LED Grow Lights 101: Best Led Grow Lights Review 2018 Video Included

Today we're going to talk about building your own grow light stations.


Welcome to the rest of Garden Show episode 2. Today we're going to talk about building your own grow light stations.

We'Re gonna grow up, build a bigger one out of the 4-foot tubes and also get to show you how to build smaller ones in case that meets your need, but the whole key is: how can you build this in the most inexpensive way as possible and Still get great transplants, these are Tomatoes. It'S too early here in Maryland zone 7 to start tomatoes, but you want the germinating seeds to look something like this short and stocky. That means that you set your grow light station upright, and that means they have enough intense light to really grow into healthy transplants. We'Re also going to talk about seed starting and going to show you how I oversee and start chives oregano thyme we're also going to go over sage, lavender and rosemary. If you subscribe to my channel, I'm going to be doing two or three episodes of the rest of the garden show every month, and you can find me on youtube under the rustic garden. If you'd like to listen to the podcast, you can find the podcast on itunes and also on podomatic, and I want to thank my sponsor. eXtreme Led Grow Lights. They've been doing sea trials since 1932, they're nonprofit organization, so for the last 85 years they do sea trials throughout the United States and throughout Canada, and they basically tests the newest vegetables out there. The newest flowers out there and the best plants are declared. eXtreme Led Grow Lights select winners and you can find the 2017 winners at eXtreme Led Grow lights .com, it's a mouthful, but it's all America selections, org and you can see what seeds won in 2017 and you can go, go all way back in their database. You know to the 1930s and I guarantee you're already growing some of the winners in your garden. Let'S get to the growl lights. The most important thing about the grow lights is to have the right intensity of light. They have to be bright enough to make sure you don't get thin and leggy spindly seed starts, and you want them to look just like this nice and stocky for tomatoes, so you can do a setup with the 4-foot lights. This is what I recommend. I'M going to go over this, and this is what they look like. The bulbs are nice and bright. You can also, if you want something smaller, you can get a receptacle like this. This is a white LED and that'll be fine if you're doing a small amount of seed start. This is they set up for four of these flats right here and you can also get the LED lights which have a different color. Now, like I said, we don't need to worry about the different colors because we're not growing these four flowers, we're not growing these four fruit production. We are just growing transplants. Now it's so easy, I'm going to show you how you setup one go to Home Depot or Lowe's, look for the 4-foot ballast or them they also called receptacles or fish fixtures, but it'll, say electrical ballast. That'S where the bulbs go four feet! Two bulbs go into here and I recommend the t8 bulbs and you just look on the box. It says right here ta now my older videos show the t12 bulbs. The t8 are more efficient, they're going to save you money in the long run in there bit brighter. You can also buy five bulbs they're better than the teats. However, they're going to be more expensive and they're not as easily found like if you go to Home Depot and Lowe's, you can find you know whatever you need for the t8. So that's what I recommend: they're, a good balance of cost and effectiveness for growing your seed starts and doors, so you pull the receptacle out of the box and it's gon na look just like this. This is how it slides out you undo the cord drop it down. Now you want to match the bulbs, so this is a contractor pack of 12. So if you're going to set up a bigger system, don't want those to fall out by the contractor pack, because two bulbs are gon na cost. You anywhere from eight to ten dollars. The contractor pack of twelve was twenty nine dollars. So it's a base savings. But when you look on the Box, you're gon na see ta ta. It'S gon na tell you the lumens twenty nine hundred. That'S a great number four lumens twenty-nine hundred. You want somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000, and it's also going to tell you the Kelvin and that's 6500 Kelvin that approximates daylight. That'S exactly what you want! These plans are gon na, have enough intense light and they're going think it's sunlight and they're gon na do really really well. So all you do to set up your grow light station is buy the ballast or the receptacle and the bulbs, and they just slide in just like that, and then you twist them one two now these are set up and ready to be hung on your shelf. So you can get any kind of shelf. I have my shelving unit over there. You can, you know, get a three-tier shelf. A four tier shelf, a five tier shelf, depends on how much you want to grow. Let me just set this up real, quick and pretend that the shelving unit is right here for demonstration purposes, so you're gon na hang your lights. Just like this. I recommend four and they'll be spaced out something like that, and these flats will slide under here. Just like this that'll be plenty of light and you just move them around a little bit each day when you are going down there and checking the watering plenty of intense light, and you really are able to get one flat 2 flat 3 flats under here. So this is 72, 72 and 72. That'S a lot of seed start! You may not want that. You may not need that, but this is the setup for it, and these would just hang one to two inches above your seed trays and that's all you really need, and as the plants grow, you would raise up the lights just like that and the intensity is, It'S plenty: let me plug this in now. The timer is really important because you don't have to be coming up and down the steps all the time it's on and turn it off, and even if you go away for a few days, you have a timer set up. This is an extension cord with the timer built in it was about twenty dollars, and you just said it for whatever you want your lights to be on and it'll take care of itself. It'S a really really great way to get rid of worrying about your seed starts, just set it on the timer and let it go you can buy different ones that are less expensive. These were two digital ones for thirteen dollars. This was on sale, for I think well, it was twenty 99 regularly, but it's fifty percent off. So you can get any kind of timer. You want highly recommend it. It'Ll make your life a lot easier and you can set up a whole shelving unit of up to eight lights with something you know just like this. Now, let's cover before we get to the other types of grow light stations, you can set out long. You keep the lights on. You want to keep the lights on to make sure again, and I want to stress this over and over again, that you don't get thin spindly leg transplant. If you get that it's it's really no point in growing them, so you want intense light. So when you plant your seeds and I'm gon na, let's say tomato seeds, you plant it tomato seeds. They usually germinate five to seven days. So for the first three days you don't need to light on, but you don't want to turn the lights on after they germinate because they're going to break through the surface or get to think that there's no light and they're gon na get real, skinny and race To grow towards the Sun, who's gon na think they're in a dirt, so a couple days before they would germinate turn your lights on one to two