Third Harvest Begins, or: The Dark Leaf Rises

Now that we’ve had our first snow fall, I finally have the herbs in, but the damage might already be done.

The succulents suffered greatly from their closet bound neglect, even lighted as it was.

The porch trees are dormant or dead, I have hopes for the former.

The house plants are ok.

I’m going to need to find more places for them.

That means more light and lights. I did finally replace the bulbs in the third floor front room’s (someday to be my Study-Lounge) over-window supplementary light.  A local hardware store sells bulbs marked by not only their power usage and brightness, but by the type of the light they produce.

Light is measured as a temperature on the Kelvin Scale in numbers between one thousand and ninety-five hundred (1000 K – 9500 K) with the low thousands denoting warm light and the high thousands representing bright, cool light.  Most plants require both cool and warm light, the ratio of which changes during a given plant’s maturity and development.  Generally, cool light promotes vegetative growth and warm light spurs flowering.

To our eyes, a bulb producing 10,000 lumens of 6500k light would seem like the sun, it would be hard to look at and would produce a rich, yellow-orange light.  This sort of light seems to properly mimic a sunny day, but is missing the high end blue light that is present, but perhaps not immediately obvious, on sunny days.  It is also too warm to properly include all of the low end spectrum lighting.  Such a light is a good compromise in a single lamp or single source setup but if one has the option of including multiple light sources, it is best he does so.

I have one 2700 K florescent tube and one at 6500 K in the supplementary lighting above the Study-Lounge’s ferns and foliage.  While not bright enough to feed the plants on its on, the lamp ads to the plants’ diet elements of the spectrum that are missing during the winter.

In what may some day be my office, I have a series of white fluorescent lights strung up nearly on top of the plants cloistered there.  This setup is not ideal and I mean to switch things around as soon as I have money to buy better bulbs, time to move what amounts to organic furniture, and energy to do said moving not derived entirely from sugar and caffeine.

To get things underway for winter time growing, my eponymous “third harvest,” I must:

  • Gather all of the plants together
    • Divide them by light requirements
      • Find places to put them all
  • Set up growing regions for each type of plant I have or will have
  • Buy bulbs to replace those that have expensively expired
  • Mix a few hundred quarts of potting soil
  • Begin raising fish for aquaponics
  • Run viability tests on all the seeds
  • Acquire a cloner to ensure the continuation of the much abused antique rose
  • Prune and restore all the stressed out herbs
  • Repot the avocados
  • Solve the centralized version of world hunger
  • Make my horticultural hobby pay for itself
  • and finally convince all my succulents that grow lights really aren’t so bad and that they shouldn’t be so finicky

All in all, I should have enough to keep me busy until the snow falls, melts, and gives way to spring.

I hope my efforts prove productive.

At the very least, they should be entertaining.



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