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What is your strategy for the coming season?

Bob
5 years ago

Starting october i am going on the look-out for items on sale, Eocascrap garden soil, Espoma products,Dynamite and a couple others as well.

For this coming season about 20 to 30 bags of that soil, this stuff has a moisture retaining chemical that i do not need. I lay the bags in rows and open them with a H cut to make a couple of flaps and pour rainwater fertilized with a strong dose of Peter's h/p and let it somewhat decompose during the winter months. This spring i going to redo my containers with new stuff( 3 years old).

I am a little frugal when it comes to fert's for my tree's but here is my reasoning, i treat mine like they are human, like me, one day i eat fish, next steak or hamburger, Italiano stuff, asian, you name it.

Peter's is my go to fert.. in the spring/summer with Espoma in between, Citrus/avacado and peters M.O.S.T(micro),Iron.

Because a product is good for a certain tree it still can be used for other tree's. Espoma stuff stings for days, when smell is gone then they can go inside.

Comments (62)

  • Vladimir (Zone 5b Massachusetts)
    5 years ago

    Parker, can you post a photo of your setup?

  • Susanne Michigan Zone 5/6
    5 years ago

    Parker would love to see picture too. And what kind of rare citrus are you growing???? And where are you located? I have some seedlings and the prospect to be possible to raise them to fruit in four years sounds great. But I assume not for all citrus varieties?

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  • Lauren Stephens
    5 years ago

    Now i want to know more about these rare varieties. Im always up for learning something new expecially pertaining to citrus.

  • Jason Robinson
    5 years ago

    I just brought my trees in yesterday. I took a section of shelving from my portable soft sided greenhouse and completely wrapped it in silver foil insulation, mounted 2 different lights in it and brought it into my house. Tried it last night and I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised with how it did. The foil reflects a lot of the light and there was a little warmth, but not a lot. Hopefully it works out this winter and I can keep them well maintained

  • bklyn citrus (zone 7B)
    5 years ago

    I'd like to see some pics of this setup parker. I'm also wondering why you can't grow at 100% LED, I have disposal issue with fluorescent lighting and would like to get away from it totally.

  • Lauren Stephens
    5 years ago

    For winter i got a 1000w ballist with a metal hallide bulb and a roll of 4m panda film that i put on the walls of my smallest spare bedroom. The panda film makes the whole room look like the fun room mirrors in a circus. Haha. I think it will be sufficient.

  • BaconEater
    5 years ago

    Compost compost compost. I have a tumbling composter and a pile going for the garden and it’s my goal to have plenty by the time I till. The garden area is getting setup with a stone path this winter. Our soil grows but is low in organic material and I plan to have plenty of compost for when I till. I picked up some espoma on sale last year and am still going through the bag. I only have one more key lime tree to plant (hopefully after our roof is done) and the rest is just maintainence for now.

  • Parker Turtle
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Here are a couple seedlings:

    In this tray it's mostly tangelo, pomelo, a few lemons, and some strange bitter orange that might be rough lemon or natsumikan I found growing in front of a Japanese Church in San Gabriel, CA.

    I'm about ready to transfer them into cups right now.

  • Parker Turtle
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    You can grow with 100% LED but usually the plants do not grow as well as if there is a little bit of another type of light as well. LED is very efficient, but it's also monochromatic. Plants like some other wavelengths in there as well apparently (for various reasons).

    You can't see it but that small white one in the very back consists of 5000K with a few 660nm emiters built in. The UFO style one to the right consists of "full spectrum" phosphor-converted red, for coverage into the infrared. I wasn't too happy about it when I got it (but can't complain too much, it was only $20 including shipping). I just took this picture because it shows some various types of LED sources.

    It's very warm and humid in there (but consistently warm, doesn't get too hot), very much like a tropical rainforest. You want super-growth, those are the conditions the plants have to have.

    One of the secrets is keeping two gallon containers of water in there. The water really helps prevent the temperatures from fluctuating at night, because water holds a lot of heat.

    Blue LEDs are actually really efficient at pumping energy into a plant, as efficient as red, but I feel like with red LEDs you can pump more energy and light levels into the plant without leaf burning.

