When To Use A Growing Light In A Greenhouse - Krostrade

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When To Use A Growing Light In A Greenhouse

Do you know when to use a growing light in a greenhouse? First off, plants require light to stimulate photosynthesis; this allows them to produce energy and food for themselves.

To provide a source of light, greenhouse enthusiasts sometimes use an artificial source. These devices are known as growing lights, and they vary widely across the globe. However, these lights require the proper evaluation of different factors and considerations before the installation.

It’s better to use natural sunlight, but when to use a growing light in a greenhouse? In this article, we will expound on when you should use a growing light in a greenhouse. All of the conditions suggested should be taken into account to maximize the utility of your growing lights.

When To Use A Growing Light In A Greenhouse

Types Of Growing Lights

Although they all have the same function, to supplement sunlight or directly replace sunlight, especially in urban farming, these growing lights are subdivided into three major types. Before you should know when to use a growing light in a greenhouse, let’s talk about the types.

 

Fluorescent growing lights

These growing lights either come in tubes or CFLs or Compact Fluorescent Lights. These lightbulbs are useful in providing luminance for vegetables and herbs indoors. The efficiency of light distribution depends on the distance of the fluorescent bulbs to the plants.

 

HPS lights

HPS or high-pressure sodium lights are for the experts. These are heat-emitting, yellow bulbs that have been used for more than 75 years already. They exist in the market, but setting it up is complicated, and it’s not efficient when it comes to providing a reliable, stable light source.

 

LED lights

Light-emitting diode (LED) lights are the most common. They are more light-efficient and energy-efficient compared to its two counterparts. These bulbs produce low to zero heat and are great at directing light waves. However, these could be more expensive than CFLs, and its efficiency is only maximized at a small spectrum.

 

Growing Light For Your Greenhouse

Now that you know the different types of growing lights, you should also note the perfect time to use them. This portion of the blog will explain the conditions and tips that you should monitor and follow before using these greenhouse lights.

 

Environment

Sunlight could be inconsistent due to the fast-changing weather and unpredictable climate. This inconsistency could heavily affect your plants’ growth inside your greenhouse as they need a sufficient amount of light to produce their food.

Growing lights are efficient when sunlight is inconsistent or unavailable, especially in the Northern areas during long and dark winter days. Despite the unavailability of sunlight, these artificial devices could stimulate your florae’s growth and provide the right amount of photons that they need.

 

Indoor greenhouse

Some greenhouse enthusiasts want to keep their greenhouses indoors. Hence, they use growing lights to supply their plants with light.

Use a growing light system when your greenhouse is placed indoors or in an area where adequate sunlight cannot seep through. This would continue the development of plants and would make your greenhouse keeping more efficient.

 

Equipment

You cannot use something unless you know how to use it. After evaluating the stated factors above, you should note the needs of your plants inside your greenhouse before using these growing lights.

Light consists of the different colors of the rainbow, displaying it on a broad spectrum. Plants use the red and blue sides of the spectrum to stimulate their growth. It is not enough for you to buy a plain lightbulb to mitigate and imitate sunlight to develop your plants.

It is highly recommended that you use blue and red light bulbs as they are more efficient than ordinary white or yellow ones.

Since growing lights are artificial, it is also a must for you to keep track of the time your plants are exposed to them. Generally, most flowers and vegetables require exposure to light for at least 12 to 16 hours per day. Any more than that could disrupt the plants’ cycle as they need darkness to respire.

This equipment should also be set up correctly to allow the proper distribution of light across the greenhouse. If the plants receive inadequate photons, this would stunt their growth and positively affect their development.

Lastly, use greenhouse lights that don’t produce a lot of heat. Scientific evidence shows that heat and high temperatures could affect the vitamins and nutritional content within your plants. It would help if you used lights such as LEDs as they produce zero to near-zero heat when turned on.

 

How To Use A Growing Light?

Knowing the conditions on when to use a growing light in a greenhouse is key for the development of your plants. Now, we will discuss tips and processes on how to use a growing light.

 

#1 Use a light timer

Depending on your plant’s needs, your greenhouse won’t need light 24/7. It is recommended for you to use a light timer to control your lighting system’s on-and-off cycle.

 

#2 Position the lights properly

As a general rule, growing lights with less high-intensity light discharge should be one to three feet away from your plants. Meanwhile, lights with higher luminance should be placed four to six feet away. Make sure to check and adjust the lighting depending on the needs of your florae.

Also, always remember to place the lights in a position where the lighting is evenly distributed. This means that if your greenhouse is bigger, equip yourself with a bulb with a larger wattage and a more extensive scope of illumination to adhere to your plants’ needs.

 

Final Words

In this modern and changing world, sometimes we should rely on artificial and human-made equipment. Through this article, you will now know when to use a growing light in a greenhouse.

