I'm trying to grow the following indoors:

  • Lambs lettuce

  • Purple Coneflower

  • Thyme

  • Dill

  • Bergamot

I'm having a hard time getting things to grow with fertilized soil and sunlight by windows, I'm wondering if any type of LED would help or am I missing something else all together?

  • Remember seeds are looking for moisture and warmth they don't need fertiliser until after the first true leaves appear usually after at least a week or 2 after germination Jan 28 '20 at 14:26
  • It could help by increasing the temperatures of the plant like a heater! It depends on the type of LED used as most are a waste of time and energy Jan 28 '20 at 15:20
  • Ok, that might be my issue is that it's too cold! I had vegetable plants that grew really well 2 years ago indoors but for whatever reason I'm not having the same luck with these. Jan 28 '20 at 16:18
  • You could try a heating mat. They're usually sized to fit either a single row of two standard trays or a double row of trays, so they may be too large if you're growing on a windowsill. If the size works, be sure to get a thermostat with the mat. If they mats are too wide or long, then you could try a heating cable, which you could put in a tray or wind between pots.
    – Jurp
    Jan 28 '20 at 23:09
  • i have a home made matt heater its a table thats above my room heater :) Jan 28 '20 at 23:15

lambs lettuce after being transplanted to the edge of the pot for an experiment

enter image description here

It's the temperatures and light intensity as well as duration of light that need to be monitored.

Remember seeds are looking for moisture and warmth some look for light they don't need fertiliser until after the first true leaves appear usually after at least a week or 2 after germination

Don't use tap water in London it's too hard for most plants And they add chloramin(made from pee) which doesn't evaporate and will buildup in the soil leading to future problems that will be misdiagnosed on this site.

I only use bottled water that is at a PH level of 6.2 and 70 parts per million in the water. I started using a TDS meter to measure the parts per million And a PH meter but not ant more as bottles water is quite reliable when it comes to the ph and ppm I only fertilise the plants rarely to give the soil microbes a chance to establish them selves.

I grow thyme, lavender, strawberries, mint, cilantro, parsley, basil, spring onions, garlic ....

All indoors inside window box with the aid of an LED system that is dimmed down to minimum at 46w !

enter image description here

Notice how the strawberries and some of the mints prefer the sunlight over the LED radiation I think it's due to the intensity I will experiment when the plants are bigger enter image description here enter image description here

  • 1
    I doubt that tap water in the entire country of England is so toxic that it cannot be used to water plants. Testing pH of purified water also doesn't make a lot of sense, whatever it's initial pH, it'll rapidly become acidic from exposure to CO2 in the atmosphere. That is normal. Jan 28 '20 at 14:29
  • Btw I move the pots around regularly and some have just been repotted so they are shocked from transplanting but otherwise they are happy Jan 28 '20 at 14:32
  • No @user1850479 it does not kill the plant instantly the chloramin and chlorine kill the beneficial mycorrhizae and bacteria in the soil, in the long run those factors will drastically affect the end results, eventually leaving your plant susceptible to disease and infection Jan 28 '20 at 14:41
  • Diluted over the volume of soil in your pots, chloramine is not going to have a negative impact on your bacteria, and I have seen large scale growers use untreated city water rather than pay to filter it. Using bottled water here is not sound advice. Also the part about being made from pee is incorrect (it is made from ammonia). It is great to share you experience, but you should be carefully about making generalizations like these as many of them are not correct. Jan 28 '20 at 15:49
  • Ok they use unfiltered tap water... but what do they add to it? Also btw ammonia comes from pee..... and plants require different PH levels PH8.0 will hinder some plants growth Jan 28 '20 at 16:01

If you have limited light this time of the year and want to add additional light to help your seedlings to be more success you can add grow lights. There are many types grow lights on the market. Unfortunately many of the LED lights have claims that are not backed up. The ads often use language to bring attentions to certain specification that their light offers. All to often these specifications have nothing to do with if it is a good light for your plants.

If you are looking for some good supplemental light you can buy a fluorescent grow light. These have been on the market for many years. They are simple. The are often the same shape and length of two plant flats. If you are using flats it is easy to have them fit under one of these lights. The are the micro fluorescent that are the size of one flat if you only have a few plants. That is six 6 packs, 32 2" or 18 4" pots. These are reliable lights for starting seeds.

If you want to save money on energy you can go with LED. If you want LED you want to make sure you buy a light that is Full Spectrum White Light. Avoid any coloured lights, even if they call them Full Spectrum. If you are just starting some seedlings a 50-100Watts should be enough.

You can buy them fairly inexpensive if you only want to shine light on a few plants. The larger the unit the more the price. If you are only using them for a short period of time, like just in the spring to get some seeds going then your cost will be more expensive overall compared to fluorescent. If you want to grow the plant from seedling to harvest under a light you will have to pay more for the unit, but you will save more money in the long run with LED.

  • There are sooo many brands to choose from, what are good brands? Jan 30 '20 at 12:56
  • it all depends on the amout of space you want to light up some would just be too big for the space and some would be over kill for a small space. Jan 30 '20 at 19:33
  • you need to work out the area in square meters eg my grow space is 2ft x 4ft so I found one that is for that space and it just so happens that the parts are made by a decent manufacturers. so many use low quality LED bulbs instead of the higher quality "bulbs" as well as cheaper brand driver. Jan 30 '20 at 19:42
  • if you ask a question with the space in meters or sq ft I will be happy to answer it but its difficult on the comments Jan 30 '20 at 19:43
  • also distance the plant will grow as the light has to move upwards with the plants Jan 30 '20 at 19:44

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