I have the Jump Start seed starting system. It works great for the most part, but the product photo is a *little* bit misleading:
See all those super happy plants? It’s safe to assume they did not actually grow under that light. The light fixture on the Jump Start is simply not wide enough for a full flat of plants. This was the mistake I made earlier this year:
The seedlings at the outer edges of the flat really had to reach to get their fair share. I rotated them as much as possible to make sure every plant got their fair share, but they still ended up quite elongated and weak. Fortunately I was able to plant them out before they reached the point of no return, and they seem happy in the new hoop house. (And who wouldn’t be, when it’s 70 in March?)
I won’t make this mistake again. For my next batch of seeds, I’m doing a single row, like so:
These should be just fine with the amount of light they’re getting. And next year I want to look into replacing the fixture on here with one that is wide enough to accommodate 2 bulbs, which should provide enough light for an entire flat of seedlings. Because who can start a measly 1/2 flat? (It was hard, let me tell you.)
New to seed starting? This U of M Extension guide is very thorough.