inches above the seed starts. It would look just like this and you leave the lights on for 18 hours. So it's 18 hours on six hours off, and you do that five to seven days from when they break the surface until they establish themselves and they look something like this once they get to this size. After about five or seven days, you can set your timer to have either fourteen hours of light or sixteen hours of light. It matters less. The light intensity matters less once the plants are established, they stop growing because they've met the light they start developing leaves if they don't have enough light, that's when they keep stretching and stretching and stretching, and it causes a problem. But if you leave it on for 18 hours again, I know I'm repeating myself, but that's the biggest mistake people make. Is they don't give them enough intense light and they get sad? Looking seed starts and they're disappointed when they go out into the garden alright. So you would set up your 4-foot lights just like this, hang them from the shelf and that would set up the bigger system. If you want something smaller, because a lot of people tell me well, I don't want to grow, you know, 144, you know. 215 seed starts. I don't need all of those, so what you would do actually, if you were growing something, let's do it this way, if you just wanted to do one flat, [, Music ], if you want to do a couple of seed, starts just like this. This container was a dollar. You can start six twelve eighteen right in here, and this would sit on your shelf and the light would sit almost on it. That'S about two inches away. This is a great way and then again you're only going to need two bulbs and one ballast one receptacle here and you could set them up all along here. So that's about six twelve eighteen times three! That'S fifty four plants that you can grow just like this and that's a perfect setup. Now some people say well, I don't want a seed start them all in these small cells. Do I have to do that and the answer is no, you could put them into bigger containers. So, let's just say you wanted to grow something to size. You could get the bigger containers just put the seed in here, but of course, you're. Only gon na have three and it would sit the same way just like this. So that's a couple of ways that you can use the 4-foot tubes. Now the 4-foot tubes are not something you want to use. Let me just switch these out. You can go to the smaller receptacles just like this. These cost about $ 7 for the smaller receptacle they plug it in and you can get different bulbs for them now because we're growing transplants, we just want to be clear again get those own. We don't need to worry about having red light blue light or anything like that. We'Re not growing for flowers, we're not growing for fruit. We just need the five thousand six hundred and fifty Kelvin daylight to grow transplants, how we want to grow them. This is an LED bulb. It'S red! You don't need that. If you want to spend money on it, they're effective, you can go ahead and use it. The LED systems are a lot more expensive. When you get the bigger square systems, they could be hundreds of dollars, but they're very effective, they're very bright, and they give you everything you need to grow, but I want to show you how you can do it in the most inexpensive way. You can get the white light, the LED bulbs, it's just daylight. This is about a thousand lumens and it's 6500 daylight. These are going to clamp on to any kind of post. You have maybe on the corner of your stand or wherever you want, and then the seed starts are gon na sit just like this. Underneath again, you don't need to get the red lights, the blue lights, because we're not growing four blooms, we're not growing four fruit or anything like that. These are the smaller setups all together, I don't know maybe fifteen dollars, depending on what you buy now, if you don't want to set up the grow light station, like I have over there on shelves, you can make something, and you can make something just like this Out of a storage container, you can buy storage containers that have the opening in the front and you can get a bigger receptacle like this one, a stronger bulb and it goes in. Let me just show you real quick. You cut a square, I have a video for this I'll link to it, but you basically cut out a square right here, cut a slit down there and then the clamp just slides into here and the top of the receptacle comes through here and then the cord Comes out just like that, and you can set the girl leg box up this way. Put your foil inside of there. The reflecting light from the foil warp won't burn your plants. Some people say that can happen. Now, with these kind of lights, you can put something under your seed start, so they're closer to the light, and then this can adjust as they grow inside. I use this for a transplant box, so i seed start them over there. On my grow, light stands under the forefoot bulbs and then when the plants are bigger, I actually put them in here, because the intensity of light doesn't have to be as intense when they're germinating. So I hold them inside of here and the bigger containers go in, but you can see the simplicity. This will give you some ideas of how you can set up grow light stations in your house that meets your budget and then in a quick review. Let me just cover the t8 right now are the most economical and most prevalent in the United States. I know that I reach people throughout the world, but the TA bulbs are the most economical. You can go by the LED systems, they're much more expensive. They are effective, you can buy the t5 bulbs they're a little more expensive, but if you want to get a nice mix of budget and effectiveness, the t8 systems work really well and those smaller receptacles like I was showing you. You have to go and buy bulbs like this and they're, not necessarily going to be 2000 3000 lumens, so I'll talk a little bit about the trick for them before I get to that. I want to talk to you about cost. A lot of people say well, what's the point of having you know the grow, light box is set up or the grow light shelving set up if I'm paying a lot in electricity and you're really not paying that much. I have some numbers here, so you can go online and you can go to any electricity, wattage calculator just put in an electricity wattage calculator. You have to go to your state and you have to type in cost per kilowatt hour cost per kilowatt, and that will tell you how much your state charges you. So, for instance, in Maryland, the charge per kilowatt hour is 12 cents to 13 cents. So in the calculator I put in how long my grow lights are on so for this, for this bulb here to be on for 16 hours, you put in 16 hours. That'S how long it's on every day you put in the cost per kilowatt hour, which was 12 and a half cents, and then you put the wattage of the bulb in there and it'll. Tell you somewhere on here. This has 23 watts, so I put in the calculator 16 hours 12 and a half cents 23 Watts, and then it tells me how much I pay for the month in electricity, so I'm paying four point: five cents a day to run this light 16 hours or A dollar 34 a month: that's not a lot of money! Now, if we go over to the 4-foot tube, I put that into. If I have four bulbs on for 16 hours a day for 30 days and I did 13 cents that comes to four dollars in five cents a month so having the system like right over there set up with a which I was demonstrating here. That'S going to be four dollars and five cents, the electricity cost isn't as much as you think, go ahead and find the electricity. Why ditch calculator online and put in the numbers, like I told you all