Light Requirements for Growing Vegetable Seeds Indoors

Overview

Adequate light is one of the most important needs for vegetable plants growing indoors. Make lighting an important consideration as you select a location for your container garden.

Light for Growing Vegetables

Cornell University recommends at least six hours of sunlight per day, but many types of vegetable plants will grow better if they get between 10 and 12 hours of light each day.

Best Indoor Location

If you don't have a greenhouse, then the best place for growing vegetables indoors is a bright south-facing window.

Increasing Available Light

Put reflective materials around the plants. Aluminum foil, marble chips or even just white painted surfaces will increase the available light to some extent, according to the Arizona Cooperative Extension. You could also use fluorescent bulbs near the growing plants to provide additional light each day.

Vegetables that Need the Most Light

Root crops like radishes, carrots, beets and onions and fruit-bearing crops such as tomatoes and peppers have greater demands for light than do leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, parsley and cabbage.

Effects of Inadequate Light

If plants do not get enough light they may grow tall and spindly and may not bear fruit.

References

  • Arizona Cooperative Extension
  • Cornell University
  • University of Illinois Extension
Keywords: Light, Vegetable, Grow

About this Author

Ann Wolters has been a writer, consultant and writing coach since 2008. Her work has appeared in "The Saint Paul Almanac" and in magazines such as "Inventing Tomorrow" and "Frontiers." She earned a Master of Arts in English as a second language from the University of Minnesota.

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