How to Grow Vegetables With Grow Lights

Overview

Produce an early summer harvest of fresh vegetables from your garden with the help of a grow light. Start vegetables inside under a grow light while the weather is still unfavorable for planting outdoors. By starting your seeds indoors, you will have large and robust plants to put in your garden, rather than seeds. Follow a few guidelines for growing vegetables with grow lights to prevent plant failure.

Step 1

Place a table in your growing area and set up seed trays on it. Fill them full with a high-quality potting mix.

Step 2

Plant your vegetable seeds in the potting mix at their indicated depth. Water the soil until moist.

Step 3

Examine the back of your fluorescent grow light fixture. Measure the distance between the two hanging brackets on the light.

Step 4

Locate a ceiling joist and mark out two points that correspond with with the distance between the hanging brackets on the light fixture.

Step 5

Drill a 1/8-inch hole in the ceiling at each mark. Screw in a hanging hook into each hole and tighten it with your pliers.

Step 6

Cut two lengths of chain to the appropriate length to position the grow light fixture 2 to 4 inches above the top of your seed trays.

Step 7

Slide one length of chain onto each hanging hook. Attach the other end of the chains to the hanging bracket on the light fixture.

Step 8

Set up an automatic timer to maintain a light cycle of 16 to 18 hours on and 6 to 8 hours off. Plug the timer into an outlet and plug the light fixture into the timer.

Step 9

Adjust the light up as the plants grow. Maintain a consistent distance of 2 to 4 inches from the top of your plants to the bottom of the grow light fixture.

Step 10

Water the plants to keep the soil moist. Allow the very top layer of soil to dry a little between waterings.

Things You'll Need

  • Table
  • Seed trays
  • Potting soil
  • Vegetable seeds
  • Tape measure
  • 1/8-inch drill bit
  • Drill
  • Pliers
  • Hanging hooks
  • Chain
  • Bolt cutters
  • Fluorescent light fixture
  • Fluorescent light bulbs
  • Automatic timer

References

  • Wayne's This and That: Fluorescent Plant Lighting Page
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa: Growing Plants Indoors Under Supplemental Lighting
  • Gardener's Supply Company: Gardening Under Lights
  • University of Missouri Extension: Lighting Indoor Houseplants
Keywords: grow vegetables, use grow lights, grow with lights, start seeds indoors, seed trays

About this Author

Robin Gonyo has been writing for several years now. She has a deep love for gardening and has spent a vast amount of time researching that subject. Previously she has written for private clients before joining Demand Studios. She hopes to share her knowledge with others through her writing.