right now, you can cheat so, let's say you're doing a system like this, where the lights are over it. It'S not as intense, maybe have a bigger space right here. Then the lights actually gonna reach, just because it's winter doesn't mean your seed starts, can't go outdoors. Put the other one wait. Let me grab it real quick. So when your seed starting, you can still use the outdoors there's a whole process, we'll talk about. In other videos - and this is really important when you're growing your seeds indoors - they don't have any understanding of what the Sun is seriously. So when you take these from being inside nice and cushy with you know, just your indoor grow lights on them, they can burn. So if you take them outside, you put them into the full Sun for eight hours right from here, the leaves are gonna burn and you're gonna damage your plants, and you can kill them, so they slowly have to get used to the Sun. When you acclimate them and we'll talk more about that, but a way you can toughen your plants up is these germinating inside. I can go ahead right now. It'S 40 degrees out too cold for these to sit overnight, but with the sunlight out. Right now put these outside: let them get some intense Sun that will make them stronger and stock here that will get them used to the Sun and then before it gets dark out it before the temperatures drop, bring them back in and put them under your lights. So when you have a smaller bulb like this and maybe have a flat that is bigger than you want it, and your plants aren't looking as healthy as you want, go ahead and take the flat outside when it's 40 plus degrees. Let it sit out there for a couple of hours and get some nice Sun and then bring it back in at night when the cloudy day don't put them outside, but you can use the outdoors and indoors to really grow wonderful transplants. So I think I covered everything to give you a good sense of how you would build a grow light station and the most inexpensive way. Again, you don't have to worry about red lights or blue lights, or anything like that. Just get the five thousand sixty five hundred K, Kelvin rating bulbs, and you can have wonderful transplants and save yourself a lot of money. Let me clean this up and we'll get to the seed starts all right, so, let's get to seed starting. So I'm in Maryland zone seven and I can really start putting stuff outdoors in March. So I got a good eight weeks before I can get my cool weather crops today we're gon na start with the plants. You can start 10 to 12 weeks before they would go out into your garden and that's really the perennial herbs like oregano and thyme lavender rosemary grows slowly. You can do sage parsley, and you can also do some perennial flowers which I'm not going to do today. But if you subscribe to my channel the rest of the garden show it's going to cover everything that you start indoors in order next will be lettuces and cool weather crops followed by tomatoes in peppers. So just real quick in the last episode. I showed you how to set up your seed trays and how you would do that, but I want to cover two things that are really important: make sure you use dry, starting mix from the store put it into a container pre moisten. It make sure there's moisture in it, do not take anything from outdoors and bring it inside because you need to be bringing in larvae eggs, insect eggs, you're gon na bury banging funguses and molds and all kinds of stuff. So you take something: that's been outside in the cold put it under the nice warm grow lights, you're gon na get hatching eggs you're going to get insects. You'Re gon na get fungus as you're gon na get disease start with the seed starting mix that you buy. In the bag that's dry and pre moisten it. Now these starting mixes can come with net eggs. That'S just a standard that seems to happen in many many starting mixes, so boil water pour boiling water into this mix it with a spoon saturate your starting mix. Let that heat kill off the eggs and when it's cooled down, go ahead and fill your trays and then the fill your trays, I always want to show people do not put dry mix in here. You'Re gon na be disappointed. If you do that, it has to be pre-moistened, so I'm pack it in just like that. You want a nice solid starting base, fill it again, and this is what you're gon na plant your seeds into. This is a perfect way to get them started, so we're gon na start with some of the herbs. Now I do an over seeding method, which means like in here I'm going to grow chives, I'm not just going to one chive seed in there these seeds, when they fall off the flower nature, hundreds of seeds fall on the ground. They grow right next to each other, so you're not going to just put one chive seed in open them up and it might be hard to see I'll try. But you know they're, not that tiny but you're going to just take a pinch. That'S eight or twelve seeds and I'll do it here, so you can see in eight or twelve seeds into each cell I'll try and do it quickly because we're going to go through different seeds here, eight or twelve chive seeds - and I got too many. Let me put some down right there. So once they're on the surface, you're just going to use a pencil or a popsicle stick, you don't need to be perfect mix it down about a quarter of an inch and half an inch, and this is what we're gon na do with all the seeds today. But these are seeds, varieties that we're going to start 10 to 12 weeks before they can go outside they're extremely Hardy as they get bigger in these small cells. Once you mix them in just collect the soil and press them down with your thumb, you'll make nice Conte. The seeds will make nice contact with the soil, and this is what you have. Okay, we oversee the chives in there. We'Re going to get a label make sure we put it on there and it will slide right in there if your grow lights are gon na, be bumping into that. Just lay it down just like this. I would also recommend writing on a piece of paper what you have, because if these pop out for some reason, you're gon na be disappointed not knowing what's growing so we oversee the chives eight to twelve in here and again subscribe you'll see how these grow you'll See how I transplant them and you'll see how I divide them so chives again, eight to ten weeks, so we can go to the oregano, which is superfine seed about the size smaller than the pinhead, and you can see there's hundreds of seeds in there now. You could drop one seed, but we're gon na drop in probably 20 or 30, and just sprinkle them across the top of the seed starting surface really 20 or 30 seeds, and to one of these little one by one inch cells. Let me collect the rest of the seeds here then again, mix them in quarter of an inch deep. You don't have to go too deep with them and the reason you're putting in so many is because nature kind of has designees to grow next to each other. The root systems can get entangled they become at. They can get really massive in these little cells and they're really really Hardy, that we're gon na actually start six cells of the over seeded oregano and when these get to size again, the need press them in when these gets a size. When they're about this big we're gon na divide them, just tear them right down the middle, put them into transplant cups - something like this, so one will go into here, so these six will then be put into twelve pots like this now I have twelve plants of Oregano pennies to set this up - maybe 50 Cent's, including the soil, including the plastic and including these, and if you go, try and buy. You know an oregano transplant, this size, it's sometimes anywhere between two and four dollars, so we're gon na get twelve for