March plantings and grow lights

March is the time to start many plants indoors and it is best if you have a grow light.  Many modern grow lights use LED lighting, which demand less electricity and can narrow the light spectrum to the reds and blues.  (Did you know that the reason plants appear to be green in colour is because that’s the wavelength that they do not use, and reflect it back.  We see the green wavelength because they are absorbing the red and blue wavelengths).

Putting plants in a window will work, but it is tricky with newly germinated plants.  They will tend to stretch towards the light and become ‘leggy’ which will affect their health and physical ability to remain upright.

It is best to have a timer for your grow lights.  I set mine to 16 hour day length which gives them a good long day.  24 hours is not good, because plants need a rest period for a non-photosynthesis time called respiration.

I’ve started our peppers and tomatoes under lights.  Here is a shot of our fancy, extremely hot chillis – chichen itza, bhut jolokia, seven pot and ghost peppers.  These were started from seed in early March, because they tend to be slow growing and fussy. They need it really warm and are enjoying the bright light!




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