We tried an experiment this past month at Olive Barn. We hung two fluorescent shop lights from a metal rack on wheels we purchased from Sams Club. We used 40 watt cool white fluorescent bulbs (yes the cheap ones). We added a simple timer to turn them on and off automatically. We set the lights on for 14 hours per day. We started some seed kits and Garden in a Bags. Once the seeds germinated, we place them under the lights. We kept the distance from the leaf tips to the lights between 6 and 12 inches.
Amazingly, the plants are growing very strong and healthy. We fertilize them weekly with a liquid plant food. Our Basil has large beautiful leaves and strong stems. We often cut some of the leaves to add to our lunch salads and sandwiches here at Olive Barn. Mmmmmm. If you are fortunate enough to have a sunny south facing window, you may not need supplemental light in the winter, but most homes do. Shop lights are definitely not the most attractive way to show off your plants. You can try using fluorescent bulbs that fit into any incandescent lamp and place them near the plants to add light. Experiment yourself to find what works for your environment. Bottom line: Plants need light to grow!
Wow what an easy way to grow organic fresh herbs indoors in the winter…!
Try it for yourself and let us know.