under a buck. Now I also have a seed in garden shop that you can find at WWDC garden calm, and you can find these for sale. You can find these for sale along with about a hundred scenes. Neem oil, calcium nitrate, all kinds of different things. Alright, so we have the oregano set up same thing with the time. Let me see if I can find it real, quick. Oh here it is no! No, no, where is it here? It is so here's the time time is about the same size as the oregano see. If I can get the right amount of seeds this time not to waste any really small and they're, just gon na be sprinkled twenty or thirty per one inch on these six cell packs here just mix them in a quarter of an inch again with your popsicle. Stick or a pencil press them in nice contact between the starting mix and the seeds, and we drop in time now I'll save you some time mint. We would do the same way: they're small seeds maybe 10 to 20 in each one of them. Lavender. We have two kinds: we've got true lavender and we have a mud instead lavender this survives the winter in my area, the Munstead, so I like growing this, but I'd like the purple color more in this pack. So I do both lavender and rosemary seem to take a long time to germinate dull everything that I just planted here. The chives, the oregano and the thyme should germinate between 5 and 10 days, depending on how warm it is. If your grow area under the lights is about 70 to 75 degrees 5 to 10 days, if it's a little bit warmer 75 to 80, much more, you know quickly actually get up to 85 degrees. They germinate really quickly, but you want to be around 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Now the lavender and the rosemary can take anywhere from 14 of to really I've had it actually go to 35 days before germinates. It can take a long time put these in a refrigerator for three nights. Let them get cold, it helps them be tricked into thinking they've gone through a winter and then when they get into some warm ground like this, like your starting mix, they tend to germinate better, so rosemary now rosemary gets to be a big plant. So, theoretically, you only want one growing in here, but because they don't germinate so well. You want to put three to five seeds, they're bigger three to five seeds per cell. You can always divide them. If you want, you can leave them together. If you want, they take care of themselves, so three to five lavender seeds after they've chilled in a refrigerator for about three days and again you're gon na mix these down. These are bigger seeds. They can go down a quarter of an inch to a half an inch and when you're mixing them up like this, try and spread them out so that they're not all clumped together. This way, if you get more than one germinating, you can divide them and end up with two transplants in lavender and rosemary. You can really start like 12 weeks before they're ready to go outside. They tend to grow slowly and take time to germinate. So that is the rosemary and the rosemary seeds and the lavender seeds are pretty much the same. So I'm not going to do those now, but I do lavender true lavender and the Munstead lavender three to five seeds right in there and anywhere from if you're, lucky 14 days to 28 days, they're gon na germinate alright. So we got that now sage. These are bigger seeds and they tend to actually germinate pretty well, you don't have to do much for him. I put three sage seeds. Well, let's see if I can get it open. Three sage seeds per cell they're, bigger and I drop them in one in each corner and again you could try one, but if it doesn't germinate you're sitting around waiting for something to germinate, it doesn't, and you get so many seeds that, if you have to you Know send them out. That'S okay, too, if you keep your seeds in a ziploc storage bag in the house, they can last. You know three, some seeds I'll go even ten years, so you can reuse them. So it's three sage seeds and I press them in about 1/2, an inch deep and then just sprinkle a little more on top and then press them in get the seats to have good contact with the starting mix. That'S your sage! That is set up all right. The sage now what I also like to grow parsley 3 sage, just like the sage, okay, [ Applause ] - is I like to stew. My onions in these seed sells onions are pretty much indestructible seriously. So if you go and you buy the sets, you buy the bulbs that you know it's a little tiny onions, you put them in the ground, sometimes they grow and they produce the flower head because in theory, there's second year, onions, they've, already bowled and their job Is buy as biennials is to grow flowers, produce seed and then recede. If you start them from seed. I found that you have much better luck. Getting nice big, onion heads, so these are Walla Walla onions. They look just like chive seeds, they're related a whole packet of seeds is going into six of these cells. That'S I don't know at least 10 to 15, maybe 20 onion seeds per cell and they're. Of course, they're not going to go to size in here. But what we're going to do is we're going to grow our own. Any bunches, they'll actually look a little bit like these chives and then we're going to take them out. The root system is wiring, it's strong indestructible and we're going to break them apart into single onions, and this is how we're gon na plant onions so we're gon na get 10 20 30 40 50 60 to 80 onions out of here and we're just going to. Let them get about this tall. We'Re gon na have to keep them fed. I will show you how to do that in future episodes if you want to subscribe, but right now we're just getting everything started. You can really mix these down far half an inch and then press it all in, and this is a great way to do. Your onion starts. I guarantee you'll get bigger and fuller onions by starting them indoors like this. Instead of using the little round, onion sets and let me just grab Walla Walla - I need bigger nails to be able to lift these off. So this is my first flat, so we have mint thyme, oregano, chives, rosemary lavender, okay, and I almost forgot water and we're not gon na feed these right now the plants will germinate and use their seed coat for fertilizers, so fertilizing will be in the next show. Watering, I don't want you to water on top, when you water, on top it splashes things around, it can splash fungus around. It can splash disease around bottom water. It'S the easiest way and the cleanest way to water. Just take your one gallon container. If this had water in there, I would just pour this into about a quarter inch depth of the seed tray. These cells have holes in the bottom, they'll absorb the water up, just drop it in there. Let them sit for 20 minutes and in 20 minutes, whatever water is left, whatever excess is left, just pour it back into the container. Now, when do you water, that's gon na vary, depending on how hot your lights are, how much humidity you have where you're growing them, but when you're starting out like this, it's not going to be too often because there's no plant really using the water. This is how you figure out when you water your seed starting mix when it has water in it is dark just like that, as it begins to dry. The top is always gon na dry. First it'll get lighter, so that's dark and that's light and then it'll. Look like this when the whole top is all light, looks like the dry mix from your seed starting mix. That'S when you're gon na bottom water moisture will stay down here. So the top always dries first, that's your clue of when you want to water hope you enjoyed the show future. Episodes will really show you how to fertilize these plants, and it will really again, like I said, take you through the entire process of getting them out into the ground and then we'll get into maintaining your plants out in the garden harvesting all kinds of different things. Please check out my sea chop at WWDC garden com and thanks so much for watching
