It has become very simple to start growing plants in the comfort of your own home. Depending on where you live, you can grow just about anything indoors. That is if you have space. You can grow indoor plants in your home, greenhouse, or garage. After finding space, you must then find a way to care for them.
Most indoor plants must be accompanied by some kind of source of light such as sunlight or an artificial source.
They must also have some kind of source of water to keep them hydrated. Those are two key parts of the indoor planting process. Other components may include the following:
With all of that in mind, you will be able to grow plants indoors without the stress of having insufficient resources. Plants can easily die when they are indoors because they have specific needs that are not automatically met if they are not handled with care.
The first component mentioned, temperature control, is a big part of what will make your plant feel at home. If you have a plant that thrives off of warm temperatures, you will have to keep the environment at a high enough temperature. Greenhouses do a great job at stabilizing the temperature at appropriate levels.
Potting soil is important for indoor plants because it provides them will pest-free soil. This is not only important for the plant, but it can be very helpful for keeping bugs out of your home. Outdoor soil may contain spiders, centipedes, and other pests that live in the surrounding environment.
If you want to make sure that the indoor plants are being watered enough, moisture meters will tell you when they need to be watered. The soil should never be too dry if your plant requires an adequate amount of water for its survival. There are pin, pinless, and all-in-one moisture meters available to you.
The Problem with Growing Plants Indoors
Any plant-lover will tell you that growing plants indoors comes with its own quirks. If you accidentally water your plants too much, the water will soak your floors. That can be very inconvenient if your home has carpet because that causes your carpeting to smell quite bad.
Another issue that comes with growing plants indoors is that it can be hard to remember when to water your plants. You have to make sure you set up a day and time to water your plants so that you don’t forget about them. You will be very disappointed to see your plants die simply because you forgot about them.
Having enough sunlight for your indoor plants can also be a big issue. If your house doesn’t get enough sun throughout the day, your plants will not be able to get the right about of nutrients to grow. This is a major part of the photosynthesis process that allows plants to convert water to food.
Luckily, if you do not have the natural resources to grow your plants indoors, that is okay. There are plenty of solutions out there that will allow you to provide your plants with synthetic sunlight and nutrients to help them grow. We will learn about a very essential resource called grow lights that do just that.
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Grow Lights as an Innovative Solutions for Planting Indoors
Grow lights have helped many gardeners and plant-lovers grow healthy and strong plans indoors. It is a very common practice that occurs in greenhouses. This is mainly because greenhouses house a plethora of plants all at once and often need a specific concentration of light to keep them alive.
Artificial lights have proven to be an innovative solution for indoor planting. It has been a fast-growing technology that hasn’t been used on a wide scale until this century. That is because many people were not able to imagine a source that could essentially provide plants with the same benefits that the sun provides.
The sun will always be the most important source of light but artificial lights have allowed plants to grow even during cold seasons. This has proven to be a great benefit for humanity because fruits and vegetables can be grown just about anywhere at any time of the year.
This is a technology that will continue to help farmers meet high production demands and expand their reach. Some environments do not allow plants to have adequate sunlight because the sun’s patterns changing as the earth orbits the sun.
Artificial lighting wasn’t used for plant growth until the 1860s when two French men decided to investigate. The two men, Mangon and Prilleux, had the goal of figuring out if artificial lighting had any effect on plants. This makes sense because the first light bulb patent wasn’t filed until 1879.
Although this kind of research started in the late 19th century, it didn’t actually lead to any commercial grow light usage until recently. That is because it took some time for the investigations to actually prove that plants could grow using artificial light. Technology had to advance a bit more for that to happen.
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What is a Grow Light?
The sun is able to be mimicked for the good of nature thanks to grow lights. These artificial lights are one of the many powerful resources that do their best to provide the same kind of light spectrum as the sun. They were created to promote plant growth and even take the abilities of the sun to the next level.
The amazing thing about grow lights is that they are specially designed and engineered to help plants thrive. They feature technology that is specially customized for the specific plant in question. These lights come in a variety of colors as well so that they mimic the outdoor environment that would accompany the plant.
The lamps also come in a variety of intensities that help tailor to each and every plant. This is very essential because the intensity is able to adjust to the growth stage of the plant. The intensity of the light also depends on the developmental response the plant has towards the time of day it is.
These innovative lights are primarily used for a variety of areas such as the following:
Grow lights are able to use a variety of types of artificial lights. Out of all of the lighting options available for commercial use, most people choose to use HIDs and fluorescents. Another kind of light that is often used is metal halide lights. Those lights are used for both vegatative and reproductive growth stages.
There are a few light settings that grow lights feature such as red spectrum lights and blue spectrum lights. Red spectrum lights are able to promote a larger flowering response compared to plants not using them. On the flip side, blue spectrum lights are able to push for a larger vegetative response in plants.
The grow light market did not introduce LED technology until very recently. Thanks to the technology that makes up LED lights, the production of specific wavelengths of light is able to happen. What’s more, they have also been used by NASA to investigate the growth of food in space.
