Seed propagation under fluorescent lights

This page follows the life cycle of seeds started in humid pods under cheap fluorescent lighting. As a comparison, I’ve started some seeds outside in a duplicate humid pod, relying on sunlight.

Why?

The Philippines has an abundance of sun light so why start seeds under fluorescent lighting? During testing, I had much more success starting seeds under fluorescent lighting than outside in the sun. This grow will document the growth of plants under fluorescent lighting and also compare it to those started outside under sunlight.

What equipment is being used?

For the ‘humid pods’, I’m using cheap plastic food containers with holes in the bottom for water drainage and holes in the top for air. Styrofoam plates are used as trays for the pods. I’m using standard potting soil. The lighting is a basic fluorescent fixture with built in reflector which holds two 20W daylight tubes. When a source is found, I’d like to replace these tubes with grow tubes made specifically for plants.

Below you can see the 8 pods, seeded and watered.

  • Echinacea
  • Pole Sitao
  • Squash
  • Chamomile
  • Feverfew
  • Bell Pepper
  • Lettuce
  • Egg Plant
Seeds planted in their humid pods.

Seeds planted in their humid pods.

Placement – 29th Nov

The pods have been put under the fluorescent lighting and the comparison pod placed outside in the sunlight.

Seeds started under fluorescent lighting

Seeds started under fluorescent lighting. The fixture holds two 20W tubes which are running for 12 hours a day.

Seeds started outside under sunlight. This pod will be used as a comparison between those under sunlight and those under fluorescent lighting.

Seeds started outside under sunlight. This pod will be used as a comparison between those under sunlight and those under fluorescent lighting.

First sprouts – 1st Dec

The first sprouts have appeared from the Pole Sitao pod. The pods have managed to keep their humidity high, causing droplets of water inside which has kept the soil damp.

The first sprouts have appeared from the Pole Sitao pod. The pods have managed to keep their humidity high, causing droplets of water inside which has kept the soil damp.

More sprouts – 2nd Dec

It's X days after the seeds were planted. There is significant growth of the Pole Sitaeo since yesterday. So far the following have shown signs of life:
It’s 4 days since the seeds were planted. There is significant growth of the Pole Sitao since yesterday. You can also see the squash next to it has grown about an inch. There are also a few green dots to be seen from the Chamomile and Lettuce.

Transplanting the Pole Sitao – 3rd Dec

The Pole Sitao had another growth spurt overnight and is now being transplanted into its own larger pot. The Squash plant is also doing quite well.

The Pole Sitao had another growth spurt overnight and is now being transplanted into its own larger pot. The Squash plant is also doing quite well.

The Pole Sitao has been transplanted into it's own larger pot and placed outside. There's a DIY trellis for them to wind into.

The Pole Sitao has been transplanted into it's own larger pot and placed outside. There's a DIY trellis for them to wind into.

Transplanting the Squash – 5th Dec

Tet test

The squash made it's appearance a little later than the pole sitao but quickly grew large leaves. It's now ready to be transplanted outside.

The squash has been transplanted into a larger pot outside, hopefully large enough for it's aggressive roots!

The squash has been transplanted into a larger pot outside, hopefully large enough for it's aggressive roots!

.

Conclusion – 15th Dec

The sugar peas which were placed outside as a test against the fluorescent lighting didn’t grow. All the plants under the fluorescent lighting did well although the Squash and Pole Sitao were definitely the fastest growing.

As another test, I started some seeds using the same pods but inside on a window sill. These did grow but much slower than those under the fluorescent lighting. I’ll definitely continue starting seeds under the lighting and getting them to a good size before moving outside.

Below is an updated picture of the Squash and Pole Sitao moved outside. For a better look at the life line of these plants and a few others, check out the urban jungle page.

The squash plant now has reasonably large leaves and nice thick strong stems.

The squash plant now has reasonably large leaves and nice thick strong stems.

The leaves of the Pole Sitao have become quite long and the stems are becoming taller day by day.

The leaves of the Pole Sitao have become quite long and the stems are becoming taller day by day.

Posted in Soil
One comment on “Seed propagation under fluorescent lights
  1. mike l says:

    I live in Nagcarlan Laguna with so many trees their is no sun light to grow anything. I am living in a jungle. I have tried to grow tomatoes with no sucess. Bad weather strong rain has destroyed all my plants. Am thinking of growing my garden on my patio. Their is no light source so I am thinking of using grow lights for the full life of my plants. What do you recomend and how many hours a day should I use the light

1 Pings/Trackbacks for "Seed propagation under fluorescent lights"
  1. [...] of the plants were started from seeds under fluorescent lighting while others were just started [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>