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    Back Yard Farming

    I have been starting my Sweet Pepper plants from seed the last 5 years just by using natural light. I bought a White LED grow light this year or should have I bought the Red/Blue LED grow light. White says it is for the Vegetative stage and Red/Blue for the
    flowering stage. I bought this for seedlings.
    I am just looking for a little thicker stem when it comes time to transplant into the garden.
    Any Botanist out there?

    #2
    Put a fan on your plants, wind moving plants back and forth is what makes them grow thicker stems.
    Sometimes it's fun to just sit back and watch the circus.....

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    • QuackerTracker
      QuackerTracker commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank You Shorty! I had not thought of that!

    • Jayomaha
      Jayomaha commented
      Editing a comment
      Just like moving your muscles back and forth. Stretches things improves cell growth.
      Keep it safe! JDL

    #3
    Not a botanist but been growing indoors for years. For seed starting use the black flats with clear humidity dome on top. Put theses in a closet or other small enclosed area. and put a small space heater underneath. Use a thermometer to regulate temperature to around 70 - 75.Put your florescent light right on top but not touching the dome.24 hours of light per day with plenty of moisture(damp but not soggy) until the plants reach the top of the domes. At that point transfer plants to 16 ounce plastic cups with holes in the bottom. Use a starter fertilizer and go sparingly with this. You don't want to burn the plants up. Put the transplants under a 400 watt hps light with a very light fan breeze. Make sure you have have fresh air circulation at this point. Run the light 18 hours a day with a timer. Make sure the on off cycle generally follows the sunrise sunset period as you will be transfering outddors at some point. Sometime around mid April you can put the plants outside during the day and take them in at night to harden them off. Come about mid may put them in the ground and away they go. I have done this with cherry tomatoes and determinate tomates and got edible ripe friut by the end of June.The determinate tomates were baseball to softball size and ripe! The biggest hurdle to indoor growing and leggy plants is lack of light.
    Yall aint from round here is you?

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      #4
      I'll second Tuna's thoughts about needing to get a grow light close to the dome. I used to be limited with how my seedlings were set up and had my light much too high off the plants and it results in tall but spindly plants that don't survive well when I took them outside. My most recent crop (even after the dome came off) had the light 1" above the top of the seedlings as they grew; the closer it is to them the less they have to reach up to get it and that energy goes into a stronger plant. The fan was the other key to stronger and more healthy plants.

      The other thing I would recommend, more so even than the cold hardening is gradually exposing them to sunlight once you start to transition them off the grow light. If you start with a diffuse light outdoor setting and then gradually move them into full sunlight you'll help yourself later. I had a whole crop of seedlings my first year get sun scorched badly the first day I put them outside; the sunlight is so much more intense than a simple bulb.

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