and to change it completely every 2 weeks….and the biggest operating cost is the hydroponic nutrients. (and the electric bill, lol).

And, regarding the cost of the nutrients….I experimented for about 3 years with making different compost teas and nutrient teas, but there is still a lot of expense $$$ associated with making high quality nutrient teas….like kelp meal, liquid seaweed, rock dust, bat guano, un-sulfured molasses, worm castings. You can eliminate a lot of this expense by becoming an expert at making high-quality colloidal humus compost, and use your properly made compost as the basis of your hydroponic nutrient solution.

Make a year's worth of compost in one week!What is colloidal humus? Make the world's best compost

Unfortunately, I have been gardening for over 20 years and I have only just recently mastered this difficult skill….and even then, only because I happened to find a very easy to follow, high quality technique and decided to follow the instructions to the letter. I produced more high quality compost in just one week than I was able to use in a whole year! I highly recommend it. It is one of the top 3 things you can do to increase the productivity of your food production efforts, while at the same time decreasing the amount of effort required to grow all of your own food, and decreasing the total cost of operating your food production system.

And when I say decrease operating costs, I mean decrease them to almost ZERO, especially if you are producing your own nutrients.

One final solution to eliminate the cost of your hydroponic nutrients: Imagine a hydroponic system that does not require you to buy any nutrients, does not require you to make your own compost, and does not require you to brew your own nutrient tea. Seriously! No cost and no effort as far as providing nutrients to your plants is concerned. Plus, at the end of the gardening cycle, you harvest all of your garden vegetables, PLUS YOU HARVEST FISH from the system!

Click Here to learn more!

This solution is aquaponics. If you are serious about producing all of your own food and being self-sufficient, this is the ultimate solution for reducing expenses (as much as possible), reducing the total amount of work required, and maximizing the productivity of your gardening efforts. I have been gardening for over 20 years, and it is the perfect food production solution in my opinion.

Produce garnden vegetables AND fish together. Eliminate fertilizer costs!

Besides mastering how to make high quality compost, learning aquaponics is one of the top 3 things you can do to increase your garden productivity, reduce your total costs, and reduce your total work. The product that I learned from is called Aquaponics4you. With all of my hydroponic gardening experience, the first time I came across the Aquaponics4you product I knew immediately that it was something very special! Place an aquaponics system outdoors and use the sun instead of grow lights, and you have reduced every garden expense to nearly ZERO!

This is where my advice ends for people growing in water. But some of you out there are in love with soil gardening and organic gardening, and rightly so! It’s a pro-human activity. It is pro-conservation. It is pro-life. It nurtures and promotes life at all levels, from the micro-organisms to beneficial insects, to healthy humans. It’s natural. it’s spiritual. Gardening is written deeply into our DNA, like how you feel watching a bonfire or sitting by the ocean or next to a river.

My friend John at Food4Wealth has more than 20 years experience organic gardening, so he reminds me a lot of myself. He knows organic gardening like I know hydroponic gardening, and over the years he has learned just about every trick there is to organic gardening. He knows what makes the plants grow, and he knows how to do it with as little effort as humanly possible. His garden never needs digging, naturally repels pests, has no weeds, always produces more than his family is able to eat, produces vegetables everyday all year round, and….only requires 8 HOURS of light, easy effort PER YEAR!

Low effort organic gardening!

Years and years of experience and results can’t be argued with….the Food4Wealth gardening strategy is one of the top 3 things you can do to increase your productivity, reduce your total costs, and reduce your total work….specifically for organic gardeners who love soil gardening. THIS is the most efficient and productive way to do organic gardening, period! And combined with the ability to make a years’ worth of colloidal humus compost in just one week (see World’s Best Compost), this overall organic soil gardening strategy is just unstoppable- foolproof, low cost, and low effort!

Learn about high yield organic gardening
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View the original article here

Apr 13, Easy Grow Room Building Advice

I have an indoor area I would like to turn into a grow room. It is in a room that is never in use … totally dark. I am building an area inside this room 39″ wide x 49″ deep x 84″ high. One side will have a mylar access. I want to grow one tomato plant and maybe a green pepper plant in a stratum method using hydroton rocks, coconut coir and Fox Farm Organic planting mix. I will be using a 400 Watt MH light and was wanting some help with the ventilation. I’m on a limited budget.

I was hoping to use the inexpensive in-line duct furnace fans, maybe the 4″ size. Do I need two of these fans? Is 4″ size enough or do I need 6″ size? Do both the fans need to be the same size? Do I locate the exhaust fan up top and the intake fan at the bottom? The light will be on for 14 – 16 hours … Do I need the fans on 24/7? I don’t expect any odors. Will the MH light grow the tomatoes all the way to fruiting? I do have two CFL 105 Watt lights I could use instead, one is blue, one is red. Would I be better off just using them instead of the MH light?  Thanks Jason!