  • Parker Turtle
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    reply to Lauren Stephens:

    As for rare varieties, the hardest to find was keraji. A nursery owner is going to send me some seeds this season. Also have some seedlings that are second generation trifoliate crosses (Dunstan citrumelo x pomelo) since I'm involved in citrus breeding. A changsha-Satsuma cross, and I'm breeding a changsha-grapefruit cross (still just tiny seedlings, I can't tell whether they're actually hybrids yet). One of the rarest is a mysterious orange that has Ichang papeda* in its ancestry, someone grew it from seed they got from a fruit at the Southeast citrus expo. It still hasn't fruited for me yet. Supposedly it tastes pretty much like an average orange. Managed to get one Ichang Lemon. One thing I'd love to get is an IVIA Ichang papeda, for further breeding, but those things are only available in Europe. (Another one I'd love to get is Hyuganatsu) Also I'm going to be working on some citron hybrids, like between citron and yuzu, and citron and citrumelo. Some bloomsweet hybrids as well.

    * (literally ichang papeda was used, not talking about yuzu here)

    Well actually citrons are pretty interesting, they're the ancestor to lemons. I've got 2 different varieties, the regular one and then a less common giant one that can get bigger than a pomelo. Citron is a lot like a quince, the fruits are fragrant but not very edible, though they can be delicious in cooking.

    I'm growing pomelos from from fruits I got at various markets. Right now I have red shaddock and reinking, and a seed from Oroblanco that takes more after a pomelo.

    Growing a lot of tangelo seeds too for future breeding.

    I'm sorry, I can't send any seeds or plants right now, but wait a few years. I would like to eventually start a seed nursery and send people seeds.

    reply to Susanne:

    It is possible to grow citrus from seed to fruit in 4 years, if you really know what you're doing and have all the environmental conditions optimized. Any citrus variety. Lemons in 3 and a half years. I'm not talking about grafting.

    Now of course normally it takes a lot longer to go from seed to fruit. We're talking 8 years, maybe 12 to 14 if you're in a cold climate and have to bring plants inside for the Winter. But then again these people don't maintain truly optimal temperatures, light levels or humidity while the plants are inside.

    Tropical growing conditions and 24 hour a day lighting can work wonders. Let me be clear, it really is a miracle to be able to grow from seed to plant with fruits in only 4 years.

  • Parker Turtle
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Also a note: make sure the plant enclosure is completely enclosed, otherwise the humidity can over time ruin your house. It could be foil on 3 sides but make sure there's clear plastic sheeting covering the front.

    Something like this:

    When the plant is being warmed, and the rest of your house is cold, that can drive a lot of humidity away from the plant.

  • bklyn citrus (zone 7B)
    5 years ago

    Ok, I live in a 100 year old house in Brooklyn, not some bullshit construction, so humidity is best shared, plastic is unnecessary. especially with heat in winter in a cellar, now we are doing 24 hr a day lighting, no rest period?

  • Parker Turtle
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Trust me, contain the humidity. Citrus plants like it more. Temperature difference will suck moisture from the plant. (That's how they freeze dry foods by the way)

  • kcandmilo
    5 years ago

    Gosh, and all I was going to do was stop fertilizing! Truly makes me appreciate what gardeners in colder climes have to do!

    KC

  • Lauren Stephens
    5 years ago

    Parker, quite a collection. Alot of dedication. And i thought my spare bedroom converted to a grow room was something. Sheesh you have a breeding program going on!

  • poncirusguy6b452xx
    5 years ago

    My house was built in 1887. Because of the area it is built in and Cincinnati is after the land my house is a tear down when I pass. Cincinnati is unwilling to pay for the land and many of us are fighting to keep Cincinnati from blighting us and taking our property. Humidity is the least of my problems.
    Steve

  • Alanna Migliacci
    5 years ago

    bklyn citrus - I used to live on E19th Street in between Beverley and Cortelyou. Anywhere near you? I remember how chilly and dry the winters were in that big old house. My citrus obsession didn't start until after I left and now I have no room for all of my trees.

  • PRO
    Home
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I plan to get some LED grow lights and create a cheap makeshift tent. There's tons of ideas out there if you search DIY grow tent. You can get your own pvc or whichever kind of pipes, connect them into a shape and height you like, cover the pipes and tighten it to your structure and there you go! You can get reflective sheeting that called "reflective Mylar" which is very shiny silver on one side and black on the other to block out light. That can be attached onto the inner structure of the pipes. Lots of people put regular tin foil on stiff foam boards or cardboard and create reflective walls around their plants. If you have trays of plants, then get a cheap regular shelving unit that has customizable shelving where you can remove a shelf and create more space and use that as your framework if you want! Hope that gives some ideas for others also on a tight budget.

