I am starting a new project today as it’s New Year’s Day. I have decided to invest in a grow lamp (£40) with the aim of starting off plug plants for growth in the polytunnel very early in the season. I am not sure if it will all work so this is a bit of an experiment. The grow lamp has full day light spectrum bulbs that are 55w each. According to some initial research I have done on the topic, the lamps need to be turned off at night to give the plants time to ‘sleep’.
I am going to try by starting some lettuce, in the hope that I can transplant it outside, but I also think you could just grow a few trays of cut and come again lettuce entirely inside. You might be wondering how ‘green’ all of this is in terms of electricity. The bulbs are not particularly high in wattage, and as a by product it light our utility room to such a degree that we won’t need to put the light on in there, so I don’t think it is too bad. It will only be used in the winter months as there is usually enough sun in the poly tunnel to grow things outside from April to October.