What are Chives?

October 18, 2018

Chives are resilient, easy-to-grow perennial herbs. They are small bulbs that belong to the onion family and serve as ornamental blooming perennials.

PC: Leslie F. Halleck

After three years in the garden, you may need to divide your clump or container of chives. In the garden, plants can spread aggressively by seed. Harvest chives by snipping off leaves at the base, then chopping up to use fresh or cooked in your favorite dishes.

Do LED Grow Lights Cost More?

October 17, 2018

As LED technology advances, these types of lamps will likely outpace other types of traditional grow lamps in light delivery and energy efficiency. But currently, LED grow lamps do tend to be more expensive than their grow lighting counterparts.

LED grow-lighting options are quickly becoming more creative and versatile.
PC: Homestead Gardens

As with any evolving technology, part of the bigger price you pay now (with perhaps less efficacy) is an investment in future advancement and efficiency.

Gardening Under Lights Book

How Light Effects Plant Development

October 16, 2018

Overall plant growth and development depends not only on the spectrum of light received, but also on the color combination, color sequence, and duration of each. Plants have evolved to employ finely tuned sensors to use different spectrums of light for different stages of growth and reproduction.

A tomato plant growing under white colored light emitted from a compact fluorescent (CFL) lamp.
PC: Leslie F. Halleck

Plants use different spectrums of light to regulate developmental stages (such as germination, rooting, stem elongation, leaf unrolling, flowering, and dormant bud development), which is known as photomorphogenesis.

Gardening Under Lights Book

Orchids on Display

October 15, 2018

Any impressive orchid display does not happen overnight. You can start to experiment with easier and less expensive types or jump right into the deep end of the pool with pricier ones that require more care. An orchid display, such as this one at the New York Botanical Garden,is typically temporary - because different orchid species require different growing conditions. They won't necessarily grow like this together or bloom all at once.

PC: Leslie F. Halleck

Experimentation is always part of the fun. While orchids used to be significantly less available and far more expensive, today’s market offers a bounty of options at very reasonable prices.

New BOOK! Gardening Under Lights: The Complete Guide for Indoor Growers

Lighting Needs Depend on the Type of Plant

October 14, 2018

Ultimately, the type of grow lamp lighting you will need depends on the types of plants you are growing (leafy, flowering, or fruiting), the number of plants you will be growing, the size of the plants, and the dimensions of your growing space. The more plants you intend to grow, especially if they are larger plants, the more grow lights you'll need (or more powerful HID grow lamps) to grow them successfully. Individual plants can often be growing using just one small LED or CFL.

This self-contained LED growing unit aids with temperature and humidity control.
PC: 7Sensors

Don’t base your lighting decision solely on the number of electrical watts the lamp needs. Watts are an input requirement of the lamp, not an output of resources for your plant.

Gardening Under Lights Book

How to Water Indoor Begonia Plants

October 13, 2018

Love interesting foliage? Then you'll love Rex Begonias. While these plants are typically easy to care for, you can have trouble with them if you are overly-loving when it comes to watering. Begonia plants need to dry between waterings (just like many succulents) and can rot quickly if you leave them too wet too frequently.

Begonias prefer to dry between waterings.
PC: Leslie F. Halleck

Make sure the soil in your begonia plant pot is dry to the touch before watering again, and always keep water off the foliage, as it can cause spots on the leaves as well as fungal issues. Make sure your plant your begonia in a container with drainage holes, and use a water catch to trap the excess. Begonias like medium light conditions.

LED Zoned Grow Lamps

October 12, 2018

Some of the dual-band or multiband LED fixtures are zoned so you can turn on only the color or mix of colors you want, depending on your plant’s stage of growth. This is handy when you have a small growing space and cannot move plants to different lamps between the vegetative and flowering stages.

This LED fixture mixes red and blue light, producing a pink-colored light.
PC: Garden Supply Guys

Gardening Under Lights Book

Do Your Plants Have Chlorosis?

October 11, 2018

Chlorosis can appear as an overall yellow cast to the leaf, or interveinal chlorosis (yellow between green veins) as shown in the photo – due to a lack of chlorophyll. Chlorosis signals potential nutrient deficiencies (iron, manganese, zinc); it can also signal poor drainage, soil compaction, or high soil or water pH.

PC: Leslie F. Halleck

To prevent cholorsis, feed your seedlings once per week at low doses, or every two weeks if you have bumped up to a stronger feed.

Gardening Under Lights Book

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