Using Grow Lights With Lettuce Seedlings: A Fall Test

Grow lights romaine fall testWhen I started baby spinach and romaine lettuce seeds for a fall harvest, the seedlings were spindly and sad. This has happened to me more than once while trying to start plants from seed and I never knew why. In the past, I’ve planted these sad sprouts outside (where they failed) and eventually just gave up on growing from seed.

This time, I posted photos of these seedlings online and got my answer — the problem is not too much or too little water, but not enough light. This should have been obvious to me, as many people who live in Cleveland could also use grow lights. A vitamin D supplement is necessary for pretty much everyone who lives here.

I’ve chalked my lack of success up to this point to — you guessed it — a black thumb! So now my grow light adventure begins.

Grow lights timer

Here’s the timer I’m using with the lights. From Hydro Farm.

As a test, I planted four ‘Freckles’ romaine seeds. I’m lighting them from 8am to 8pm every day under the  Milliard Jump Start grow light system. I’m also using a HydroFarm programmable timer.

The grow lights and bench are in the darkest corner of my basement, which seems weird, but that’s where we had the magical combination of space and electricity.

I think I was overwatering at first, because two days ago the seedlings started drooping badly. I switched to a watering can too soon after germination, I think. I’m back to a squirter bottle for now.

Here’s what they look like today, eight days after putting them under lights. We’ll see if they recover. One looks really good. The other three…not so sure.

'Freckles' romaine under lights

2 thoughts on “Using Grow Lights With Lettuce Seedlings: A Fall Test

  1. Pingback: Lettuce Seedlings Love Grow Lights: An Update On My Fall Experiment | How To Nature

  2. Pingback: Garden Gift Ideas For Beginner Gardeners | How To Nature

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