2022 Garden Plans
- This topic has 141 replies, 8 voices, and was last updated 5 months ago by Mike Nolan.
June 15, 2022 at 8:23 pm #34349
I have a mystery for the experienced gardeners. Last year, we bought a set of grow lights from Gardener's Supply. The idea was to grow spinach and lettuce inside over the winter. Neither did well, and my husband assumed it was a soil issue, so he tried again. Results were still not good, even after he adjusted the height above the plants.
This spring he put tomato plants he had started under the grow lights. They did not grow, just sat there. He finally moved them outside. It took a couple of weeks, but they finally seem to have started growing.
He is now using the grow lights for his little trees, and they are thriving with the grow lights. That is good, since it would otherwise have been a waste of money. For some reason, the vegetable plants do not thrive under the kind of light they produce.June 15, 2022 at 9:24 pm #34350
Not all grow lights cover the same light spectrum or with the same intensity. We had some fluorescent bulbs that were supposed to be good grow lights, they didn't work very well. I've not been impressed by the incandescent grow bulbs I've seen, either.
The LED lights that Aerogarden uses work well.
So do the LED lights that my wife bought some years ago, they're made by Happy Leaf. One of the professors in her department (Agronomy and Horticulture) tested them using a light meter and they rated 100% across the portions of the spectrum he tests.
As I understand it, the reason LED lights have improved so much has do do with how they can be 'tuned' for specific crops, most notably cannabis, and their low energy usage. There was an illegal cannabis grow house busted a few blocks from here a few years ago, the cops found it by looking at electricity bills, the house was using FAR MORE than the expected electricity usage for that size house.June 15, 2022 at 9:30 pm #34351
I'm a bit worried that my tomato plants got stunted a few days after I planted them, when it hit 38 degrees one night. Some of them haven't grown much in the nearly 4 weeks since then, and none of them have really taken off like I would have expected.
Hopefully I'll still get an OK crop, but maybe it'll be a few weeks later than I was hoping. Last year we had our first tomatoes by about July 6th. (They were '4th of July' plants, of course.)June 16, 2022 at 5:25 am #34353cwcdesignParticipant
At the end of last year, Will had done a lot of research on grow lights. The one we had used was a simple grow light bulb from the garden center or HD - I think the garden center was out. We got a light from Mars Hydro and of course everyone thought he was growing cannabis, not vegetables. It worked really well initially, but then our plants never took off.
I finally harvested what little I had left outdoors - in 2 months nothing grew - the carrots were less than an inch! But they made a tasty salad. The box now has shade tolerant herbs.
So, I guess what I'm saying is that even grow lights are trial and error.June 16, 2022 at 6:33 am #34354chocomouseParticipant
Lots of things to think about when gardening! My lettuces do great inside under gro lights, all winter. Not quite as lush as lettuce grown outside in May-June, but still excellent. Remember that lettuce is a cool weather crop, so check your indoor temps. 70* is great for sprouting seeds, but too warm for growing great lettuce. Also, think about the soil in your pots. This was new learning for me last year when I started growing so many veggies in planters on the deck. Dirt from the garden is not a good choice for planters. It is too heavy and doesn't drain well. I mix mine with composted horse manure and my own compost, about 1/3 each, although a little more of the compost, and it seems to work OK. There is also a difference between potting soil and seed starting soil that you buy in bags. I also wonder if any professional studies have been done with the different kinds of gro lights?June 22, 2022 at 3:36 pm #34418
Thanks for the insights about our grow lights. It is good to know that we are not the only ones who have had issues. When we bought them, my husband was uncertain because there was no specific information on the light they put out. I may write to Gardener's Supply and see what they say.
Chocomouse--once my husband moved the planter of lettuce outside, after the weather warmed up, the lettuce began to flourish, so soil is not the issue.
I have been harvesting black raspberries from the terrace. The hot spells we have had will likely reduce how much fruit we get. We may need to go check out one of our woodlands to see if the berries there are ripening.
Our green beans are beginning to flower!June 22, 2022 at 5:51 pm #34419
There are reviews of grow lights, and not all of them are done by the cannabis community. 🙂
I looked at one and stopped reading in the 2nd paragraph where it was ranking LED lights by wattage. That's not how you measure lighting!
I have two light meter apps on my iPhone, but they don't always give readings I consider similar, and I'm not sure which is right. (It reminds me of the old saying that a man with a watch knows what time it is, but a man with two watches isn't sure.)June 24, 2022 at 9:15 pm #34430
I picked about a cup of black raspberries from our yard this evening, mostly on the east side of the house. Got a few scratches, of course.June 30, 2022 at 9:04 pm #34513
I saw two snow peas on one of the plants tonight. It also looks like there might be a green bean or two. The tomato plant I bought at the farmers' market has grown and is flowering. The two that were stunted by the grow light--or did not get what they needed from the grow light--are now growing, but they are small. The honey-nut squash plants may be about to bloom.July 1, 2022 at 11:14 am #34514
My tomatoes are finally starting to grow and flower, but it'll probably be August before I see enough tomatoes to make even a sandwich. (And that assumes we get enough cool weather to set fruit, if it stays in the 90's nearly every day the blossoms won't set.)
The eggplants also look like they're starting to grow. I'm less confident the cantaloupe will ever take off.
It seems like the weather has been a series of 'too's: too hot, too cold, too dry, too wet.July 1, 2022 at 7:36 pm #34518chocomouseParticipant
Just turned the water to the garden off, and hoping for thunder storms and then 4-6 hours of rain tonight. We are in a pretty significant drought area here. I have one head of broccoli picked for a salad tomorrow night. I've been pulling onions from a pot on the deck, that I started onion sets in months ago. The cherry tomato on the deck has a lot of green tomatoes. The lettuces continue to do well, and I've started more seeds this week for another crop. The weather is not great for gardening -- we have swings from 95 during the day to 45 at night, and on June 18, my grand-daughter's wedding day, the high temp was only 53. In Vermont now, it's typically around 80 during the day, and about 65 at night.July 2, 2022 at 5:35 pm #34529
We have had 'chances of rain' on and off for the last two days and for the next several days, but so far the storms have all gone south of us, all we got was brief sprinkles. I'm probably going to water my vegetables this evening.July 4, 2022 at 9:09 am #34553
I got some tomatoes at the farmer's market yesterday, the vendor said everybody's gardens are behind this year, so it isn't just mine.July 7, 2022 at 2:43 pm #34581
We had a handful of snow peas from our garden to use in last night's stir-fry. We have enough green beans to include in tonight's meal. Tomato and squash plants are flowering or about to flower.July 7, 2022 at 2:48 pm #34582
I've got several little tomatoes on maybe 10 of my 24 tomato plants, the largest of them isn't quite ping pong ball size yet. The vines aren't as tall as I would have expected them to be by July 7th, but at least they're setting some fruit.
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