    I think it's possible to run on full LED, I've looked into it bc I don't want to spend what little budget I have on something that's less effective. It's mostly about getting the full spectrum including ultraviolet and infrared to get a more complete imitation of sunlight. Then make sure that the lights you use will emit enough receivable photons required by the plant. Anyone interested in knowing more, search "photosynthetic photon flux density." It's a measurement of how many light photons actually hit the plant. A lot of light photons will spread out and not actually land on the plant, the plant will not use light that does not land on them! Some ppl believe that this type of measurement may be more beneficial in optimizing the amount of lights you use.

    CFL's are good too bc of the other wavelengths it puts out and it uses less wattage like LEDs but the downside is that it emits a lot of heat compared to an LED and most CFL's do not tell you how much of a certain color they emit. That might only bother people who are focused on the small details (like me lol).

    If you use a grow tent, it will be almost too much heat for the plant especially if you're using multiple bulbs running at 12hrs a day. You can dry out the plant and plants do not function well above a certain high temperature. So now you will need to spend more money setting up a way to keep the temperature cool like a fan or ballast which means spending more on electricity to maintain it too. LED's are the way to go, they may not be as strong but there are many bulbs out there. I spent about 3 weeks looking at each bulb and their stats and searching reviews for measured stats. If the light is not strong enough for you, you can at least purchase more LED bulbs knowing you won't be adding much extra heat, you won't need to purchase additional equipment to cool down said heat, and LEDs use less watts so you're not increasing electricity costs much by adding more bulbs. It's just the initial cost investment hurdle that you must overcome. Also, many bulbs are manufactured by the same factories in China and are sold to many sellers that just put their label/logo on it. Look for lights that actually perform well rather than brand. You can buy the same exact looking light with the same exact LED information on eBay for cheaper bc it's directly shipped from the source. Good luck to you all!

    p.s. Keeping temperatures controlled is probably enough for the plant if you only want a basic setup. That can already be done by having a very basic or even cheap setup like Steve's buckets which I love seeing pictures of. Or foiled up cardboard boxes or foam boards. You enclose the tree into a small reflective space with heat emitting light on for 12+ hours, it'll be warm and humid enough in there with enough plants sharing and transpiring in the same space

  • Parker Turtle
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    reply to Alanna Migliacci:

    Haha, I guess it all comes down to climate. Winters here are very very wet. It's true colder air holds less moisture but the air is fully saturated with as much moisture as it can hold, and then some, since there's a lot of mist and constant drizzle. I realize heating the air indoors causes it to be drier, but here it still has plenty of humidity after being heated indoors (well maybe that's partly because it's only being heated from 40° to 60°F). And the Winters here aren't quite as freezing cold as Cincinnati, so that's another factor; the moisture doesn't have a chance to completely freeze out, and all that high level of moisture prevents it from going below the freezing point in the first place (water releases latent heat as it freezes).

    Sometimes we just take our climates for granted. But what works for us may not work for someone else somewhere else.


    poncirusguy, I am a little curious how the city is planning to take your land without paying for it.

  • bklyn citrus (zone 7B)
    5 years ago

    Alanna I'n not that far from where you were, a few miles over in Sunset park, I'm a block away from the park, in a big old brick 6 family with steam heat and modern windows, fairly cozy actually. I grow the citrus under lights far from any windows under lights in the cellar. A Cellar will naturally always have a bit of dampness especially in winter. Every individual persons situation is unique. I also planted out a young trifoliate in the garden , hopefully it settles in and eventually I can graft to it. I also put a out a young but top branch, low and bushy Citrangequat cutting which will get a old window for roof protection and but no supplemental heat.

