***SonnyLight LED Kitchen Garden giveaway below; a $299 value!*** EDIT: Tropaeolum won! Congrats, and enjoy your new SonnyLight LED!
I haven’t had the best of luck with seed-starting in the past. Actually, let me rephrase that. I am a seed-starting loser. Before now, every attempt at seed-starting has resulted in most of my seeds not coming up, seedlings leggy and leaning pitifully toward the window, and soil everywhere from kittens frolicking through my seed trays.
This year is going to be different, people. With the help of my mom’s kitten-free apartment and the SonnyLight LED Kitchen Garden grow lights, I have actually sprouted seeds! They’re robust little things with a lovely fresh green color, and best of all, I’m even feeling confident enough to try my Holy Grail of seeds, Alpine strawberries!
I started my seedling adventure by filling my trays with vermicompost/ worm castings (Worm Power brand) mixed with potting soil to make a seed-starting mix (vermicompost is supposed to be good for preventing damping-off in seedlings, as well as holding moisture). Then, I added some Renee’s Garden seeds (the easy-to-grow cherry tomato mix with orange Sungolds, red Supersweet 100s, and some cute yellow ones), Profuma di Genova basil, and Alpine strawberries:
Then, I went inside, plugged in the fancypants SonnyLight LED Kitchen Garden light that Wicked Bugs author Amy Stewart was kind enough to lend me, and got rolling!
The SonnyLight LED Kitchen Garden is very eco-friendly, because even being on for most of the day, it uses only $11 of electricity per year and runs on a mere 15 watts. Those are good stats for a light bulb, much less a grow light panel that is imitating the sunshine for your plants. It even beats the energy usage for compact fluorescents, and because LED lights last longer and are made of non-toxic materials (no lead!), they’re much, much better for the environment then CFLs.
The SonnyLight doesn’t get hot, so it’s safe to leave on, and it’s completely automated. You just select the conditions for what you’re trying to grow, and the phase of life your plant is in, set the timer, and it comes off and on for you each day with just the right colors and wavelengths of light for the life stage the plants are in.
It fits the standard 10″ by 20″ nursery tray, so I just popped in my seed-warming mat, put my tray of seedlings in, set it, and it’s been doing its thing. And a week later, I have actual live plants!!! I haven’t screwed it up!
I can’t even say how much fun this has been for me. Getting to choose from all the bazillions of seed varieties out there and feel confident that I can grow any ones I want? It feels amazing.
SonnyLight has generously offered to give an LED Kitchen Garden away to one lucky reader! This is a crazy-cool giveaway. It’s a really exceptional growing setup, with a value of $299.
All you have to do is leave a comment to win, and I’ll select the winner randomly on Tuesday the 19th.
Tropaeolum won! Congrats, girlfriend. We’ve dropped you an email so we can find out where to mail your new SonnyLight LED Kitchen Garden. Have fun!