Thursday, May 10, 2012

Grow light sparks tomato seedlings

Tomato starters under our new grow light
Seeking stronger tomato plants we decided to invest in  a grow light this season. We got this simple Hydrofarm JSV2 2-Foot Jumpstart T5 model on Amazon for just $50. We put our little seedlings under the light and took off for a 10 day trip, giving our cat sitter instructions on how to adjust the system as the plants grew taller (and of course, to keep them watered.) When we came back the seedlings had sprung up like weeds. Though they're still not as fat as green house starters, they're not as spindly as they have been in the years when we depended on natural light.
The next step is "hardening off" the plants, or getting them ready for the outdoors. To do this, we put the seedlings outside for a couple of hours before and after work and on the weekends. This helps them adjust to strong sunlight, chilly temperatures and windy conditions. It will keep them from wilting or going into shock when we move them to the big pots on the terrace. I am really looking forward to a healthy crop this year!

Seedlings growing strong

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