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Thread: Applying knowledge of light to growing your own food

  1. #1 Applying knowledge of light to growing your own food 
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    Evening all,

    I have an allotment (here in the UK a place to grow your own food) and I am keen to get the most from my patch.

    If I recall, white colours reflect light (good for increasing light within a polytunnel) whilst black absorbs light and transfers it to heat(?) (good for knowing when sowing seeds in the colder months in a black seed tray to absorb that warmth).

    I came across someone who was growing tomatoes and planted the tomato plants within some red sheeting material laid across the whole growing bed & I found this quite interesting and was wondering why would someone potentially do this? Also can other coloured materials be used to reflect/absorb certain types of light for other desired outcomes? I find applying the potentials of science to growing my own food fascinating!

    I also came across these solar lights that people made in which they added some chlorine to water within a bottle and this lit up a dark room. Has anyone else come across this? What is the explanation for this & will it keep an area lit into the night?

    Thank you for your replies,

    Samuel


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  3. #2  
    Forum Freshman pzkpfw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel_1988 View Post
    ... I also came across these solar lights that people made in which they added some chlorine to water within a bottle and this lit up a dark room. Has anyone else come across this? What is the explanation for this & will it keep an area lit into the night? ...
    If that's what I think it is, then it's just a home-made skylight, for getting light into a room from outside. Won't work at night - unless the building is under a good light source. The chlorine is just to stop the water going "off" (algae growing and discolouring it).


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  4. #3  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope
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    Quote Originally Posted by pzkpfw View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel_1988 View Post
    ... I also came across these solar lights that people made in which they added some chlorine to water within a bottle and this lit up a dark room. Has anyone else come across this? What is the explanation for this & will it keep an area lit into the night? ...
    If that's what I think it is, then it's just a home-made skylight, for getting light into a room from outside. Won't work at night - unless the building is under a good light source. The chlorine is just to stop the water going "off" (algae growing and discolouring it).
    Yes I have heard of that.In poor countries where electricity is expensive you can punch a hole in the roof and put a plastic bottle filled with water ( and chlorine) there where it acts as a light bulb basically for free.
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  5. #4  
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    Good old heating light bulbs are best. Thing is you need to be careful with your electricity usage. If you use to much electricity cops will notice and your whole weed farm will be destroyed so careful.
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  6. #5  
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    There is an enormous literature on gardening food crops outdoors, I suggest you look into it. Important determinants of yield include soil preparation, type, nutrient content and moisture, and temperatures day and night. Red light promotes plants setting fruit but should not be necessary with sunlight. Fluorescent lights are basically red deficient and for growing are designed so their emitted light is reddish. IF you are in full sun light will not be a problem.

    Your location is very determining re what will grow well, and I suggest you contact local farmers and gardeners and ask their advice, as well as hitting the books. A local gardening club might be helpful.

    I garden in the US midwest where the frost free growing season is from about May through September, and during that time I raise mostly tomatoes, pole beans, cucumbers and sweet banana peppers.

    Good luck with your growing. It is a lot of fun!

    phildukephd

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