Saturday, January 12, 2008
Let there be light
If you take into account the houseplants, bulb-forcing, and plant room efforts, I've got more going indoors this winter than I've ever had before. With many caveats, of course.
The hyacinths finally came up, all in various degrees of development. They've had almost 10 weeks, so I think it's time, even though some of the buds could be bigger. This could be a cultivar issue. They'll probably improve in the chilly back room, where I'll keep them for a couple more weeks. I'm very excited about the Gold Rain double narcissi; their buds look very promising, though it still looks like a couple more weeks before I see-hopefully-their shaggy gold heads. Clearly, my habit in years past of keeping paperwhites in semi-lit room was not a good idea. I've learned my lesson and there have been no duds this time. We'll see though.
After some research, it seems silly not to take advantage of all the compact fluorescents on the market now. I've bought two for table lamps and will add a third, more powerful bulb in a standing lamp; between these and the big south window, the plant room should have enough lumens for what I've got in it. I'm not sure it will be good enough for serious seed growing, but certainly enough for orchids, foliage plants, cuttings, bulbs, etc. I need some hanging plants—though not in the window—to balance things. When the two lights are turned on, it looks pretty intense in there. They are not technically grow lights, but from what I understand, normal fluorescents can work, if there is enough wattage.