As the seedlings grow, I will slowly lift the lights higher so that the lights are always about 2 or 3 inches above them. This will help to keep them from getting too tall, too quick and they will develop into stronger plants.
|Light/Hood Over Seed Tray|
Right now, it is the cabbages and Pak Choy that have started to germinate and produce seedlings. I have one Cherokee Purple Tomato seedling at this point. The tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers usually take a little longer to germinate and grow into seedlings. I have the tomatoes on a heat mat, I'm curious to see what kind of difference that makes.
The lights that I use are for plants and I have them in hoods that you would normally place over the top of an aquarium. My husband helped me to figure out a way to attach them with wing nuts, washers, and small metal brackets. This allows me to move them up and down as needed.
I hope to plant the rest of my seeds I need right now either later today or tomorrow. If I plant a little each week, the rotation of plants will be ready and healthy by the time it is time for outdoor planting. You have to remember to allow time for hardening off your plants. If you don't do it slowly, you will lose plants and/or set back some of your plants. I always plant a few more than I need. You never know when there is going to be a mishap and it's nice to have a few extra to share with family and friends. I never have trouble finding someone to take extra tomato, eggplant, or pepper plants!