We'Re gon na grow up, build a bigger one out of the 4-foot tubes and also get to show you how to build smaller ones in case that meets your need, but the whole key is: how can you build this in the most inexpensive way as possible and Still get great transplants, these are Tomatoes. It'S too early here in Maryland zone 7 to start tomatoes, but you want the germinating seeds to look something like this short and stocky. That means that you set your grow light station upright, and that means they have enough intense light to really grow into healthy transplants. We'Re also going to talk about seed starting and going to show you how I oversee and start chives oregano thyme we're also going to go over sage, lavender and rosemary. If you subscribe to my channel, I'm going to be doing two or three episodes of the rest of the garden show every month, and you can find me on youtube under the rustic garden. If you'd like to listen to the podcast, you can find the podcast on itunes and also on podomatic, and I want to thank my sponsor. All-America selections. They'Ve been doing sea trials since 1932, they're nonprofit organization, so for the last 85 years they do sea trials throughout the United States and throughout Canada, and they basically tests the newest vegetables out there. The newest flowers out there and the best plants are declared. All America selection winners and you can find the 2017 AAAS winners at all America selections org, it's a mouthful, but it's all America selections, org and you can see what seeds won in 2017 and you can go, go all way back in their database. You know to the 1930s and I guarantee you're already growing some of the winners in your garden. Let'S get to the grow lights. The most important thing about the grow lights is to have the right intensity of light. They have to be bright enough to make sure you don't get thin and leggy spindly seed starts, and you want them to look just like this nice and stocky for tomatoes, so you can do a setup with the 4-foot lights. This is what I recommend. I'M going to go over this, and this is what they look like. The bulbs are nice and bright. You can also, if you want something smaller, you can get a receptacle like this. This is a white LED and that'll be fine if you're doing a small amount of seed start. This is they set up for four of these flats right here and you can also get the LED lights which have a different color. Now, like I said, we don't need to worry about the different colors because we're not growing these four flowers, we're not growing these four fruit production. We are just growing transplants. Now it's so easy, I'm going to show you how you setup one go to Home Depot or Lowe's, look for the 4-foot ballast or them they also called receptacles or fish fixtures, but it'll, say electrical ballast. That'S where the bulbs go four feet! Two bulbs go into here and I recommend the t8 bulbs and you just look on the box. It says right here ta now my older videos show the t12 bulbs. The t8 are more efficient, they're going to save you money in the long run in there bit brighter. You can also buy five bulbs they're better than the teats. However, they're going to be more expensive and they're not as easily found like if you go to Home Depot and Lowe's, you can find you know whatever you need for the t8. So that's what I recommend: they're, a good balance of cost and effectiveness for growing your seed starts and doors, so you pull the receptacle out of the box and it's gon na look just like this. This is how it slides out you undo the cord drop it down. Now you want to match the bulbs, so this is a contractor pack of 12. So if you're going to set up a bigger system, don't want those to fall out by the contractor pack, because two bulbs are gon na cost. You anywhere from eight to ten dollars. The contractor pack of twelve was twenty nine dollars. So it's a base savings. But when you look on the Box, you're gon na see ta ta. It'S gon na tell you the lumens twenty nine hundred. That'S a great number four lumens twenty-nine hundred. You want somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000, and it's also going to tell you the Kelvin and that's 6500 Kelvin that approximates daylight. That'S exactly what you want! These plans are gon na, have enough intense light and they're going think it's sunlight and they're gon na do really really well. So all you do to set up your grow light station is buy the ballast or the receptacle and the bulbs, and they just slide in just like that, and then you twist them one two now these are set up and ready to be hung on your shelf. So you can get any kind of shelf. I have my shelving unit over there. You can, you know, get a three-tier shelf. A four tier shelf, a five tier shelf, depends on how much you want to grow. Let me just set this up real, quick and pretend that the shelving unit is right here for demonstration purposes, so you're gon na hang your lights. Just like this. I recommend four and they'll be spaced out something like that, and these flats will slide under here. Just like this that'll be plenty of light and you just move them around a little bit each day when you are going down there and checking the watering plenty of intense light, and you really are able to get one flat 2 flat 3 flats under here. So this is 72, 72 and 72. That'S a lot of seed start! You may not want that. You may not need that, but this is the setup for it, and these would just hang one to two inches above your seed trays and that's all you really need, and as the plants grow, you would raise up the lights just like that and the intensity is, It'S plenty: let me plug this in now. The timer is really important because you don't have to be coming up and down the steps all the time it's on and turn it off, and even if you go away for a few days, you have a timer set up. This is an extension cord with the timer built in it was about twenty dollars, and you just said it for whatever you want your lights to be on and it'll take care of itself. It'S a really really great way to get rid of worrying about your seed starts, just set it on the timer and let it go you can buy different ones that are less expensive. These were two digital ones for thirteen dollars. This was on sale, for I think well, it was twenty 99 regularly, but it's fifty percent off. So you can get any kind of timer. You want highly recommend it. It'Ll make your life a lot easier and you can set up a whole shelving unit of up to eight lights with something you know just like this. Now, let's cover before we get to the other types of grow light stations, you can set out long. You keep the lights on. You want to keep the lights on to make sure again, and I want to stress this over and over again, that you don't get thin spindly leg transplant. If you get that it's it's really no point in growing them, so you want intense light. So when you plant your seeds and I'm gonna, let's say tomato seeds, you plant it tomato seeds. They usually germinate five to seven days. So for the first three days you don't need to light on, but you don't want to turn the lights on after they germinate because they're going to break through the surface or get to think that there's no light and they're gonna get real, skinny and race To grow towards the Sun, who's gonna think they're in a dirt, so a couple days before they would germinate turn your lights on one to two inches above the seed starts.

