Indoor herb garden

Hi all,
I'm planning on taking a shelf from my bookshelf and installing some floros on the underside of the shelf and starting a little herb garden in the kitchen. Has anyone done anything similar, I'd like some pointers if anyone has.
I plan on growing basil, chives, parsley, lavendar, and thyme.
How many hours per day should I leave the lights on?
Would it be easier to install the light to the shelf and move the plants to the light or the other way around?
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I am also planning on using some fairly small clay pots for the herbs. I'm going to germinate my seeds in peat pellets so, how many seeds per peat pellet or per pot should I use? I'd like to get them started..
Phil..

floros
anyone
to
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Honestly, I have had poor luck with herbs under lights. They would do best in a South facing window.
My herb garden is planted along the side of the house on the West, and not only are they thriving, they are wintering over. Except for Basil and Dill of course! I have to replant those every spring.
Now that I have a greenhouse, I may try planting some pots of Basil and Dill in the fall in there so I can have those two herbs fresh during the winter. :-)
K.
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I live in an apartment with very little window space so the fluoro tubes is my only option for fresh herbs. What was your setup last time with the tubes?
wrote:

floros
anyone
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I had them planted at work where they had regular fluorescent light. Funny, any other houseplant I have there just _thrives_ under those lights, especially the African violets. ;-)
I tried Thyme, Rosemary and Oregano and all of them bolted, then died. :-(
But, you may have better luck. Give it a try and see what happens! :-)
K.
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This may not exactly answer your question, but I hope it helps. I was having trouble growi`````n`g sun loving plants in a southern window. They just did not get enough light. I got a plant stand, it kind of spirals up, then put a stand lamp with three adjustable lights that I could point anywhere I want beside the plants. I also bought the highest light output compact flouescents I could find. The plants thrive under this light. I have geraniums, begonia, cyclamen, a miniature rose that's waiting for it to warm up enough to plant outside, and others. I don't think a regular flourescent lamp will give enough light. The only problem I've had is the CFs have burneed out after only about 6 months. I may have to drill some holes in the lamp covers to let some heat escape.
Do you have a list of herbs you want to grow? I wouldn't grow mint (reproduces rapidly) or sage (gets too big). You could try rosemary, thyme, and chives.
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Now we're talking! I was planning on taking a shelf from the bookcase and putting some 30 watt tubes in there. Problem with those things are is that the max intensity of the tubes drops off after a few inches away. Sounds like the CF's are doing the trick nicely for you. Maybe I could some how rig my shelf so has a few CF bulbs at different heights for each of the herbs.
How many watts are the CF bulbs you're using?
Phil..

having
did
a
warm
flourescent
the
thyme,
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They are 25 Watt CFs, a LOT of light output :-)
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If you are going to use ordinary tubular fluro lights, they need to be adjustable in height so that they can be maintained almost touching the foliage of the plants. I learnt this from discussions on other newsgroups and have not tried it myself. I expect similar thing would apply to CFs.
Or you can place the plants on a stand of adjustable height, whichever is easier to built.
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Nope, you don't have to do that with CFs. Just get the brightest that you can find. I have 25 watters (equivelant of 100 watt incandescent bulb, it looks brighter than daylight in that corner). I have them 2 or 3 feet off some of my plants. The plants grow quite well.
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il Mon, 10 May 2004 10:30:19 -0600, "tmtresh" ha scritto:

What's CF? And would they be ok for propagating lights? Or reading for that matter.
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Compact Flourescent. Very energy efficient for the light output (14 watt CF = 60 watt incandescent) . I use them all over my house. I have no problem with reading by them. I use them for plants requiring full sun in my house. I haven't tried growing anything from seed under them, but I have propogated a few plants by cuttings. They work really well for me. And they screw into regular incandescent type sockets. Most around the house are 8-14 watts. For the plants, I use three 25 watt bulbs. They also have the advantage of not getting as hot as incandescents for the light output, so for applications such as plants you can put the highest wattage CF bulb you can find, and not have problems with the fixture getting too hot.
Downsides: insanely expensive ~$5 per bulb. They are touted as lasting ~5 years, but I've had several burn out after only a few months. Some brands are better than others. Some of them come on quicker, others are dim for the first few minutes, though most are pretty good. Because they contain mercury, they should be disposed with your local hazardous waste site.
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il Mon, 10 May 2004 16:54:24 -0600, "tmtresh" ha scritto:

We may have a similar product, but they're called energy savers. Could be what I need.
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Yep, same product.

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Phil Williamson wrote:

They
and
have
Contact your local dump, or wherever your garbage goes. They should be able to tell you where you can dispose of CFs and other hazardous waste. Our local hazardous waste facility is on site at the local dump. These bulbs contain mercury and should not just be thrown in the garbage.
Yes, the bulbs will get hot, but not as hot as an incandescent with the same light output. Around here the "daylight" bulbs are quite expensive. (4-5 times the price of a regular CF) My vote goes for the whitest light you can find within a reasonable price range. I mean, if price were not an issue, I'd go for metal halides. My plants do great under the lights I have, which are not rated as "daylight" bulbs, but produce a white light. Plants need light in the blue spectrum so they are not leggy, and in the red/orange spectrum to flower, so the whiter the light, the better.
As for how far away to put the bulbs. Mine are not right on top of the plants (read inches away), however the lights are on a stand lamp pointed down, directly at the plants. Some plants are within a foot of the light, others are three feet away. The plants are doing great. Granted, light does diffuse the farther away it is, that is why I have a stand lamp, and am not relying on the light in the middle of the ceiling under a cover.
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CF = compact flouroscent
They are great for starting out plants, I use them for that everytime I plant seeds inside.

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For max growth the tubes should be within inches of the tops of the plants, I'm not too worried about it since I don't need to mass produce herbs. I'm going to fix the lights and have an adjustable shelf to raise the plants to the light, this is easier than dealing with the cords from the lights as you raise and lower them.
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Phil Williamson wrote:

I'm in a different situation but I'll relate my experience. I suspect you'll have to leave the lights on at least 12 hours a day. As your plants will likely be different sizes you'll probably be better off fixing the light, varying the shelf position, and putting different size blocks under different size plants to keep them a few inches under the lights. The longer the lights, the better because they don't give out much light at the ends.
I built a stand with five adjustable shelves. Then I built a 8' frame on wheels that rolls over the shelves. The frame has 8 4' 40 watt florescents hanging from it. Half warm. Half cool. I put the lights on a timer that left them on 14 hours a day. The adjustable shelves allow placing the plants within inches of the lights regardless of their size. The rack is next to an ESE facing window that is partially blocked. I had herbs growing all winter and had good luck except for dill and parsley. The dill (grown from seed) got too leggy and the parsley (also grown from seed) was just plain sickly and never got more than an inch or two high. I don't know if the parsley problem was due to light or something else. Both standard basil and thai basil did fine. In fact, I grew the thai basil from seed indoors without problems. I also had rosemary, lemon verbena, peppermint, spearmint, lemon basil, lemon thyme, english thyme, and oregano that I brought in from outside in the fall and wintered over. They didn't grow as fast as they did outdoors but they grew. I had more problems with scale, whiteflies, and remembering to water the plants than I did from lack of light.
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I have my lights on a timer for 12 hours every day.
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