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Benefits of Using Grow Lights for Indoor Plants
It is safe to say that grow lights are very beneficial for those who want to grow plants indoors. The indoor environment is able to be controlled with the help of grow lights. Your plants will also have the chance to flourish without the threat of pests feeding on them.
Grow lights are the best option for home growers who do not have access to a greenhouse or direct sunlight in their home. They are able to help provide a sufficient about of light to plants that need lots of sunlight such as most fruits and vegetables.
Light does not have to be a challenge for you if you are someone who only has access to indoor lighting. Photosynthesis requires powerful lighting that grows lights were specifically designed to provide. They have more than enough intensity to support the growth of plants.
Indoor lighting isn’t enough to support most plants. Grow lights provide you with powerful technology that allows you to nurture your plants. Fluorescent lights that are commonly used in the home are descent but grow lights are able to be customized according to what your plant needs.
The Process of Setting Up a Grow Light
To have a great experience with grow lights, you have to set them up properly. You have to take into consideration the space you have to work with before investing in a grow light. From there, you will be able to know how many light bulbs you need to support all of the plants you have.
It is well known that most food-bearing plants need 30 watts per square foot at least to survive. However, tomato plants as well as other fruit-bearing plants need between 40 to 50 watts per square foot to abundantly provide fruit.
If you are ever confused about what bulbs to purchase, simply check the packaging of the light bulbs. It will tell you how many watts are included in the pack of lightbulbs. From there, you are able to bulk up and buy all of the lightbulbs you need to move forward.
In order to accommodate your plants, you have to set up the lights in a way that allows you to adjust their height. You can create a pulley system to hang your lights up and adjust the lights later if need be. A metal chain can also be used to hang the light fixtures. Both of those can be bought online.
It makes sense to only use the lights for a certain amount of time considering the fact that the sun doesn’t shine all day. You can achieve this by plugging the grow lights into a timer to keep track of the light exposure on your plants. It is important that this is put in place so that plants get consistent light.
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Things to Avoid When Using Grow Lights
While using grow lights can be very beneficial for your plants’ growth, it can also cause damage if not used properly. If you are a new grower, avoid moving your lights too far away from your plants. You also do not want to move them too close to your plants. Your plants will burn if the lights are too close.
There is no standard that you have to follow when distancing your grow lights from your plants. You just have to consider the type of LED and follow the recommendations that come with them. It may be different depending on if it is a vegetating or flowering plant.
Plants that are going through vegetation need the grow lights to be about 45cm away from them. This may change depending on which vegetative phase the plant happens to be going through at the time. Either way, there is no standard distance that vegetating plants need to be away from the LED lights.
Flowering plants must be a bit closer to the grow lights than vegetating plants. This happens to be the case because they require more light intensity. Another component to consider is the character of your plants. The height of the lights may differ whether your plants are dry, brown, or bleached.
One important step to not miss out on is to consider investing in good quality LED lights. Avoid purchasing cheap lights from overseas because it may be hard getting any assistance if you run into any problems. Buying locally can save you time by providing you with quality lights that follow proper safety guidelines.
Advice for Successfully Using Grow Lights
As you are experimenting and taking advice about using grow lights, never forget about the importance of providing your plants with a sufficient about of light. It is normal to feel skeptical about burning your plants by overexposing them to light. However, grow lights can only be so effective if not used right.
Notice that one 300 watts LED light bulb only has enough power to grow up to two plants. Avoid trying to fit more than two lights per light bulb if you are using that kind of light. You will most likely have to invest in more than one light if you plan on growing three or more plants.
If you need further advice on how to use a specific set of LED lights, make sure you consult the manufacturer who sold you the product. This will be very helpful for you if you want help deciding how many lights you will need to cover a certain amount of square feet.
The type of lights you use for your plants will also affect how much you need to water them. For example, if you start out using HID lights and switch to LED lights later, you will most likely have to water them less. This is important because HID lights emit more heat than LEDs and will face overwatering them.
It is never a good idea to overwater your plants when using grow lights because it attracts more bugs and other pests than you need. Diseases will also have access to your plants due to the overly wet soil. The rule of thumb is that you can always water more but you can’t take out the water you already put in.
How to Maintain Grow Lights for Long-Term Use
If you plan on using your grow lights for an extended period of time, you have to make sure you create a system of care for your plants. You can not merely just leave the lights on and water whenever you want. A simple fix could be buying auto-flowering seeds to help with your plants’ growth.
You can go even further by creating a schedule of when to use your grow lights. It is best to do your research to see how many hours of light your plant needs at each growth stage. If you use auto-flowering plants, you will see them grow just by using the lights continuously.
Consider playing around with different strains to see which ones grow best using the lights that you have. Each type of strain may require a different grow light schedule. Do not feel bad if you can’t stick to one strict schedule. Just be patient about it and keep adjusting your schedule depending on the results you get.
After you take all of this into consideration, you will be one step closer to having a successful experience with indoor planting.