  • Parker Turtle
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    reply to bklyn citrus:

    With pricier LEDs it does not make sense to have them on a rest period. You want the fixture to pay for itself as fast as possible, so it makes more sense to go with a lower wattage and leave them on 24 hours a day. If you had lights on a rest period, it might make more sense to have MH or CFL lamps in there turn off. Sometimes the issue with LEDs is not having enough wattage, because you really pay for the wattage (60W is going to be twice as expensive as a 30W fixture), so a lot of times it can be practical to throw another type of lamp in there too.

    reply to kvetchlambkin:

    From a cost perspective it's not effective to use 100% LED. The standard red+blue grow lights are not going to have all the wavelengths that are good for plants to grow. It's just really easy and practical to mix LED with MH. Although there are special LED systems that combine multiple wavelengths: infrared, 660 and 620nm red to match the 2 types of chlorophyll, white LEDs (5000K), and a UV LED (whether all plants benefit from UV is controversial). Having some green wavelength light in there is actually good, because it penetrates down through the leaf layer (whereas blue is almost entirely absorbed on the surface and oversaturates those chloroplasts).

    There was actually one study that showed plants grow better under a plain white LED than only using pure red + blue, even though the red+blue should theoretically be more efficient. This just demonstrates that when using LED grow lamps it's important to mix a little bit of white light in there. (but plain white LEDs don't have those deep red wavelengths that chlorophyll is efficient at absorbing, so don't get the wrong idea)

    Maybe you should just use 65% LED and 35% something else. I doubt you really want to pay for all of the LED wattage you will need anyway.

    Oh, BTW, those "45 watt" led panels are actually only 29w in reality. The "200 watt" UFO-style cheap chinese lamps are 64 watts, the "150 watt" ones are 37 watts. And with LED screw-in flood grow lamps, the actual wattage is usually given by the model option one size smaller than the one you're looking at (If there's 3 wattage sizes, 18, 24 and 36, the 36 watt bulb will actually be 24 watts, the 24 will be 18, etc). Obviously these chinese sellers have no shame. They'll always send you the product, but it will be very shoddy and won't quite match up to the advertised specifications. In their culture apparently they don't see that as cheating, they see it as salesmanship.

  • PRO
    Home
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Hi Parker turtle, I definitely had too long of a post so I didn't get into the specific details on how to shop for LED lights but I have the same view as you on what to look for in an LED grow light. I don't like the LED grow lights that consist only of red and blue. The idea that grow lights only need 2 frequencies of wavelength bc of absorption efficiency doesn't make up for the missing ones. I like the lights that either have multiple wavelengths of blue and red or diodes that use phosphorus coating to make it emit a range of wavelengths. I found a bulb on Amazon that even has a green diode (the only bulb so far that specifically used a green diode). I've already read that plants do use green light and the other wavelengths, that they all play a part in regulating plant growth and keeping them healthy as well as the green being absorbed as secondary energy producers just less efficient at it. My go to LED would have at least uv, ir, and white light to fill in the gaps between the red and blues. There's even LED grow lights that use completely white light or 50% white.

    I looked into MH lights because I didn't know much about it but I found that the average metal halide generally produces the most light in the middle orange/red range and not much in the deep red. They are really well balanced for vegetative but for specifically flowering, not ideal. The only light that would produce enough far red light would be the ceramic metal halides which apparently have high initial costs as well but also has faster degradation rates than regular metal halides. In all likeliness, it will probably degrade faster than an LED as well.

    And I disagree about LEDs not being cost effective. It depends on what each individual intends to do with their grow light. I don't grow enough plants/trees to fill a room yet but if I did I would probably want a bulb to maintain my plants health through the winter season and use it as a supplement, not necessarily expect more growth from it. From a light hobbyists' perspective, I'm not invested enough in indoor gardening to want to set up a ballast as well as not having the space for one.

    Putting out more wattage doesn't always equate to light strength either. In most cases it helps but there are LED bulbs out there for relatively cheap that manipulate the light direction using less wattage. The great thing about LED lights is that you can find a bulb with enough frequencies to grow most plants from vegetative to flowering without having to switch lamps. Getting a light that also includes some white light, uv and ir is just a huge plus which many inexpensive bulbs can provide now. I'm not saying LEDs perfectly generate everything a plant needs. I also don't mean to say that LEDs are capable of growing plants to very old ages when on 24/7. I've looked into it enough to know it has its limitations in wattage, some wavelength frequencies, and very bad marketing/transparency but they're also the most simple light requiring no extra equipment for cooling, low wattage, many wavelength options, and relatively inexpensive due to the savings of the former reasons. The ideal set up for me would be supplementing an LED with a CFL bulb. However with a proven well performing LED light, a CFL isn't always necessary. It's just hard to find a reliable performing LED when looking in the lower budget lights but I've found a few on my own with some digging. One of the other great things is if a light chip goes out, it's entirely possible to replace it cheaply by yourself or with technical assistance and be able reuse the whole bulb again! No broken rattling filaments or Mercury that need to be thrown out! Just buy a replacement for that tiny piece. Just want to re-emphasize that it checks off all the things I want for indoor gardening so it is cost efficient for me at least :)