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It would look just like this and you leave the lights on for 18 hours. So it's 18 hours on six hours off, and you do that five to seven days from when they break the surface until they establish themselves and they look something like this once they get to this size. After about five or seven days, you can set your timer to have either fourteen hours of light or sixteen hours of light. It matters less. The light intensity matters less once the plants are established, they stop growing because they've met the light they start developing leaves if they don't have enough light, that's when they keep stretching and stretching and stretching, and it causes a problem. But if you leave it on for 18 hours again, I know I'm repeating myself, but that's the biggest mistake people make. Is they don't give them enough intense light and they get sad? Looking seed starts and they're disappointed when they go out into the garden alright. So you would set up your 4-foot lights just like this, hang them from the shelf and that would set up the bigger system. If you want something smaller, because a lot of people tell me well, I don't want to grow, you know, 144, you know. 215 seed starts. I don't need all of those, so what you would do actually, if you were growing something, let's do it this way, if you just wanted to do one flat, [, Music ], if you want to do a couple of seed, starts just like this. This container was a dollar. You can start six twelve eighteen right in here, and this would sit on your shelf and the light would sit almost on it. That'S about two inches away. This is a great way and then again you're only going to need two bulbs and one ballast one receptacle here and you could set them up all along here. So that's about six twelve eighteen times three! That'S fifty four plants that you can grow just like this and that's a perfect setup. Now some people say well, I don't want a seed start them all in these small cells. Do I have to do that and the answer is no, you could put them into bigger containers. So, let's just say you wanted to grow something to size. You could get the bigger containers just put the seed in here, but of course, you're. Only gon na have three and it would sit the same way just like this. So that's a couple of ways that you can use the 4-foot tubes. Now the 4-foot tubes are not something you want to use. Let me just switch these out. You can go to the smaller receptacles just like this. These cost about $ 7 for the smaller receptacle they plug it in and you can get different bulbs for them now because we're growing transplants, we just want to be clear again get those own. We don't need to worry about having red light blue light or anything like that. We'Re not growing for flowers, we're not growing for fruit. We just need the five thousand six hundred and fifty Kelvin daylight to grow transplants, how we want to grow them. This is an LED bulb. It'S red! You don't need that. If you want to spend money on it, they're effective, you can go ahead and use it. The LED systems are a lot more expensive. When you get the bigger square systems, they could be hundreds of dollars, but they're very effective, they're very bright, and they give you everything you need to grow, but I want to show you how you can do it in the most inexpensive way. You can get the white light, the LED bulbs, it's just daylight. This is about a thousand lumens and it's 6500 daylight. These are going to clamp on to any kind of post. You have maybe on the corner of your stand or wherever you want, and then the seed starts are gon na sit just like this. Underneath again, you don't need to get the red lights, the blue lights, because we're not growing four blooms, we're not growing four fruit or anything like that. These are the smaller setups all together, I don't know maybe fifteen dollars, depending on what you buy now, if you don't want to set up the grow light station, like I have over there on shelves, you can make something, and you can make something just like this Out of a storage container, you can buy storage containers that have the opening in the front and you can get a bigger receptacle like this one, a stronger bulb and it goes in. Let me just show you real quick. You cut a square, I have a video for this I'll link to it, but you basically cut out a square right here, cut a slit down there and then the clamp just slides into here and the top of the receptacle comes through here and then the cord Comes out just like that, and you can set the girl leg box up this way. Put your foil inside of there. The reflecting light from the foil warp won't burn your plants. Some people say that can happen. Now, with these kind of lights, you can put something under your seed start, so they're closer to the light, and then this can adjust as they grow inside. I use this for a transplant box, so i seed start them over there. On my grow, light stands under the forefoot bulbs and then when the plants are bigger, I actually put them in here, because the intensity of light doesn't have to be as intense when they're germinating. So I hold them inside of here and the bigger containers go in, but you can see the simplicity. This will give you some ideas of how you can set up grow light stations in your house that meets your budget and then in a quick review. Let me just cover the t8 right now are the most economical and most prevalent in the United States. I know that I reach people throughout the world, but the TA bulbs are the most economical. You can go by the LED systems, they're much more expensive. They are effective, you can buy the t5 bulbs they're a little more expensive, but if you want to get a nice mix of budget and effectiveness, the t8 systems work really well and those smaller receptacles like I was showing you. You have to go and buy bulbs like this and they're, not necessarily going to be 2000 3000 lumens, so I'll talk a little bit about the trick for them before I get to that. I want to talk to you about cost. A lot of people say well, what's the point of having you know the grow, light box is set up or the grow light shelving set up if I'm paying a lot in electricity and you're really not paying that much. I have some numbers here, so you can go online and you can go to any electricity, wattage calculator just put in an electricity wattage calculator. You have to go to your state and you have to type in cost per kilowatt hour cost per kilowatt, and that will tell you how much your state charges you.



