Germination

Something green for Valentine’s Day!

Yesterday I turned on the lights on over the grow stand shelf, because I have my first little seeds pushing their way up though the soil.

The kale, broccoli, and lettuce have all begun to germinate. Joy!

My little helper was excited to peek in and see them too:

I put an emergency blanket over the grow light. This will help prevent “leggy” seedlings (ones that are too tall and have weak stems from stretching out to get more light).

I will set up a timer on the light sometime this week, so it will automatically turn on and off to mimic normal daylight hours without me having to remember. I don’t leave the grow lights on all the time, because I think it stresses the plants out if they don’t get a rest each night.

Similarly, I didn’t use extra light for our hens this winter, either, just a red heat lamp a few nights when it got really cold. I didn’t record data, but it seemed like the output wasn’t very different (we still had enough eggs that we were giving them away this winter). I think it just stresses the hens out because its not “natural” to have 14 hours of daylight in December. I noticed when we did use the extra light out there, they didn’t like to go in the coop when the light was on, so they often froze their buns off in the wee hours of the morning standing outside.

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