  • Parker Turtle
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    the downside to phosphor-coating to generate the red wavelengths is lower efficiency. But "full spectrum" white LEDs look very aesthetically pleasing though, haha.

    if you have a blue-red grow LED over a plant in your living room it can make you feel kind of dizzy.

  • poncirusguy6b452xx
    5 years ago

    My buckets are free and the bulbs paid for. That is what I am going to use this winter for the trees that didn't go outside in ground.

  • Jason Robinson
    5 years ago

    This is my quick and dirty set up for now. Need to get something to hold the front closed this week's. Greenhouse shelf and insulation, that's it




  • Lauren Stephens
    5 years ago

    Poncirus, everytime i see pictures of your setup i am more and more impressed at your innovative creation. I wish i could be so innovative. Im sure it is very effective and inexpensive to build since you have what you need readily avaliable (besides time) compared to what most (i) paid for my lights. It would of been nice to be able to put that into more trees. Lol. I like that setup you have going. Theres alot of love and time in it im sure.

  • PRO
    Home
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Hi Jason, great idea with the greenhouse insulation. It looks just like the temporary setup I wanted to make this winter. Is there a specific name for the insulation that we can search to buy? It looks even better than putting foil on foam board or buying reflective mylar. I have pets in my house and they'll be too curious to keep their claws from ripping through thin sheeting.

    haha Parker turtle, alot of the reviews do mention how the purple light can be harsh on the eyes. That's why I think using a CFL bulb to fill in the lack of green/orange/mid-range frequencies is a great simple combination. The people that manage to setup a ballast and ventilation system deserve some applause. Those things aren't easy to organize and setup at all! I'm just hoping for my plants to hold onto what they already have until spring returns

  • Jason Robinson
    5 years ago

    Here's a pic of the paper it comes with. It's not super cheap, this roll is 16"x25' and cost around $15. I had some left over from insulating my garage door a few winters ago

    Just go to home depot or Lowes and check the building section for insulation and they should have all kinds there

  • Jason Robinson
    5 years ago

    Also forgot to mention, it's fairly easy to work with. To attach it to the shelving system all I used was something to poke holes with and strung it all together with zip ties. I also used packing tape to close the same. The tape sticks to it very well. They also sell the metallic colored tape that matches it if you're interested in that

  • Parker Turtle
    5 years ago


  • Jason Robinson
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    quick update on mine, they seem to have taken very well to being inside now. My Meyer is blooming (the whole grow tent smells of the flowers) and my Tangerine is sprouting new leaves. Looks like the little home made grow tent is doing well so far. We'll see how it holds up in the long run

  • myermike_1micha
    5 years ago

    LOVE the insulation set up Jason!! Jason, that would add so much more light in my holding room than plain walls! I love love the idea..I would not need as much lights either.I am really excited and it would be well worth the investment!

    Kevin, I also love the idea about using flexible pipes and putting plastic over them. I am going to get them bend a couple long ones long enough to rise over my trees on a table outside and extend the growing season with a space heater underneath the table they are on. Love it

  • Jason Robinson
    5 years ago

    Mikerno, I would have just bought a grow tent or something if I hadn't already had the shelf and insulation. It would be a little investment making it from scratch with no materials, luckily I had them. I only had to buy one more roll of the insulation as it took just under 2 rolls to make it. The foil insulation definitely makes for great light reflection and heat retention inside there

  • myermike_1micha
    5 years ago

    Jason, thanks a million......

