I had been chugging along through the winter, not much was happening with the Inside Garden.
The pepper plants were pale and leggy, not doing much for bearing fruit. I thought I was doing everything right or was I?
Then one day I saw two of the T5 HO Fluorescent bulbs were burned out, so they needed replacing. So in my search to find some new bulbs, I came across this urban grow shop, that sold everything for growing marijuana and then some. I ask for some new bulbs and the guy says to me “Red or Blue?”. I look at him and say I don’t know what your asking. He explains that the Blue, 6400K are for growing foliage and the Red, 3000K are for flowering. All this is news to me. My fixtures were exclusively Blue, 6400K bulbs. I walk out of the shop with 4 red bulbs. I install them in my fixtures so the even numbered bulbs are blue and the odd numbered bulbs are red.
Now I wait to see what happens. I am also making sure the plants are properly fed with organic fertilizer once a week and look what happens.
The foliage has become dark green and is thick and dense. The peppers have a lot of flowers on them and the fruit is setting at a higher rate. I have 5 sweet banana peppers between two plants and 2 ace peppers set on the other plant. There is a lot of flower activity, so I expect the number of set fruit to go up even higher.
I have decided to always keep a mix of blue and red lights in the fixtures. I feel that both color lights are needed for proper plant growth. I will most likely try the tomato plants again next winter.
I am now more confident that I can be successful at growing peppers, parsley and cilantro on a year round basis. I am also contemplating growing some other vegetables like broccoli and possibly tomatoes for next winter. Other items, I want to experiment with are spinach and maybe some greens. Are cucumbers a possibility here. I currently have 8 sq feet (.74 sq m) of lighted plant space with the possibility of expanding to 12 square feet (1.1 sq m). Growing real food and knowing the source is becoming a realistic possibility.
-- Steve, Carmel, Maine, USA (near Bangor) (Hardiness Zone 5a)