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Best 60 watt screw bulb?

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Best 60 watt screw bulb?

Post  navajas on 2/21/2012, 6:24 pm

Given that I'm already ponying up more money than budgeted to amend my soil I'm trying to go very cheap on my seed starting gear. I got the ladt at the nursery to give me free pots and a tray, bought a $5 lid, am trying some soil from the garden and have two desk lamps aimed at them. I think I'll order a heat mat. (This is for peppers, tomatoes, cauliflower and broccoli. Wait, did I forget to start something? Do you have to start celery? ARGH! BRAIN EXPLODING!)

Anyway, had high hopes of building a fluorescent grow lamp ballast support thing out of PVC but could not find ballast small enough. I was wanting a 24" two bulb thing because we've got less than three feet to use. Bummer. So, hence, desk lamps. Anyone know of a bulb that even approaches useful daylight-ish results in a standard screw in 60 watt bulb? Right now it's rockin' those save the Earth by going blind via ultra dim compact fluorescent coil bulb things.

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Re: Best 60 watt screw bulb?

Post  camprn on 2/21/2012, 6:35 pm

I had pretty good results with a 'daylight' compact fluorescent (that I bought at the orange box store)in a can gooseneck style desk lamp like this:

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Re: Best 60 watt screw bulb?

Post  navajas on 2/21/2012, 6:40 pm

Yeah cool. Know what wattage it was rated? I've found a few 23-26 watt CFLs.

EDIT: Der. Found one. I think I'll do that. Couple of those + heating pad - my ignorance, might just = tiny plants.

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Re: Best 60 watt screw bulb?

Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut on 2/21/2012, 7:08 pm

If you are looking for smaller flourescent lights, try the "under cabinet" light area of your favorite store. I picked up a 24" grow light (it included the t8 growlight bulb) at "Wal..." store for around $11. It only has the one bulb and is designed to be installed under cabinet or on wall, but I'm just "propping" it up on boxes over my seeds, similar to what I think Quiltbea was doing. It seems to be working for the small setup I wanted just to start out. Smile

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Re: Best 60 watt screw bulb?

Post  plantoid on 2/21/2012, 7:19 pm

@navajas wrote:Given that I'm already ponying up more money than budgeted to amend my soil I'm trying to go very cheap on my seed starting gear. I got the ladt at the nursery to give me free pots and a tray, bought a $5 lid, am trying some soil from the garden and have two desk lamps aimed at them. I think I'll order a heat mat. (This is for peppers, tomatoes, cauliflower and broccoli. Wait, did I forget to start something? Do you have to start celery? ARGH! BRAIN EXPLODING!)

Anyway, had high hopes of building a fluorescent grow lamp ballast support thing out of PVC but could not find ballast small enough. I was wanting a 24" two bulb thing because we've got less than three feet to use. Bummer. So, hence, desk lamps. Anyone know of a bulb that even approaches useful daylight-ish results in a standard screw in 60 watt bulb? Right now it's rockin' those save the Earth by going blind via ultra dim compact fluorescent coil bulb things.



See if anyone is giving away a fish tank with " grow lites " in the lid on the freecycles etc. that way if you get one you could raise and lower the seed trays on stack of old books etc to take themn to the light and remove books as the plants grow.

Yes you do need to start celery seedsusually indoors .. usually on damp paper or vermiculite , in a chinese food takeaway tray . Cover with polyethene and put in a warm dark place to germinate, then carefully lift out without damaging the newly germinated seeds and pot on as individuals



or

Lightly/ thinly sprinkle sow the seeds on to a seed bed mix in a seed tray ,cover with newspaper ( not glossy magazine stuff ) and a sheet of glass . Germinate in a warm place checking daily , once germinated harden off in the same room after removing the paper & glass .

Once about an inch and a half long move to a cooler place with light to grow them on to about two inches long then individually pot them up and transplant the pottings out in the veg beds when they are around four inches long.

They will have formed a tangled mess so be careful untangling them so as not to damage them



But that info should be on the seed pack anyway .

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Incandescent grow light

Post  tomperrin on 2/21/2012, 7:23 pm

I'm using a mercury free Phillips EcoVantage Natural Light 43w=60w A19 bulb purchased from Home Depot in a pack of 2.

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switch to CFL or Fluorescent

Post  craig1 on 2/22/2012, 12:40 am

What about switching to CFL, since it bulb fits in an existing socket and comes in 13 watt which is equivalent to a 60 watt incandescent I believe. The retail line is called Sunblaster.
http://sunblasterlighting.com/13-26-55-watt.php
I have seen these at indoor gardening shops and gardening shops as well. I'm not familiar with the price range, as I use T8 fluorescent bulbs (you could use T5s for even better results). A local garden expert recommended to use 6400 K color spectrum (daylight).
As well, CFLs and fluorescent are much more energy efficient than incandescent and do not give off much heat so they can be set 1-2" from the plants. For myself, running 1 four foot fixture (64 watts) for 16 hours per day for 30 days costs me about $2.03. My hydro rate is $.0662/Kw.
Formula: 64w * 16h/day * 30 days /1000w/Kw * $.0662/Kw =$2.03
substitute your hydro/electricity rate and hours per day in as applicable. Even at $0.12 one month of operation costs about $3.69
Craig.

