Science Fair Project
Sunlight versus an Artificial Grow Light
My oldest decided to take on this project for her science class and I also thought it would be neat to document it and feature the progress on my blog.
To do an equal comparison we bought two seed starting kits. They're like mini greenhouses complete with 10 seed starting pellets that expand when water is added. These kits make is so simple for anyone to start their very own garden indoors when the weather is still a bit to cold. Then when it's warm enough your plants have already gotten a head start which means fresh veggies earlier in the growing season. These kits are also the perfect size for a kitchen windowsill or any windowsill for that matter.
1. Read the instructions on both the kit and the seed packets
2. Decide what seeds you want to start indoors (some do better if sown directly outdoors)
3. Add warm water to expand pellets
4. Empty a few seeds into the palm of your hand
5. Carefully add 2-3 seeds to each pellet
6. Cover lightly with surrounding matter
7. Label your kit in some way so you know what you're growing where. Each greenhouse holds the exact same seeds in the exact same order. I used a sharpie marker and masking tape on the outside of the kit.
8. Now cover with the supplied lid and allow them to germinate. The kit states to put them in a warm, bright area but not in direct sunlight. Watering will consist of misting with a spray bottle. I use the same spray bottle that I use when I'm ironing fabric and I need to mist it a bit to get a particularly stubborn wrinkle out. Once the seeds germinate one kit will be put on the windowsill in direct sunlight and the other will be put directly under a grow light.
We planted lavender, basil, cilantro, arugula and spinach. Oh yum!
We hope to be able to determine if natural light or artificial light is better. Now some seeds germinate in 3-7 days and some take 2-3 wks.
On to the second important piece to this project:We needed a grow light and fast. Looking through catalogs we discovered the kits would cost $45+ and we did not want to spend that for a science fair project. A nice associate at the local home improvement store suggested we talk to the guys in lighting to see if there was an alternative. Mainly because they did not carry grow light kits in the store and we were short on time. What we ended up purchasing was this Sylvania Spot-Grow bulb and a clip-up industrial fixture for around $13 total.
We'll easily be able to clip this fixture to our kitchen cabinets where there is an accessible outlet.
I'm looking forward to seeing the results of this experiment.
I've also got this stack of garden catalogs that I will be leafing through to decide what I'm going to plant in our little, raised bed, garden this coming spring. So many choices.
Thanks for stopping by Blue Sky Confections!