Artificial light can make growing healthy seedlings can be as simple as a flick of a switch. These simple rules bring the best results when starting seeds on a light stand:
- Read the seed packet to learn whether the seeds need light to germinate. Most do not.
- After the seeds sprout, run the lights for 14 to 16 hours each day. Longer is not better; seedlings need a period of darkness during which they can rest.
- Keep the seedlings’ top leaves 3 to 5 inches from the bulbs.
- A fluorescent tube is brightest at its center and dimmer at its ends. Rotate seedlings over the course of each week so that all spend some days in the middle of the tray.