|Grow light: high output fluorescent light, insulated base, surrounding blanket|
What an absolute difference the PROPER elements make in growing seeds. As I posted in my previous entry, temperature - meaning soil temperature, not room temperature - is the key to growing.
My previous location was an old bookshelf in the kitchen. Aside from the hideous 1964 wallpaper backdrop, I noticed the base cups in which my plants are growing was cool to the touch. One seed distributor actually a warming mat designed for the indoor growers like myself, and I of course scoffed at what a wast of money that must be.
However, last week, with transplants successfully growing but not at the rate I would have imagined, much slower in fact, I realized that I had missed the importance on soil temperature and both my transplants and yet-to-emerge seedlings were paying the price.
I set-up a new location (pictured above). With a few scrap 2x4's to support the cross piece, I mounted a high output fluorescent shop light over my plants, and the results were exactly what I was hoping for. What you see above is after one week in this new home: the cups house a variety of tomatoes and by the sixth day had grown into the light bulbs, one leaf was literally extending and making contact with it. The bulb was initially placed approximately 4" above the highest leaf, so I can conclude that I witnessed approximately 4" of growth, from one plant at least, in just one week.
The tray on the right-hand side of this image shows several seedlings that have emerged as well. There you see a combination of tomatoes that had not yet broken the surface or just barely, as well as my peppers (CA Wonder & Lipstick) that have not only sprouted but are showing a second set of leaves and great color.
Note to self: TEMPERATURE, TEMPERATURE, TEMPERATURE!