So, for instance, in Maryland, the charge per kilowatt hour is 12 cents to 13 cents. So in the calculator I put in how long my grow lights are on so for this, for this bulb here to be on for 16 hours, you put in 16 hours. That'S how long it's on every day you put in the cost per kilowatt hour, which was 12 and a half cents, and then you put the wattage of the bulb in there and it'll. Tell you somewhere on here. This has 23 watts, so I put in the calculator 16 hours 12 and a half cents 23 Watts, and then it tells me how much I pay for the month in electricity, so I'm paying four point: five cents a day to run this light 16 hours or A dollar 34 a month: that's not a lot of money! Now, if we go over to the 4-foot tube, I put that into. If I have four bulbs on for 16 hours a day for 30 days and I did 13 cents that comes to four dollars in five cents a month so having the system like right over there set up with a which I was demonstrating here. That'S going to be four dollars and five cents, the electricity cost isn't as much as you think, go ahead and find the electricity. Why ditch calculator online and put in the numbers, like I told you all right now, you can cheat so, let's say you're doing a system like this, where the lights are over it. It'S not as intense, maybe have a bigger space right here. Then the lights actually gon na reach, just because it's winter doesn't mean your seed starts, can't go outdoors. Put the other one wait. Let me grab it real quick. So when your seed starting, you can still use the outdoors there's a whole process, we'll talk about. In other videos - and this is really important when you're growing your seeds indoors - they don't have any understanding of what the Sun is seriously. So when you take these from being inside nice and cushy with you know, just your indoor grow lights on them, they can burn. So if you take them outside, you put them into the full Sun for eight hours right from here, the leaves are gon na burn and you're gon na damage your plants, and you can kill them, so they slowly have to get used to the Sun. When you acclimate them and we'll talk more about that, but a way you can toughen your plants up is these germinating inside. I can go ahead right now. It'S 40 degrees out too cold for these to sit overnight, but with the sunlight out. Right now put these outside: let them get some intense Sun that will make them stronger and stock here that will get them used to the Sun and then before it gets dark out it before the temperatures drop, bring them back in and put them under your lights. So when you have a smaller bulb like this and maybe have a flat that is bigger than you want it, and your plants aren't looking as healthy as you want, go ahead and take the flat outside when it's 40 plus degrees. Let it sit out there for a couple of hours and get some nice Sun and then bring it back in at night when the cloudy day don't put them outside, but you can use the outdoors and indoors to really grow wonderful transplants. So I think I covered everything to give you a good sense of how you would build a grow light station and the most inexpensive way. Again, you don't have to worry about red lights or blue lights, or anything like that. Just get the five thousand sixty five hundred K, Kelvin rating bulbs, and you can have wonderful transplants and save yourself a lot of money. Let me clean this up and we'll get to the seed starts all right, so, let's get to seed starting. So I'm in Maryland zone seven and I can really start putting stuff outdoors in March. So I got a good eight weeks before I can get my cool weather crops today we're gon na start with the plants. You can start 10 to 12 weeks before they would go out into your garden and that's really the perennial herbs like oregano and thyme lavender rosemary grows slowly. You can do sage parsley, and you can also do some perennial flowers which I'm not going to do today. But if you subscribe to my channel the rest of the garden show it's going to cover everything that you start indoors in order next will be lettuces and cool weather crops followed by tomatoes in peppers. So just real quick in the last episode. I showed you how to set up your seed trays and how you would do that, but I want to cover two things that are really important: make sure you use dry, starting mix from the store put it into a container pre moisten. It make sure there's moisture in it, do not take anything from outdoors and bring it inside because you need to be bringing in larvae eggs, insect eggs, you're gon na bury banging funguses and molds and all kinds of stuff. So you take something: that's been outside in the cold put it under the nice warm grow lights, you're gon na get hatching eggs you're going to get insects. You'Re gon na get fungus as you're gon na get disease start with the seed starting mix that you buy. In the bag that's dry and pre moisten it. Now these starting mixes can come with net eggs. That'S just a standard that seems to happen in many many starting mixes, so boil water pour boiling water into this mix it with a spoon saturate your starting mix. Let that heat kill off the eggs and when it's cooled down, go ahead and fill your trays and then the fill your trays, I always want to show people do not put dry mix in here. You'Re gon na be disappointed. If you do that, it has to be pre-moistened, so I'm pack it in just like that. You want a nice solid starting base, fill it again, and this is what you're gon na plant your seeds into. This is a perfect way to get them started, so we're gon na start with some of the herbs. Now I do an over seeding method, which means like in here I'm going to grow chives, I'm not just going to one chive seed in there these seeds, when they fall off the flower nature, hundreds of seeds fall on the ground. They grow right next to each other, so you're not going to just put one chive seed in open them up and it might be hard to see I'll try. But you know they're, not that tiny but you're going to just take a pinch. That'S eight or twelve seeds and I'll do it here, so you can see in eight or twelve seeds into each cell I'll try and do it quickly because we're going to go through different seeds here, eight or twelve chive seeds - and I got too many. Let me put some down right there. So once they're on the surface, you're just going to use a pencil or a popsicle stick, you don't need to be perfect mix it down about a quarter of an inch and half an inch, and this is what we're gon na do with all the seeds today. But these are seeds, varieties that we're going to start 10 to 12 weeks before they can go outside they're extremely Hardy as they get bigger in these small cells. Once you mix them in just collect the soil and press them down with your thumb, you'll make nice Conte. The seeds will make nice contact with the soil, and this is what you have. Okay, we oversee the chives in there. We'Re going to get a label make sure we put it on there and it will slide right in there if your grow lights are gon na, be bumping into that. Just lay it down just like this. I would also recommend writing on a piece of paper what you have, because if these pop out for some reason, you're gon na be disappointed not knowing what's growing so we oversee the chives eight to twelve in here and again subscribe you'll see how these grow you'll See how I transplant them and you'll see how I divide them so chives again, eight to ten weeks, so we can go to the oregano, which is superfine seed about the size smaller than the pinhead, and you can see there's hundreds of seeds in there now. You could drop one seed, but we're gon na drop in probably 20 or 30, and just sprinkle them across the top of the seed starting surface really 20 or 30 seeds, and to one of these little one by one inch cells. Let me collect the rest of the seeds here then again, mix them in quarter of an inch deep. You don't have to go too deep with them and the reason you're putting in so many is because nature kind of has designees to grow next to each other. The root systems can get entangled they become at. They can get really massive in these little cells and they're really really Hardy, that we're gon na actually start six cells of the over seeded oregano and when these get to size again, the need press them in when these gets a size. When they're about this big we're gon na divide them, just tear them right down the middle, put