Thursday, August 21, 2014

Journal August 21, 2014 - Supplemental lighting time again

About this time of year I start thinking about providing supplemental light for the olive trees, which are more or less tropical.  

This year I have taken a different approach, in that the lights are not on a timer, but are being turned on and off remotely.

As the temperature cools, our mornings tend to be cloudy, with little sun until just before noon.  The lights are turned when I arise and they are turned off when the sun appears.  If the day is completely cloudy, or rainy, I leave them on all day.   If it was clear, I turn them on again for a few hours before civil sunset locally.

The lights in the photo may appear to be heavy on electrical consumption, however, as they are all LED grow lights, the total wattage is probably around 100 watts.  In essence, the cost to operate the lights is really pennies a day.

The new soil mix has been a blessing, as the plants are responding nicely with new growth, and, they require much much less maintenance than the coir and perlite mix.  If a stretch of nice weather is forecast,  I move several of the trees outdoors and let Mother Nature care for them.

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