  • PRO
    Home
    5 years ago

    No problem Mike! I agree with Jason, if you have extra materials on hand and you're on a budget then it's a nice temporary setup. There are some reflective grow tents I've seen on Amazon for about $45, the small ones though. I'm on a super low budget right now so I got a 4 tier shoe rack for $20 instead and I'll look for that shiny insulating roll to make a tent! Once I've set things up I'll post some photos too!

  • Jason Robinson
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Agreed on the grow tents, some are pretty small for the price you pay. I think mine is probably big compared to some of the $40-$50 ones. Here's a pic I just took showing the blooms on my Meyer. These just opened up within the last 2 days. For the record, all these buds were on the plant outside, but have continued to grow decently inside. This is not an all indoor plant. I can take better pics of the tent if you are interested in the construction although it's fairly straight forward

  • myermike_1micha
    5 years ago

    Jason and Kevin, I use to have one of those kind of tents, I even have a greenhouse, but my problem is that I have too many larger trees to even fit any of them into places like that. So I will have to leave them all over my spare room...Ugh

  • Jason Robinson
    5 years ago

    Yeah if your trees are big, it'll be a different situation all together. I just had to try this setup this year. Last year was really hard on my trees. I lost my original Meyer and my key Lime was essentially a stick until spring. Last winter they were just under a light but did terrible. I figured encasing them would be my next thing to try lol. How big are the trees you're talking about?

    I'm wondering if you could create a wall around them and line it with the foil. Not necessarily a complete box, but just a barrier, like plywood or even a foam board or something. Might not be the best in terms of space management though. I could see a foam board working since it's super light and you could probably disassemble it after the winter

  • tropicofcancer (6b SW-PA)
    5 years ago

    Most articles I have read say that you do not gain much by putting foil, mylar, etc over a flat white painted surface. Over time mylar and foil like sheets lose efficiency because they crinkle easily and hard to clean. Standard mylar film is actually worse than flat white paint. There are better grade and thicker films available if you want better reflectivity. There is a thick plastic film (Panda Film) which is white one side and black on the other side. Hydroponics shops have it. It is a very good reflector, does not crinkle and easy to clean. I think I paid $12 for a 10x10. Larger ones are available too. For a temporary setup you can hang it on your walls during winter or wrap a shelf.

    For insulation I think foam boards can be a good alternative (and cheaper too) although they are poorer reflector because surface is uneven.

    LED's have two advantage over other light sources. It emits light on one side so light loss is less compared to others that produce light in all directions. Second, theoretically led's still have more room to become efficient. Currently the best ones can do nearly 200 lumens per watt. Limit is a bit over 300. What it means is that even the cheaper leds are becoming better and more efficient. Even household 100W equivalent leds are very good for plants. The only problem is that the manufacturers want it to look and work like a round old bulb !!! Taking away one advantage that leds have.

  • PRO
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    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    That's what I intend to do with my tree Jason. I'm saving my larger cardboard boxes and plan to wall up my tree on the sides but leave the top open to beam the light down on it. That's the only way I can think of walling up something taller

    You made a really good observation tropic! Why didn't I think about that! You're right, white is much more reflective than silver or foil. Even if foil is shiny, white is the least likely to absorb any heat or light. I only planned on using Mylar or foil because of budget reasons but now that I know a black/white film exists.. I'll be getting that instead! In general, I just don't have much to spend on a great pre-made setup so keeping the temperature insulated using anything reflective and enclosing it in a small space with light shining down the tree is my overall goal. Thank you for the advice tropic! Really glad you told us about the Panda Film.

    I also agree with you on LEDs. It may not be considered the best but it has potential to become even more efficient and soon enough, more economically available. I just bought a panel that uses small cob chips in cup reflectors to direct the light downwards. Can't wait to see whether it was worth purchasing

  • tropicofcancer (6b SW-PA)
    5 years ago

    kvetch: Which light did you get? Just curious.

    Advantage of an enclosed space is that you can better control light and humidity. But temperature can rise especially when the lights are on. A light that consumes 100W, no matter what kind of light it is, is going to end up in 100W of heat - first law of thermodynamics. Second factor is air flow. Air flow is essential so that there is no single spot of high temperature and it also helps to keep the bug population low. But lowers the humidity though. A small fan (even a computer fan will do) is sufficient.

