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Friday, December 05, 2008

What's Light got to do, got to do with it

How is winter project #1 going? Are you waiting for the weekend? Me too. Sunday to be exact, Saturday I have that open house to attend. For now I want to talk to you about something very special in my life. It is important to know, and it does have a few things to do with a number of winter projects we will be embarking on. Come here, closer, we need to keep this between us. If everyone knew what I am about to tell you, then there could be a riot.

Light is important to your plants.

I can hear the gasps, I don't mean to startle you, but you need to brace yourself, it will get worse.

But before I give you the worse news, I feel it is my duty to tell you a little bit more on why light is so important. Can you say photosynthesis? I know you can. . . .ok, that's enough. i don't want you to hurt yourself. Let's get to the nitty gritty of it. Follow me.

You have all seen a rainbow, don't give me that. I know you have. The rainbow is an important visual for what I have to tell you. Plants thrive under a rainbow. The blue allows them to manufacture carbohydrates while the red controls assimilation and affects its response to the length of light and darkness. Far red works together with red in many different ways, Germination, stem length and leaf size. I know! Mind boggling. But oh so true. And when you mix the florescent lights, which has the blue spectrum of the rainbow as well as the red with the incandescent light which has the far red, you have yourself a rainbow fit for plant life! oh my! No wonder Dorothy was so obsessed with the rainbow.

Now we have reached the worse part, brace yourself. Are you sitting down? Good. Absolute darkness is crucial for plants. Doesn't that just blow your mind (ok have got to stop with the 60's jive talk. I wasn't even born in that time period. Even though you jive turkey is the cool new insult term to my 4 year old)

Remember to observe your plants, if they are long and spindly looking, they are not getting enough light, if they are burning leaves, too much light. Get yourself a timer, this helps a lot. Normal plants like 8-12 hours of light, while flowering plants enjoy 12-14 hours.

How much lighting does one really need? 10 lamp watts per square foot for fluorescent, mix it 4:1 with the incandescent light. Or just go out and buy some grow lights.

So how was that for boring? Ok boys and girls, I will see you back here on Monday, please read chapter 1-200, there will be a test.


Karen said...

You crack me up!


rt r said...

Normal plants like 12-14 hours of light, while flowering plants enjoy 12-14 hours.

you mean both need the same amount of light??

Phelan said...

rt r, nope that would be a typo. Thank you for calling me out on that. Normal plants like anywhere between 8-12 hours of light. Sorry about that. Flowering plants like much more.

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