Forum home Fruit & veg

Seedlings under light

Hi all,

I have recently purchased the 'Garland Grow Light Garden' (a small lighting system for starting seedlings indoors). My question is when do I switch on the lights! As soon as I have planted the seeds or when the seedlings appear?

Am sure it wont make much difference but wondered what the best method was.

Thanks in advance



  • Pointless having the lights on when nothing is showing, you can,but why waste power,wait till things show,but then do it immediately.

  • Some seeds need light to germinate, others need complete darkness. The seed packet should tell you which to cover with compost and which to leave on the surface. I generally leave all small seeds on the top and only lightly cover larger seeds, except pansies and violas that you need to cover with tinfoil to exclude all light. If the  'Grow light garden' is placed where there is some daylight that should be sufficient for germination. but good light levels are needed to prevent seedlings getting too leggy -  plants stop growing when they have enough light - and encourage the production of chlorophyll. This makes them green instead of white or yellow and means they can photosynthesise to fuel their own growth. Having the overhead lighting will also stop them leaning outward in search of light. You will need to provide light as soon as the seed leaves unfold.

  • We have ours on a timer and it comes on at 10pm and goes off at 7am. It does seem to speed up germination for us.

  • JoneskJonesk Posts: 205

    Thank you.

    I shall wait until I see the seedlings push through. I let my 2 year old daughter help with planting so there is an unintentional mix of some covered seeds and some left on the surface of the soil!

    My usual conservatory windowsill is out of use this year (again thanks to my enthusiastic 2 year old!) So I'm hoping the 'grow light garden' will allow me to use a darker windowsill in a room that I can close off.

    I guess i'll see how it goes image

  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,786

    Gardening with children is such a joy, ay?  I've got an enthusiastic four year old helper (who was rather lethal with a kiddy hoe last year, so will likely get his very own patch to tend to this year) and a new 11 month old addition to the family (who was happy to watch from the side lines last year, but currently eats more dirt than dinner some afternoons outside).  

    I'd say put that light down within a few inches of the soil and keep it on a timer switch.  The extra gentle heat may help with germination of some reluctant seeds, and they will have good light from day one.  Read the seed packets and just set those that require dark off to the side elsewhere, until they've sprouted.  

    Utah, USA.
  • JoneskJonesk Posts: 205

    Thanks Blue Onion, (note to self - DO NOT buy her a hoe!!)

    I'd pulled some self seeded lupins and potted them up ready for transplant later in the year this afternoon and set them aside, I let my attention wander for a few moments and was met with a big pile of sodden compost with a few crushed plants in the middle of my patio with her triumphantly exclaiming 'Eilir help mummy!!!') - hmmmm yes, thank you!! I have to remind myself that her enjoying the outdoors and feeling included in garden activities is more important than a few lupins - but god help her if she touches my tomatoes!!

    I also have a 5 month old daughter (who sleeps like a baby and lets me get on in the garden presently) I'm on maternity leave until early August so hoping to enjoy every second of the garden this year.

    Well the lights are on and the canopy dropped low. Tomatoe seedlings 2 days in and no sign of life yet - excited to see how things turn out.

    Any tips on gardening with children? Particularly how to introduce some potted plants into my conservatory windowsill (that cannot be shut off from our lounge) with even a tiny chance of them being left alone!


Sign In or Register to comment.