In many previous posts we have talked about the best T5 grow light fixtures of different sizes as well as about different problems and solutions that are related to T5 grow lights and to growing plants with these lights, but we have never really provided a guide of how to set up an indoors garden with T5 grow lights. So here will be a sort of guide, an instruction of how you can create the best indoors garden starting with the things you will need and ending with problems like pests and how to eliminate them.
So first things first, you need to choose the type of grow lights you want or need to use in your setup. I strongly recommend using T5 grow lights of size that is suitable for your intended indoors garden with bulbs that are with color temperature of 6,500 Kelvins, 6,400 Kelvins or even 4,100 Kelvins.
Quick tip: If you can’t figure out how big of a T5 light you need to get, just remember that a single bulb 2 feet long T5 grow light fixture will be ideal for about 4 pots that are about 6 inches (15 cm) wide. Knowing this you can calculate which size bulbs and how many of them you need in your T5 fixture.
The next thing is to either buy or create (DIY) your indoors garden setup. Here you can buy pre-made units that are specially meant as indoors gardens and comes with a place to put your pots as well as light setup, but you can also make your own creation just by using some shelves, buying T5 lights yourself and attaching them over these shelves.
Then once your setup is ready you need to figure out how far from the plant canopies you will place your lamps, because this is quite crucial and will determine how good or bad your yield will be. Thanks to the fact that T5 grow lights operate cool – meaning that they barely emit any heat – you are able to place them basically right over you plant canopies, which means the plants will get maximum light energy. But if you are using other fluorescent lights for your setup place those at 6 to 8 inch (15 – 20 cm) distance for ultimate results.
Once you have setup you indoors garden and it is up and running, you also need to know a couple of things about the maintenance of the plants.
Firs you will probably want to know about the light cycles or how long you should keep your lights turned on. I would recommend keeping the lights turned on about 18 hours a day which leaves 6 hours of dark for the plants to imitate night. This light cycle will resemble light cycle of summer days, so the plants will think that it is summer and will grow quicker.
Next you need to now a few things about fertilizing and watering of the plants too. You will probably need to use some kind of fertilizers to feed you plants because the plants won’t get the nutrients they would if they would grow in the nature during the summer. I would recommend to best use natural fertilizer to have an organic indoors garden. As for the watering of the plants that will need to be done regularly, because the lights can dry out the soil more quickly than the sun would in the summer. You don’t need to comply with a specific watering graphic however you need to water your plants once their soil is dry.
And lastly I will talk a bit about pest control, because even in indoors garden there might be some kind of pests that can ruin your plants, however this pest occurrence is still much rarer that it would be for plants that grow in nature. A few tips to avoid pests is to rinse your plants under flowing water about 1 to 2 times a week, you also need to avoid overcrowding the plants and of course always remove old and fallen leaves from the plants, so that they don’t create unwelcome pests.
The most important benefits you will get form setting up your own indoors garden are:
- You will be able to get and use fresh herbs or even vegetables (depending on what you grow) daily even in the winter;
- You will be able to create a healthier diet for yourself with fresh ingredients;
- You yourself will feel more productive and overall better, because you are growing plants – doing something fulfilling;
- The plants will grow much better that they would on a windowsill;
- A cure for winter depression, because psychiatrist have determined, that additional full-spectrum light in your living space is great for better emotional, physical and psychical state.