Answer: Personally, to light your grow room area I would use the 400 watt metal halide light. Using the CFL’s by themselves would probably not provide enough light for a bountiful harvest. Many plants, like tomatoes, require a considerable amount of light in order to produce well. A metal halide light is perfectly capable of growing tomatoes and other plants in the vegetative stage, as well as in the flowering stage, all the way to completion (with good results). For more help selecting the proper grow lights for your indoor garden, check out my light selector tool page.

Before you try to fruit your plants, you need to make sure they have been grown to a “mature” point under 18-24 hours of light. This is known as vegetative growth….some plants only need a week or two of vegetative growth before flowering, while other plants need 4-8 weeks of vegetative growth before they will flower properly. In any case, your plants need a minimum of 18 hours of light a day until they are at least 8 to 12 inches tall.

In order to get your plants to produce fruits, they will require 12 hours of in-interrupted darkness at the same time each day (or night). This is generally required for plants that produce fruits and vegetables as well as plants that produce flowers. My page on flower forcing goes into greater detail about this part of the process. In general, your grow room must remain completely dark for twelve hours each night, at the same time each night. Most plants will finish growing their fruits or flowers to maturity after 8 to 12 weeks of this treatment.

Before I get to your most important question, I would like to say a few things about the use of fans in the grow room…or in your case the grow box. The use of a circulating fan is just as important as the use of an exhaust fan in the grow box. The use of exhaust fans is important to keep the temperature in the grow box from getting to high. Exhaust fans also keep the humidity from getting to high as the plants breathe out water vapor. Thirdly, by bringing fresh air into the grow room, exhaust fans keep CO2 levels from falling too low….

Plants constantly use CO2 in the air as a source of Carbon atoms, which the plant uses to grow more leaves, stems, and flowers. A small amount of air movement is required around the surface of every leaf in the garden….this helps the plant get rid of it’s exhaled Oxygen and water vapor, and also helps bring a fresh supply of CO2 in contact with the leaf. Learn more about the proper use of CO2.

Usually, this kind of air movement is not provided for adequately enough by the exhaust fan(s). This is why, in addition to your exhaust fan(s), you should also have a small oscillating fan or two in the grow room for proper air circulation. Small oscillating fans are cheap, $10 at WalMart, and you would be surprised how important they are to the healthy growth of your plants.

Your exhaust fans do not need to run when the lights are off to control the temperature. However, I would recommend you leave one on to keep the humidity in the grow room from getting too high. Warm air holds more moisture than cool air. As soon as your lights go off for the night, you will likely close up the grow box so it is light-proof. As the temperature cools off inside the grow box, the air inside is no longer able to hold as much moisture as it did when the grow light was on.

The humidity in the air begins to condensate out of the air…..and onto your plants. If you do not have an oscillating fan and exhaust fan running, this extra moisture will probably encourage the growth of a fungus or powdery mildew that will kill the fruits/flowers you are trying so hard to grow.

So, you know you need an oscillating fan, and you know you should leave an exhaust fan on all the time. Now let’s consider how to run your exhaust fan(s) exactly….

The smaller the space you try to grow in, the more difficult the temperature will be to control. In general, 80*F or above (measured at plant height directly below the grow light) is too warm. 70 to 75*F would be ideal. With your setup, as I understand it, you will have a volume of air space INSIDE the grow box, and you will have a much larger volume of air inside the ROOM in which the box is located.

If your light reflector has glass in the bottom, you could use one in-line duct fan to draw air from the room, through the light, and exhaust it back into the room. Eventually, all of the air in the grow room will warm up….another option would be to exhaust the warm air out of a window. Air cooling the light in this way will make it easier to control the temperature inside the grow box.

The second in-line duct fan can be used to exhaust hot air from a hole in the top of the grow box (hot air rises). This will create a negative air pressure inside the grow box, which will naturally suck air from the room back into the grow box (through holes made in the bottom of the grow box, or possibly by leaving the front door of the grow box open). Keep in mind, these ventilation holes may make your grow box less than light-proof.

The chances are good that you will still have a problem controlling the high temperatures in the grow box. I have had the same problem myself in the past. You may want to try keeping the temperature of the entire room on the cool side by keeping a window in the room cracked open. Another possibility is to run a 4 inch duct from the hole in the bottom of the grow box to a window, so the air you pull into the grow box will actually be coming from outside. This can be very effective, but if the air outside is too cold you run the risk of stunting your plants.

Instead, manufacture a cardboard box with two holes (and cardboard flaps for the holes)…one hole connected to the window with a 4 inch duct, and the other hole left open to draw air from inside the room. In this way, you can open or close the holes in different amounts (how much outside air is being mixed with the inside air) to control the temperature of the air coming into your grow box. You may also find that you need to close the window every night to keep the temperature from getting too low when the lights go off.

Using the outdoor air, it is much easier to control the temperature of an indoor garden during cold months. In fact, many indoor gardeners ONLY garden indoors during the cold months for just this reason. Take it from my experience, your money is best spent buying a cheap indoor/outdoor digital thermometer/humidity meter. I found one at a local hydroponic shop for about $20.00. Indoor/outdoor thermometers come with a remote probe (usually on a 10 foot cord) which you can place right in your garden’s hot spot, which your meter records as the “outdoor” temp.

