I realized that the last time I wrote about my seed starting project, I used the phrase "grow light."
I don't have a grow light. I have a homemade wooden plant stand with two $10 shop lights mounted under the shelves. It works just fine.
For a while, I really wanted a setup like the one in the picture and I was trying to justify spending $150 on one such light. But when I brought the catalog to work, everyone in the break room said, "Oh, you're going into the dope growing business?"
Then I heard that the neighborhood hydroponic lettuce grower had been robbed. They cut through the side of his poly greenhouse and made off with all the lights. They left the lettuce. I decided that I didn't need to own anything that dope growers wanted to steal, and that the $10 shop lights were working just fine.
I mention this because it is easy to get intimidated by the tons of gardening catalogs and home improvement store ads. You start to think that growing a garden requires a huge monetary investment. I like seed catalogs as much as anyone, but I'm not above picking up seeds from the ten cent rack at Walmart. All of the seeds that I started this year were old, some were even marked for 2003. The arugula and lettuce seeds were harvested from plants that went to seed at the end of last season. Most of our sunflowers are transplanted from the seedlings that come up under the bird feeders.
I'm so pleased with the lettuce and arugula that I've resolved to try more seed saving this year.