I have finally decided to do an experiment that I’ve been thinking about for a long time. I got hold of a fixture/flourescent light a few months ago, and formed a plan to rig it in my basement to test if it would give better plants.  The purpose of my experiment is to se if my vegetable plants will grow stronger in the basement with lower temperature and artificial light, than they do in room temperature with a mix of natural light and extra LED-lights.

This is the test station in the basement:

I started Chilli Plants, Pepper Plants and Tomato Plants today (in room temperature) and I plan to move 50% of them to the Basement Station after first transplant, and leave the rest of them upstairs in room temperature.

The two stations:

  • Basement Station = NO natural daylight at all, a 58W fluorescent light, about 15-18 degrees Celsius. 
  • Upstairs Station = Natural daylight, some extra LED-grow lights (not that many..), about 20-23 degrees Celsius.

What’s your experience and which one do you think will give better plants?

I’ve started to move a few Plants to the Basement today. I transplanted the first sprouting Cucumber Plants and Tomato Plants.

One of the Tomato Plants will move to the basement, and one will stay on the Window Sill. Same with the Cucumber Plants. The Plants look quite similar in size today, so it seems like a good starting point for this experiment.

I have more Tomato Plants, Pepper Plants and Chilli Plants coming for this experiment, but I have not transplanted them yet.

Update, 25th of February

I believe that I have some interesting findings to share.. There is already quite a big difference between the Basement Plants compared to the Window Sill Plants. Surprising to me!

This is is the Basement Plants:

This is the Window Sill Plants:

Basement Plants are developing a lot better so far, especially the Artichoke and the Cucumber. The Basement Plants are steadier and have deeper colours in general. Here are some side by side comparison pictures.

Cucumbers 
(Window Sill Plant to the left, Basement Plant to the right)

Artichokes:
(Window Sill Plant to the left, Basement Plant to the right)

Tomatoes
(Window Sill Plant to the left, Basement Plant to the right)

Basil

This first picture is the Basement Basil.

This is the Window Sill Basil:

I almost want to abort the experiment and move all my Plants to the Basement already, but I will try not to do that. I did however move most of the Basil to the Basement, and just kept one upstairs for comparison. Sharing some general pictures from the Basement now (some stuff just moved in there today):

I have also added a fan to circulate the air in the Basement and give the Plants some extra strength from the “wind”.

Update, 4th of March

The difference between the Basement Plants and the Window Sill Plants are getting bigger and bigger each day. I’m now at the point that I’m starting to wonder how I ever got good plants on my Window Sills before (and I’ve always been happy with the quality of most of my plants..)

Some of the Basement Plants:

Comparable Window Sill Plants. Started at the same dates but clearly smaller, leggier and with a brighter more yellow color tone:

Side by side comparison Artichokes
Window Sill Plant to the left, Basement Plant to the right:

Side by side comparison Cucumber
Window Sill Plant to the left, Basement Plant to the right:

Side by side comparison Tomatoes
Window Sill Plant to the left, Basement Plant to the right:

Side by side comparison Basil
Basement Plant first, Window Sill Plant in the second picture:

I’m convinced enough to start looking for more lights. I will however keep the experiment going, and probably start testing on Peppers and Chillis tomorrow or next weekend. 

Update, 19th of March

The Basement is a clear winner for Tomatoes and Basil. The Pepper and Chilli Plants also seem to be doing good. Most artichokes is fine, but one plant died unexpected this weekend. As it turns out, I spend quite a lot of time in the Basement looking after the plants. 

The room where I kept the plants used to be a really sad, rough and unpained room but this weekend we decided to refresh it a bit by fixing walls, painting walls and roof and putting in new shelves. The room is much nicer now and the plants seem to like it. I also got some more armatures from a friend that saw my experiment and had some left over armatures. Thank you so much!

Update, 20th of March

Decided to move all my Tomato Plants to the basement today. The ones that have been in the basement all the time are to the left, and the ones started at the same time but moved to the basement today are to the right. Huge difference!

Update, 28th of March

Basement experiment update! I’ve decided to abort the experiment and move all of the plant types that have been doing good in the basement to the basement, simply because the plants in the basement station has been doing so much better.

Tomatoes 
(basement plant to the left, window sill plant to the right)

Huge difference on the Tomatoes!

Pepper plants
They have only been in the basement for a short time, but basement plants (to the left) is doing slightly better. 

Malabar Spinach
Basement plant (to the left) is doing better than Window Sill plant (to the right):

General pictures from the basement. It’s getting crowded.

Update, 9th of April

Just noticed that my experiment cucumber is flowering in the basement. I will probably start experimenting with growing food all year around in the basement when the autumn comes.

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