The thermometer itself can be placed somewhere else, inside or outside the grow box, and will record an “indoor” temp. The highest and lowest readings are usually kept in the memory of the thermometer until you reset it. Same with the humidity. In this way, you will be able to tell if your garden is staying in the ideal temperature range, when the lights are on during the day as well as when the lights are off at night.

Using in-line duct fans, in my opinion, you will not be able to keep your grow box or grow room in the ideal temperature range without using some cold air from outside. However, using two in-line duct fans, a digital indoor/outdoor thermometer, a little air from outside, and a little experimentation, you should have no problem working out a setup that will control the temperature in your garden. Also check out my exhaust setup page for more information. I hope this helps, and happy growing!

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Growing Hot Peppers Indoors

Winter is still upon us, but this has no bearing on your ability to grow delicious hot peppers in the comfort of your own home. Whether you are growing indoors from sprout to harvest, or simply starting off your seeds for the outdoor season, both can be accomplished with great success.

In part one of this series I will discuss the best methods used for sprouting your pepper seeds. Although it is possible to sprout your seeds in soil, we will be focusing on the hydroponic methods in order to take advantage of the many benefits of hydroponic growing. These benefits include increased growth rates, faster maturity and fruit production as well as increased yields.

The first step in sprouting pepper seeds is to give them a presoak. This means you should soak your seeds in water overnight to kick start the germination process. A shot glass or similar device works well for this practice. Remember to separate seeds based on variety in order to be able to identify which plant is which down the road.

The next step is to prepare your growing medium. Jiffy 7 propagation plugs are best suited to soil or soilless growing as they have fine particles which can become loose and clog or soil active hydroponic systems. Rockwool starter plugs can be easily transplanted to either soil, soilless or hydroponic gardens making them the most versatile. Both of these types of growing media require a presoak before they are ready to receive the seed. Using your pH tester and your pH Down, set the pH of your water to 6.5 for the Jiffy 7 method or 5.5 for the Rockwool method. Do this by first testing the pH of your water and then adding a few drops of pH down and retesting until your pH is in the correct range. Be sure to stir the solution well before taking your adjusted pH readings.  Once your pH is set to the correct level, it is time to soak your media. 10 seconds is sufficient for Rockwool and the Jiffy 7’s will require more time to expand since they come in compressed form. Once your media is soaked it can be transferred to your propagation tray. The Jiffy 7’s will require some shaping and removal of excess water before they are placed in your propagation tray. Propagation media should be moist but not soggy or else your seeds may rot.

Now that your tray is full of propagation media, it’s time to insert your presoaked seeds. Best practice is to place three seeds per propagation plug. If your seeds are far more valuable than the cost of the propagation media, you may elect to plant only one seed per plug. Seeds should be planted at a depth of 1/4? and tamped gently to ensure coverage. Sometimes it is necessary to tear off a small piece of Rockwool from the edge of the cube to cover the seed. Once seeds are planted and tamped, they are ready to be sealed in their propagation dome to establish a warm humid environment to aid in germination. A Seedling Heat Mat can help speed up the germination process, however, be sure that the media does not dry out due to the added heat (ideal seed temperature for germination is 80-85 Degrees Fahrenheit).Ensure that there is no standing water in the bottom of your tray and then the propagation tray/dome can now be placed in a sunny location or under a grow lamp to speed up the propagation process.

peppers-at-nightfluoros

A general rule of thumb is that a single T5grow lamp can be sufficient to sprout seeds, however, multiple lamps will produce better growth once germination has occurred.

Suggestion: Coloured small paper clips make for excellent plant identifiers. Other low cost items can be used as well, just be sure that they do not absorb moisture such as wood or paper or they will be prone to grow mould while sealed in your propagation dome.

Note: some pepper seeds can take up to 4+ weeks to germinate.

Once your peppers sprout and begin to grow, the strongest of the three seeds should be left to live, and the weaker plants culled from each propagation plug. This can be achieved by simply clipping the weaker plants with a pair of scissors at the base. It is not recommended to grow more than one plant per plug as they will compete for resources for the rest of their lives. Also at the time of germination, the vents on the propagation dome should be progressively opened each day to slowly expose the seedlings to the less humid atmosphere. Once the first set of true leaves appear (not the first set of rounded leaves called cotyledons) it is time to apply your fertilizer at 1/4 strength. For DNF Gro this means 1.5 ml of part A and 1.5 ml of Part B to one litre of H2O. Only water once plugs become dry and light weight, however do not wait too long for your delicate sprouts to wilt or the damage may be irreversible.

Congratulations, if you made it this far then you are well on your way to producing a healthy pepper harvest!

Stay tuned for the next installment which will focus on the lighting and growth methods available to grow these sprouts to the size required for an abundant harvest!

If you require additional information on seeds and germination click the links below:

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