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Re: Best 60 watt screw bulb?

Post  Windsor.Parker on 2/22/2012, 1:32 am

@navajas wrote:... am trying some soil from the garden...
affraid
Get some "seed starting mix" or vermiculite.
OR
at least "sterilize" the garden soil first.
You'll minimize the risks of disease and "damping off" of your seedlings.
Can't help you with the lighting question, though. Sad

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Re: Best 60 watt screw bulb?

Post  TN_GARDENER on 2/22/2012, 6:32 am

@navajas wrote: Anyone know of a bulb that even approaches useful daylight-ish results in a standard screw in 60 watt bulb?

Most of what you see on sale are the soft white bulbs. Hunt around a little and look for CFL "daylight" bulbs with higher Kelvins (5,000K - 6,500K). I'd also go with a 100watt equivalent bulb.


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Re: Best 60 watt screw bulb?

Post  navajas on 2/22/2012, 11:07 am

@Windsor.Parker wrote:
@navajas wrote:... am trying some soil from the garden...
affraid
Get some "seed starting mix" or vermiculite.
OR
at least "sterilize" the garden soil first.

Ok, that sounds easy enough, though I guess I'll just have to toss the ones in there now. :-/ Wondered about that. One thing I don't get is why for seed starting inside does one need to go through this extra step when for other plants you just shove them in the dirt?

Craig1: Yeah, I was actually assuming CFLs. Didn't make that understood. I've since found, at least over the phone, surprisingly cheap "daylight" CFLs at HD. Will be checking them out today.

Thanks for all the thoughts folks.

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Re: Best 60 watt screw bulb?

Post  Windsor.Parker on 2/22/2012, 1:05 pm

@navajas wrote:...One thing I don't get is why for seed starting inside does one need to go through this extra step when for other plants you just shove them in the dirt?...

One reason is that garden soil may contain weed seed, and you don't want any of that contamination. You could be unable to differentiate between them soon enough to save your seedlings.

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Re: Best 60 watt screw bulb?

Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut on 2/22/2012, 3:44 pm

@navajas wrote:...One thing I don't get is why for seed starting inside does one need to go through this extra step when for other plants you just shove them in the dirt?...

Hmmm...you caused me to think...which is good. I guess when I see forum members with special lights, fans, heat mats, and starting soil, I think like this...

When we go out into the sun, we get all the Vitamin D we need. It's nature. It works as the universe intended. When we as humans, want to try to enhance or replicate nature (say for my mother, who can't go outside if it's too cold or hot because of heart issues...bless the technology that allowed a human to replace her mitral valve), we have to manufacture vitamin D. This involves lots of processing and special equipment in order to even get close to the benefit.

I sort of think of seed starting indoors like that. It's the indoor seed starting where we are trying to replicate nature, and we will probably never be able to entirely do that. In nature, things are orchestrated to work a certain way. Plants are equipped to sprout with a certain success when exposed to a natural environment.

When we try to replicate that indoors, things don't exactly get the same sun, airflow, heat, microbes, outside influences, etc. So we have to try to hedge our bets if we want to get seedlings started indoors.... Some of that is using grow lights, some of that is applying heat, some of that is applying air flow and some is making sure that the growing medium creates as little negative conditions as possible. That is why some gardeners prefer to wait for the optimum planting time and plant directly outdoors. Some gardeners want to grow plants that take longer than their growing season to mature, and some just like to get a head start for various reasons, so they try to replicate the seedling conditions inside. They try to create the best environment possible, knowing they can't completely replicate nature.

My thoughts and a Starbucks gift card will get you a flavored cup of coffee... LOL Smile


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Re: Best 60 watt screw bulb?

Post  navajas on 2/22/2012, 6:00 pm

Fair enough.

So what I've ended up with is a heat mat on order from Amazon ($20.00), a tray, little NK discs, a bag of Jiffy seeding mix, clear plastic dome and a stack of free plastic cups from local nursery ($12.30), two new 6500k CFL bulbs for my desk lamps ($8.00).

So about $40. Tossed all my old garden soil + seeds into the compost. Have the expando discs floating in the seeding mix. Did that because I figured the cups would be way too deep which they are.

*shrug*

For what it's worth.

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Re: Best 60 watt screw bulb?

Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut on 2/22/2012, 6:21 pm

I'm excited for you! Post a pic when you have your first sproutlings (love that word - someone on the forum used it and it so describes the tiny little seedlings just poking through the vermiculite)! Smile I don't have a heat mat so you'll have to let me know how that works for you. I've been wanting one. Smile I'm starting out very small, but I managed to catch a glimpse of my first indoor sproutlings only yesterday... cheers Can't wait til your little guy sees his first seed pop up. sunny

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Re: Best 60 watt screw bulb?

Post  Windsor.Parker on 2/22/2012, 11:14 pm

@UnderTheBlackWalnut wrote:...Some gardeners want to grow plants that take longer than their growing season to mature, and some just like to get a head start for various reasons, so they try to replicate the seedling conditions inside. They try to create the best environment possible, knowing they can't completely replicate nature. ...