them into transplant cups - something like this, so one will go into here, so these six will then be put into twelve pots like this now I have twelve plants of Oregano pennies to set this up - maybe 50 Cent's, including the soil, including the plastic and including these, and if you go, try and buy. You know an oregano transplant, this size, it's sometimes anywhere between two and four dollars, so we're gon na get twelve for under a buck. Now I also have a seed in garden shop that you can find at WWDC garden calm, and you can find these for sale. You can find these for sale along with about a hundred scenes. Neem oil, calcium nitrate, all kinds of different things. Alright, so we have the oregano set up same thing with the time. Let me see if I can find it real, quick. Oh here it is no! No, no, where is it here? It is so here's the time time is about the same size as the oregano see. If I can get the right amount of seeds this time not to waste any really small and they're, just gon na be sprinkled twenty or thirty per one inch on these six cell packs here just mix them in a quarter of an inch again with your popsicle. Stick or a pencil press them in nice contact between the starting mix and the seeds, and we drop in time now I'll save you some time mint. We would do the same way: they're small seeds maybe 10 to 20 in each one of them. Lavender. We have two kinds: we've got true lavender and we have a mud instead lavender this survives the winter in my area, the Munstead, so I like growing this, but I'd like the purple color more in this pack. So I do both lavender and rosemary seem to take a long time to germinate dull everything that I just planted here. The chives, the oregano and the thyme should germinate between 5 and 10 days, depending on how warm it is. If your grow area under the lights is about 70 to 75 degrees 5 to 10 days, if it's a little bit warmer 75 to 80, much more, you know quickly actually get up to 85 degrees. They germinate really quickly, but you want to be around 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Now the lavender and the rosemary can take anywhere from 14 of to really I've had it actually go to 35 days before germinates. It can take a long time put these in a refrigerator for three nights. Let them get cold, it helps them be tricked into thinking they've gone through a winter and then when they get into some warm ground like this, like your starting mix, they tend to germinate better, so rosemary now rosemary gets to be a big plant. So, theoretically, you only want one growing in here, but because they don't germinate so well. You want to put three to five seeds, they're bigger three to five seeds per cell. You can always divide them. If you want, you can leave them together. If you want, they take care of themselves, so three to five lavender seeds after they've chilled in a refrigerator for about three days and again you're gon na mix these down. These are bigger seeds. They can go down a quarter of an inch to a half an inch and when you're mixing them up like this, try and spread them out so that they're not all clumped together. This way, if you get more than one germinating, you can divide them and end up with two transplants in lavender and rosemary. You can really start like 12 weeks before they're ready to go outside. They tend to grow slowly and take time to germinate. So that is the rosemary and the rosemary seeds and the lavender seeds are pretty much the same. So I'm not going to do those now, but I do lavender true lavender and the Munstead lavender three to five seeds right in there and anywhere from if you're, lucky 14 days to 28 days, they're gon na germinate alright. So we got that now sage. These are bigger seeds and they tend to actually germinate pretty well, you don't have to do much for him. I put three sage seeds. Well, let's see if I can get it open. Three sage seeds per cell they're, bigger and I drop them in one in each corner and again you could try one, but if it doesn't germinate you're sitting around waiting for something to germinate, it doesn't, and you get so many seeds that, if you have to you Know send them out. That'S okay, too, if you keep your seeds in a ziploc storage bag in the house, they can last. You know three, some seeds I'll go even ten years, so you can reuse them. So it's three sage seeds and I press them in about 1/2, an inch deep and then just sprinkle a little more on top and then press them in get the seats to have good contact with the starting mix. That'S your sage! That is set up all right. The sage now what I also like to grow parsley 3 sage, just like the sage, okay, [ Applause ] - is I like to stew. My onions in these seed sells onions are pretty much indestructible seriously. So if you go and you buy the sets, you buy the bulbs that you know it's a little tiny onions, you put them in the ground, sometimes they grow and they produce the flower head because in theory, there's second year, onions, they've, already bowled and their job Is buy as biennials is to grow flowers, produce seed and then recede. If you start them from seed. I found that you have much better luck. Getting nice big, onion heads, so these are Walla Walla onions. They look just like chive seeds, they're related a whole packet of seeds is going into six of these cells. That'S I don't know at least 10 to 15, maybe 20 onion seeds per cell and they're. Of course, they're not going to go to size in here. But what we're going to do is we're going to grow our own. Any bunches, they'll actually look a little bit like these chives and then we're going to take them out. The root system is wiring, it's strong indestructible and we're going to break them apart into single onions, and this is how we're gon na plant onions so we're gon na get 10 20 30 40 50 60 to 80 onions out of here and we're just going to. Let them get about this tall. We'Re gon na have to keep them fed. I will show you how to do that in future episodes if you want to subscribe, but right now we're just getting everything started. You can really mix these down far half an inch and then press it all in, and this is a great way to do. Your onion starts. I guarantee you'll get bigger and fuller onions by starting them indoors like this. Instead of using the little round, onion sets and let me just grab Walla Walla - I need bigger nails to be able to lift these off. So this is my first flat, so we have mint thyme, oregano, chives, rosemary lavender, okay, and I almost forgot water and we're not gon na feed these right now the plants will germinate and use their seed coat for fertilizers, so fertilizing will be in the next show. Watering, I don't want you to water on top, when you water, on top it splashes things around, it can splash fungus around. It can splash disease around bottom water. It'S the easiest way and the cleanest way to water. Just take your one gallon container. If this had water in there, I would just pour this into about a quarter inch depth of the seed tray. These cells have holes in the bottom, they'll absorb the water up, just drop it in there. Let them sit for 20 minutes and in 20 minutes, whatever water is left, whatever excess is left, just pour it back into the container. Now, when do you water, that's gon na vary, depending on how hot your lights are, how much humidity you have where you're growing them, but when you're starting out like this, it's not going to be too often because there's no plant really using the water. This is how you figure out when you water your seed starting mix when it has water in it is dark just like that, as it begins to dry. The top is always gon na dry. First it'll get lighter, so that's dark and that's light and then it'll. Look like this when the whole top is all light, looks like the dry mix from your seed starting mix. That'S when you're gon na bottom water moisture will stay down here. So the top always dries first, that's your clue of when you want to water hope you enjoyed the show future. Episodes will really show you how to fertilize these plants, and it will really again, like I said, take you through the entire process of getting them out into the ground and then we'll get into maintaining your plants out in the garden harvesting all kinds of different things. Please check out my sea chop at WWDC garden com and thanks so much for watching
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