February 14, 2012

January light

Lots of light is not a requirement to sprout seeds.  But, light is one of key reasons plants grow and are just so cool.  Taking light and turning it into sugar is pretty amazing.  When I see people outside tanning I know they are just trying really hard to photosynthesize.

Since we had light meters available we set them up to give us a reading of the total moles of PAR light each day.

Moles of light measured in tunnels on a cloudy day (Jan. 27) and a sunny day (Jan. 28).
In January the days are starting to get longer, but they aren't really that long yet.  I graphed the two days above because one was cloudy and one was sunny.  The difference in amount of light that reach the sensors (and thus the plants) is pretty apparent.  There are a couple observations between the different tunnel coverings that deem pointing out:
  1. Here it shows that the clear plastic and row cover transmitted about the same amount of light.  Sometimes this is true, and sometimes the clear plastic transmits more moles of light.
  2. The white plastic transmits more light than I thought it would and isn't that far behind the other coverings.  The seedlings inside the white plastic treatments are much more etiolated and spindly than all the other seedlings though.
Do you see anything interesting?  If you grow greens in high tunnels, low tunnels or under reemay do you ever worry about light?

* This data is pretty cool, and will be useful for writing my thesis.  
I am not recommending anything besides excitement and interest in plants and photosynthesis. *

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