Friday, November 11, 2011
November 11, 2011 journal
The Balcony Hybrid tomato plant has begun to set fruit while it continues to bloom profusely.
As the light was at the maximum height that the tent would permit, I had to improvise and double the suspension cables back on themselves to gain another few inches in height to accommodate the plant. That said, being determinate, I doubt that the plant will get any higher. The bottom of the light is now forty inches above the floor of the tent, so I now know the maximum height of any plants that I can grow in the tent. The light is now seven inches above the plant, and the top of the canopy is receiving in excess of 5,000 footcandles of light.
One persistent comment that I have read concerning LED lighting is that it does not penetrate into the plant. Well, I took another reading four inches down from the top of the plant, and the reading was a respectable 3,000 footcandles.
I have had this note in my files for sometime, but I don't remember which school I borrowed it from:
"The connection is light intensity and photosynthesis .Tomato plants start to synthesize at around 200 foot candles and for normal growth, flowering and fruit setting they need a minimum of 500 preferably 1,000-2,000 foot candles of light.
Tomatoes require about 500-1000 footcandles of light for proper flowering and fruit set. However, the problem of winter needs to be considered. Tomatoes are also warm season plants. It could certainly get too cold for them in winter if they were near the windows, as required for their full amount of light.
I would suggest setting up some additional grow lights in the room to make up the difference in footcandles. I would also suggest making sure to heat the room to at least 60 degrees + for your warm season vegetables. With these conditions, you should be able to still enjoy your own garden food in your basement."
As for myself, I have no doubts about the advantages, and benefits, of growing with LED lighting. If someone tells you that they do not perform as advertised, either that person purchased an inferior light, or their gardening skills are not up to par.
I am so impressed with the six band flower series light from ProLED Systems that I have placed an order for an additional unit. Although my 90 watt LEDs are giving me good results, they don't compare to what I am seeing from the six band flower series light.
On a final note, regarding growing in the tent; when comparing the conditions in my tent against the Ohio State University's Interactive Model , I find all of my conditions, except the EC level, indicate a success level of 95% to 100%. Their recommended EC level for my current conditions is in excess of 3100 micromhos/cm, however, I do not feel comfortable running the EC that high.