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Newbie needs cold weather Basil advice

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Old 06-01-2012, 09:14 PM
rolopolo rolopolo is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1
Cool Newbie needs cold weather Basil advice

Hi All,

First time here and I pretty much only learned about hydroponics today

I live in South Africa, in the Western Cape (Cape Town) area where we have a Mediterranean climate and it is currently winter.

I have been struggling to find good pesto in the little town where I find myself at the moment and thus set about doing a bit of research on how I can plant my own Basil.

Then I realised that Basil needs a lot of sun and warm weather and that now is not the time to plant it

That is how came upon the hydroponics idea and started to read a bit about it.

I saw quite a few nice looking DIY solutions, and since I have a lot of resources here for building something myself I thought I migt give it a go.

I went to my little local nursery and picked up some Basil seeds.

Okay okay I'm getting to the point now

I have a little room that I have designated as my new 'basil room' and hydroponic playground. I have read about lights, etc, but there are still some things that I am not too sure about. Here they are:

1) I want to do this as cheap as possible and I read that I can use normal household fluorescent tubes. Just lots of them, so that's not a problem. Now I was wondering, the specialist hydroponic/plant lights - do they also produce heat? If so, do I require another heat source in my case, seeing that it is winter at the moment? Temperatures here vary between about 5C(41F) - 18C(65F) during winter. As I said I am going to do this indoors and is a bit more shielded, but would I need any extra measures to create a bit of extra heat?

2) And then my second question - would it in fact be okay to use normal fluorescent tubes? I understand that they won't be ideal, but if I use a lot of them, would it be OK to start off with?

Thanks for reading and thanks for any help/suggestions!

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