Seed Starting Tips From Joe Lamp'l


Back? Joe How. How are you Margaret? I'm fine trying to hang in. There was apprised. You have anything left in the after trial and all those damn see he's Giddy boy so you've been growing from seed confidently or at least I thought so for years and then you sort of went went wild this last year with these extra trials and I mean you know I would look at your instagram photos and videos and you were like in the jungle of seedlings and there was somehow however ever a method to the madness so tell us the truth. How many seedlings did you grow and explain sort of the mad scientist process? That went in prepare into preparing to do this course on sites and I think I'm as guilty as anybody when my exuberance in over enthusiastic nature takes over so I had I lost Canada. Pack had Margaret in each packet has a minimum of twenty five seats. I would say I was in the neighborhood of a couple thousand seedlings every round the trial. So about fifty. Two to fifty to sixty see trays in each trae had at least eighteen sales and some had seventy two cells so you can understand why. I'm a little delirious. I sort of lost count and lost in the jungle. But it's not a bad thing so we're their parts of the seeds starting says that you are particularly uh-huh determined to sort of get to the bottom of things that had maybe stymied you year after year that were just super confusing like in five different resources or different books or online sightsee five different recommendations. Were there yeah. We're there like certain things you were trying to figure out in particular couple in particular in one is certainly was the alighting lighting continuing to evolve. And you know with led grow lights is not just their led anymore it's what spectrum of led lights. Do you want. And how strong do you want it. And how how high do you hang it and how your plants respond and is it worth it to spend all extra money on a superpower. Led light if you're just growing seedlings to put outside six weeks later. I mean I had so many questions. And that's the thing I'm I'm such a curious gardener myself I just feel like I gotTa know everything and why not share it with the rest of the people. What's the crash test Gardner Alloy number of your speaking of light so we can start there so a number of years years ago Dr Thomas Borkman of Cornell. He's a crop physiologist who studies the effects of Environmental Stimuli on plant growth and their development particularly in vegetables and that's his whole career and he has like a laboratory in his specialty. Is You know vegetables. Vegetables seasonings like how it's physiology all G of how they grow. And how can we do better with them. And so forth and he advises you know the nursery and farm agriculture industries and. He told me that in the home seats starting environment. The number number one thing we can do to improve results and especially prevent leggy seedlings is to improve the light. You know that was and there. There's a lot of other factors that affect affect how seedlings develop But the light was the thing an and you know he was like Margaret. No you know think thank you even though the tell all your people even though the window sill looks bright. It's not right and tell them that. The old fluorescent Sir a lot less light than the T- fives saves and and now he would say and the led is but what did you end up kind of. Did you come to a conclusion about light because I mean clearly. I'm I'm on the fence. You can hear it in my voice you know. I'm not changing out. I T five fluorescence which I have mirrored. Would you sell reflective interior. The interior of the hood is reflective. So you get a little extra light. Yes do really well with those I did well with regular fluorescence for a million years or shop shop light for a million years before that but I don't know like where we're wh what did you try. And what do you feel about it because I know you had crazy pictures pictures of like. Is this your basement or where is this place that you do. All this I call it my seats starting room but it's just the I guess the breezeway from going going down in the basement out to the door my garden. So there's this about ten foot wide space in. It's probably about twenty five feet long. And so that's my my laboratory starting starting all these seed trays. And it's right outside my office and so the challenge for me is trying to get through that area without getting distracted and getting sucked into the world of watching seeds. GERMINATE ORNATE I'll stand there for ten minutes seen about a notice a seat a sealy move just because it's grown a little bit in those ten minutes that I was there right but to your question I did in fourteen different light trials and so I tried every type of not every type of light. There is there so many out there but I went from the classic old fashioned old school shop. Light right to stop lights with the led inserts to shop light led lights that all come together as one unit. So you can't change out the lights you get you get buried. Read the light spectrum of the forescent tubes I went from you know low Kelvin. At three thousand zero. Hi Kelvin. The sixty five hundred tests color temperatures I went to the led. Eddie lights and I went to the type that has just what appears to be a clear white light which is just what's called full spectrum. which is all the frequencies that sees and I did dual you'll band led's which is Focusing on the red and the blue which we now know plants respond best to from a vegetative standpoint so I try those against everything else and and then the the Grand Allie was I splurge for a really expensive. Led full spectrum girl like the cost three hundred dollars and it was two thousand watts. And I'm like wow. This is a big light and it really was. It was twenty eight inches wide and our long twenty eight twenty inches wide so it covered the whole shelf in so over over multiple trials. I put them all up against each other head to head and if you're asking for my conclusion it's fascinating because on the super expensive grow light it really does perform uniquely in. If you're trying to have things go to fruit or flower indoors you need a light like that right but if you were just trying to get ceiling caught along for four to six weeks whatever likes you have can work. What I learned Margaret is that you just have to learn how now your light works with the plant? You're going underneath them and learn how to position those lights over the plant and learn how many hours a day you need that. Have that light on in. How does that plant? Get the optimal amount of light coming out of what you have. So you don't necessarily need to go buy one you just need to understand better relationship between the light and the plant and had to get the most data both right and I. I just think I'm just like if we had some sound effects I would go ding Ding Ding. Ding you know. I'd love that answer right because because I again. I'm an old gardener. I and you know forty something years ago. I was using shop hood with a cool and a one cool light and one warm white eight fluorescent and I mean they hardly put out anything if you compare them to the sun outside on a day in May when seedlings would germinate themselves in nature As as Dr Borkman again at Cornell explained to me but but it's a lot of light if you know how to use it and the things that you have to know is how warm is what's being emitted from that a tube. So how close can you get because you WANNA get close but not so close that you toast the baby's cooking you know what I mean and the led's cooler are they. They don't have the heat commission is at so they're considered more efficient for the whatever wattage they are. They're considered more efficient because when the power is coming out of the white it's going to to place it's going it's going to put out the light and it's going to put out heat and so the less heat the more light and vice versa right. Led's do a better job of of being more efficient in that they're putting out more light but the thing about What we often misunderstand about those lights is that we think brighter is better in indepth plants perceive the same way we do but they don't you know they they respond completely differently so just because a light is brighter doesn't necessarily make it better right right so so again? I'm feeling happy with my. I don't know if they're you know. Five or seven year old I'm not talking about that. I've been running them for the obsessing bald necessarily for seven years nonstop because again I might use them for six weeks twelve hours a day right in once a year for that little period. Here you know because I'm overlapping a bunch of different crops. But that's it you know it's not I'm not doing a million things. I'm not doing as many fifty two trays times. A billion seeds. He's like you did. And obviously you change out the bulb when the ball is you have to read the instructions and see what the life of the bulb is your. Yeah yeah go ahead I was going to say I mean if you really wanted to geek out on that there. There's an instrument that you can get that measures that like quality around your plants. It's not for the everyday the day. See Starter who doesn't want to invest a minimum of one hundred fifty dollars but there are tools out there which I invested because I was determined to really measure the details tales right. And that's one way that you can do it. is those those light readings. Go down as the bulbs get older. And that's one indication but probably not the most practical things for people to do but using your is in in looking at how the plants respond will really give you lots of clues you might not be able to detect it in the perception of the brightness of that light to the human eye but the your plants plants will tell you they they. It's amazing how much they'll tell you if you just learn to communicate with

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