How to Grow Greens Under Grow Lights

Overview

Growing edible greens under lights extends your vegetable-gardening season through the winter. Greens grow well and quickly indoors when provided with adequate light, soil and water. A little effort and simple equipment will allow you to produce an abundant crop.

Step 1

Mount one or more grow lights 12 to 18 inches above your planting space. Lights come in both tube and bulb form. You can substitute a grow light tube for a fluorescent over your kitchen sink windowsill, or adapt a gooseneck or pendant fixture to function as a garden accessory.

Step 2

Fill shallow plastic plant trays with potting soil. Clay or plastic pots can be used as long as they have adequate drainage. Place the plant trays in water trays to protect work surfaces and further improve drainage.

Step 3

Sow seeds 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep in potting soil, then cover them with a light layer of soil. Follow package directions for early-spring seed starting. Sow a bit more thickly than you might to start seedlings; thinnings from greens grown indoors can go straight into the salad bowl or soup pot.

Step 4

Establish a regular lighting and watering schedule. Indoor plants are completely reliant on you for both. Your lighting schedule should resemble that of a typical day--on in the morning and off at night. Water the soil to keep it moist but not wet.

Step 5

Thin out your plants until the remaining plants have enough space for mature growth. Apply a small amount of liquid vegetable fertilizer if plants appear stressed.

Tips and Warnings

  • Most local nurseries are not set up to accommodate winter vegetable growers. Buy extra seeds when they appear on racks in the spring, or look online for catalogs that offer mild-winter seeds in the fall.

Things You'll Need

  • Grow lights and brackets
  • Plastic plant trays
  • Water trays
  • Potting soil
  • Seeds

References

  • Vegan Enthusiasts
  • Mild-Winter Seed Catalog
Keywords: grow greens, under grow lights, how to grow greens indoors

About this Author

Janet Beal has written for various websites, covering a variety of topics, including gardening, home, child development and cultural issues. Her work has appeared on early childhood education and consumer education websites. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Harvard University and a Master of Science in early childhood education from the College of New Rochelle.