If you do things properly and always abide by your plants’ needs, your gardening career will foster and develop as time goes by.

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How To Grow Mexican Heather. 3 Steps To Success

How To Grow Mexican Heather. 3 Steps To Success

You only need to overcome three steps to know how to grow Mexican heather. This compact perennial is unique not just because of its looks but also with how easy it thrives amidst hot conditions. However, do note that Mexican heather plants don’t do as well in cold regions. 

Before you give them up, you may also find it comfortable to grow Mexican heather in the greenhouse. Remember that the stable indoor conditions in the greenhouse make it ideal for starting plants. However, it can also offer protection to plants that don’t tolerate extreme climates. 

 

How To Plant Mexican Heather

 

Step #1. Planning and preparation

 

Timing

The first step in growing Mexican heather is planning and preparing to guarantee success. You want to check your calendar on when is the best time to plant Mexican heather. If your climate is similar to the Mediterranean regions, you can easily plant Mexican heather at any time

However, it’s generally ideal for growing this plant late in fall, so it has established itself before the temperatures get challenging. And as you can assume, you will need to grow Mexican heather in the greenhouse if your area has harsh winters. Starting Mexican heather from seeds indoors will guarantee flowers in the summer.

 

Location

After determining when to plant Mexican heather, you must prepare the site for your plants. Remember that the location is crucial to guarantee the steady growth of any plant. Therefore, you may benefit from starting Mexican heather indoors if your climate is fluctuating. 

In general, you want somewhere with fertile and well-draining soil. Test your soil to do the necessary amendments and improve its structure. The plant also does best with some shade because the full sun affects the foliage’s health. 

 

Step #2. Planting

After you started Mexican heather in the greenhouse, gently take the plant from the pot. Make sure to untangle and loosen the roots before setting the plant in the center of the hole. Allocate a space of three feet between each plant, and the top of the root ball should be half an inch above the ground. 

 

Step #3. Maintenance

Maintaining the newly planted Mexican heather plants is no different from other plants. You want to keep soil moisture to help the plants establish themselves. However, be sure not to create a wet environment that can decay the plant. 

Adjust your watering practices according to the weather. Mature Mexican heather plants will tolerate challenging conditions like drought and summer heat. However, it’s best to provide two to six hours of partial shade instead. 

 

 

How To Propagate Mexican Heather

 

Seeds

You can grow Mexican heather from seeds similarly to other flowering plants. Use pots with standard potting mix for sowing, and then add some soil over the seeds. Maintain soil moisture, and you can place the pots in the greenhouse to protect the seedlings from the environment. 

 

Cuttings

You can also root cuttings from a healthy Mexican heather plant. Take a four-inch stem section, remove its lower leaves, dip the end in rooting hormone, and then plant in a pot with soil. Continue watering until root establishment for transplanting. 

 

Division

Division is an excellent way to grow Mexican heather and also keep the plants from overcrowding an area. Gently loosen the soil around a plant to make lifting easier and divide the root ball into sections using a sharp and sterile knife. Depending on its size, you can get up to four divisions for transplanting in containers or onto the garden. 

 

Caring For Mexican Heather

 

Water and fertilizer

While Mexican heather can tolerate dry conditions, it would still be optimal to keep them well-hydrated. You can water the plants deeply once per week, but ensure that you’re using a well-draining medium and container. Then, wait for the ground to dry in between waterings to avoid creating standing water. 

Remember to adjust the frequency and amount of water you give to the plants. More so, container Mexican heather plants would dry faster, so water them often. You can also mulch every spring to maintain soil moisture and even smother weeds. 

Do you fertilize Mexican heather? Mexican heather is relatively low-maintenance and not meticulous when it comes to nutrients. However, you can still boost and maintain your plant by fertilizing in spring, summer, and fall with a balanced feed. 

 

Pruning

Pruning is not a requirement for Mexican heather. However, you can maintain the size and shape of your plant by trimming lightly every spring. You can also use this practice to remove the unhealthy parts. 

 

Common problems

As one can expect, Mexican heather plants are not that prone to many diseases and pests. However, you still want to maintain proper cleanliness and diligence to prevent infestation and diseases. It would also be best to maintain a stable environment such as a greenhouse to discourage spider mites or fungal infections. 

 

Conclusion

You can add another colorful perennial to your garden in three simple steps. Those who know how to grow Mexican heather can quickly tell you that this plant is the easiest to grow. However, remember to plan your planting date and site to ensure that the conditions will support the plant’s development. 

You can start indoors and then plant Mexican heather somewhere with partial shade and fertile, well-draining soil. Ensure soil moisture but never overwater the soil. Once established, you shouldn’t have any issues in growing Mexican heather. 

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