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Re: Best 60 watt screw bulb?

Post  navajas on 2/22/2012, 11:33 pm

Oh I get that, it just seems counter intuitive that this magic mix we're striving to create that works so super well for 90% of the plants we grow from seed to plate is suddenly inadequate (apparently dangerous even) for indoor sprouting. I'm not arguing it isn't the case, but the fact certainly doesn't leap up and down holding a sign that reads "I make all kinds of sense!"

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Re: Best 60 watt screw bulb?

Post  Windsor.Parker on 2/23/2012, 2:14 pm

@navajas wrote:...I'm not arguing it isn't the case...

IMO, soil blocks/cubes offer advantages over most other methods for germinating seeds indoors.

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Re: Best 60 watt screw bulb?

Post  gwennifer on 2/23/2012, 2:27 pm

Wouldn't it be okay to use Mel's Mix to fill your starting trays so long as it was fresh mix that wasn't brought in from outdoors? The book says to start in vermiculite and then transplant into four packs filled with Mel's Mix.

Windsor.Parker, I've been reading you and quiltbea talk about soil blocks. Can they be made out of Mel's Mix? Or are you using some other soil mixture?

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Re: Best 60 watt screw bulb?

Post  Windsor.Parker on 2/23/2012, 5:30 pm

@gwennifer wrote:...I've been reading you and quiltbea talk about soil blocks. Can they be made out of Mel's Mix? Or are you using some other soil mixture?
Glad you noticed gwennifer.
I'm pretty sure that MM would work just fine. I'm using MM with a bit of sand added.
Since this was my 1st use of soil cubes I tried to blend "by the book" (www.soilcube.com). I adjusted the formula however, 'cuz I didn't have one or two ingredients. My thinking was/is that since this technique has been used successfully for over 2,000 years there must be many recipes, so what I'd be making would likely work.
My poor eyesight caused destruction of several sprouts while trying to remove them from moist paper towels, rock-wool plugs and/or vermiculite beds. Also, I frequently lost track of which sprouts were which.
So I took the plunge for a cube tool, and blended a batch of soil cube mix the moment it arrived. I have yet to "master" the process, but to date I've been able to sprout over 30 seeds, all of which look pretty healthy. There are nearly 50 more plants germinating (I hope!) at the moment, each with its ID in/on its own cube.
The moment one sprouts I move it under very close growing light.

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Re: Best 60 watt screw bulb?

Post  plantoid on 2/23/2012, 5:36 pm

@navajas wrote:Oh I get that, it just seems counter intuitive that this magic mix we're striving to create that works so super well for 90% of the plants we grow from seed to plate is suddenly inadequate (apparently dangerous even) for indoor sprouting. I'm not arguing it isn't the case, but the fact certainly doesn't leap up and down holding a sign that reads "I make all kinds of sense!"



Hi NAVAJAS,


I'd like to offer this from my other forms of gardening days and of what I know about Mel's Mix when correctly made.


The reason we don't normally use Mel's Mix for starting seeds indoors or a glasshouse in trays is because it is too nutritious ( as well as expensive in labour and money ) ), the seedlings would be long & weedy with no decent roots in a matter of days after germination.



Starting them direct in the beds outside is a different kettle of fish for the temperatures and general weather is usually much kinder at the recommended outdoor sowing times .







That's why we start seeds of on a seed base be that soil or non soil based that has just enough nutrients in it to allow the top growth to develop at a much slower rate than the roots .

This seed base can be an inert material like vermuculite or perlite , the roots will take their initial nutrients out of the water ( use clean rain water not tap water ).

It's also the reason why we sometimes have to pot plants up after the second set of leaves have developed ..there would not be enough food for them in rain water alone .

So we move them onto a potting up mix that has some small amounts of nutrients that allow better root formation and a bit of top growth .. once this is well under way we then plant out into the " Full Monty " of " Mel's Mix " in the bed .

When plants are grown commercialy they miss out on various steps by watering in the nutrients at the correct time and stage of growth , this gives them a few weeks food , but once they have been hanging around in a garden shop etc it's not long before they start to show signs of nutrient depravation ,unless the store staff know what they are doing and feed the plants .

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Re: Best 60 watt screw bulb?

Post  dsfin on 2/24/2012, 12:51 am

Using regular run of the mill garden soil for seed starting in a container (indoors or outdoors) will not give you the results you want. Use a good quality seed starting mix or even straight vermiculite. Both are sterile and will drain properly. Regular garden soil will not drain properly when used in containers (i.e. a pot or seed starting tray). Same goes for your SFG boxes, you use Mel's Mix (peat, verm & compost); no garden soil.

CFL's and Florescent lights (in the 6500K range) are good. There are also LED lights starting to show up which are appropriate for plant lighting purposes. They produce more light intensity at less wattage (cheaper to operate) and with less heat. So you can get the light emitter closer without worry of causing injury to the plants. It is newer lighting technology, so is currently kind of spendy. Eventually the cost will come down with more competition by the manufacturers. Same as was for CFL's and Florescent lights when they were first introduced.

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