Light Gardens

By The Old House Web

Light Gardens

Indoor gardeners cope with poor light conditions by growing plants under artificial light. A number of plants grow quite well under a combination of cool white fluorescent and regular incandescent lights. The plants may touch the fluorescent tubes without injury but will be burned if they get close to the incandescent bulbs.

Light gardens can consist of only one, two-bulb, 48 inch fluorescent light fixture. Some gardeners use only cool white tubes, some use one cool white and one daylight, and still others use tubes made especially for light gardens. Plants grow best when the lights are turned on and off by a time clock. This allows the gardener to shorten the daylength in winter and provide consistent daylengths. In summer the timer is set so the lights are on about 16 hours, in winter this can be shortened to 12 hours, depending on the plants grown.

Many popular plants may be grown successfully in light gardens. Growing plants of different heights make it necessary to have lights at different heights. Place the plants under those fixtures where they are closest to the lights. Plants can be placed on upside down flower pots to get them closer to the lights. The distance between the top of the plant and the lights varies with the type of light source used. Under fluorescent lights, plants grow best 8 to 10 inches below the tubes.

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