    Biggest bang for the buck I found with leds is this: Get a 3-4 bulb bathroom vanity fixture. Get 100W equivalent daylight leds (Costco has the cheapest, I think). Carefully pop out the plastic "bulb" and voila you have a light that is at least 50% more powerful than a 100W CFL consuming 60% of the power. Just try not get water on the exposed leds. Plus any warranty expressed or implied is null and void - lol. If you are not comfortable do not do it please.

    Just noticed the topic of this post. So to the topic: My strategy is to try to achieve a status-quo type of situation with the plants. I try to given them enough of the cultural requirements that they do remain in a stasis of some sort. If they grow then there will be bugs for sure. If they become weak there will be bugs again. If humidity is low mites will show up. I guess you get the point. So my strategy is to try and provide just enough so that I do not have to worry about their health much.

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    5 years ago

    That's what I'm hoping for as well, I just hope to maintain their current status until after the winter Equinox when we start getting more daylight. I got a couple of weak bulbs. One is HHE LED 12w, ABI LED 12w, and another from eBay called PopularGrow 300w reflector double chips. The ABI seems to be reliable and the HHE I saw a reviewer measure the PPFD using a meter so those should work decently. The eBay purchase is the big unknown but I got that for its larger footprint and to start seeds.

  • myermike_1micha
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Jason, the trees I am talking about are at least 5 feet high and wide. I have many 3 feet or more. Some in smaller pots too...I use to place them on my cold porch that would never fall below 45 and yet never above 65 with no spare lights at all. They would thrive out there but I would have to use a space heater that cost me an arm and a leg to keep warm enough to not freeze. Big porch lots of windows..Easy

    But now I am trying to save money by not having a space heater running 24 hours a day that could possible kick out and instead will be using CFL lights on timers for only 12 hours a day in a very sunny spare room. All the window face south, east and west while the back wall is north and has no windows..So all the sunlight will fill that room from the other windows to reflect off the plain wall with that reflective material to make maximum brightness if that makes sense..I will show pics soon..I will just hang it like wall temporary wall paper.

    Do local stores sell Mylar in particular, or is that something you have to order off the net?

    Just ordered Myler off Amazon! Worth ever penny. Easy to use and hang anywhere I need too..


    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0013LUKR8/ref=asc_df_B0013LUKR85191297/?tag=hyprod-20&creative=395009&creativeASIN=B0013LUKR8&linkCode=df0&hvadid=198107334619&hvpos=1o2&hvnetw=g&hvrand=656426799136335991&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9001881&hvtargid=pla-343191228634

    These lights..

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00M6SR1JM/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Philips 433557 23W 100-watt T2 Twister 6500K CFL Light Bulb, 4-Pack

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    5 years ago

    Oh no Mike! I'm sorry for my misinformed information, tropicofcancer just gave us some new information in the last post that Mylar's silvery reflection isn't as effective as white colored surfaces. Apparently there is a black/white type called Panda Film instead. You got that Mylar at a really great price though! And it sounds like you'll have tons of sun all day long. The CFLs should work great for keeping the temperatures raised too. I think your trees will thrive and grow well for you this winter while keeping your costs relatively low this year. That's the most I can hope for this year lol

  • tropicofcancer (6b SW-PA)
    5 years ago

    Mylar will be fine as long as it remains smooth and clean. But it is hard to keep it that way over time. Another thing to remember is that any reflective surface needs to be as close to the plants as possible for maximum effectiveness - like what Jason did earlier with his shelf. But my advice is to get the Panda film - you and your plants will be lot happier.

  • myermike_1micha
    5 years ago

    Kevin no worries..Think I will make good use of it anyways. It did work for me in the past when I use to use grow lights in a dark basement. I loved it.

    Tropic, thank you. Just bought some for my walls!! Thanks

  • poncirusguy6b452xx
    5 years ago

    My product comes in a 1 foot wide roll at 200 feet long.


  • Kelley_GA8a
    5 years ago

    Parker, do you have the lights inside or outside of the plastic? Also, at what temperature can seedlings withstand? I'm sure they are more sensitive than mature plants. We are expecting temps to drop into the mid 40's at night come mid October. Thanks!

  • poncirusguy6b452xx
    5 years ago

    can't load pics.

    Kroger brand aluminum foil 200 foot role. There are other brands to.

  • Susanne Michigan Zone 5/6
    5 years ago

    Steve this was exactly what I was thinking to do

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