Growing plants under fluorescent lights

I am growing my own lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes etc. plants in my basement for planting into my garden. There is a conflict in growing instructions for lettuce and cabbage. I have read that they grow best if the lights are several inches above the plants. I have also read that lettuce and cabbage like the growing temperature to be around 60 degrees. The problem is that when the lights are several inches above the plants the soil temperature is around 75 degrees. BTW they are grown in an unheated (around 55 degrees) basement. Is there any best solution or only some compromise? Thanks, Richard
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On Sat, 20 Feb 2010 10:32:26 -0800 (PST), richardg

If you are using regular flouresents. like a combo of hot and cools or gro lights the lights must be as close as possible to the plants. Once they are a couple of inches away there's not enough light and the plants get leggy. For this reason these lights only work to grow for a short time. Once the plants have grown a couple of inches not enough light reaches the bottom leaves. If you've got some sort of new high intensity lights they can be much farther away depending on their type. To straight ahead raise vegetables under lights you would need pot farmer lights like metal halides. For the temperature problem get a heat mat.
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richardg;877949 Wrote: > I am growing my own lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes etc. plants in my

Hi, The kind of lights you use will make a huge difference to the growth of your plants. Seedlings are typically started off with 125watt CFL lights placed just a couple of inches above the plants. These give off a low level of heat so shouldn't scorch the foliage unless you leave the foliage wet. Once the seedlings have got going it is best to move on to a higher wattage such as 250 watt or more up to a max of 600watt. For indoor growing you might do well to visit your local hydro shop.
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According to the "Vegetable Gardener' Bible" by Edward C. Smith. (Amazon.com product link shortened) 580172121/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid06815454&sr=1-1
ideal soil temperature for germinating cabbage is 75 - 85F (24 - 29C).
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