On LED lights and how to use them

To farm or not to farm, that is the question. Although this question has popped into my head each time I killed my sweet bean seedling or a strong looking tomato plant, or even a basil that already had roots...? I always stuck with “farming”, or rather planting, since I never got any yields.

I thought - maybe it’s the lack of sunlight? Or perhaps the soil is all wrong? 

When I looked on instagram I saw these awesome looking crops and pure, green, lush success. When I turned my eye to friends, their seedlings were getting taller by the day. So I realized, enough is enough. Stop this madness and do some research for goodness sake. And what better place to do research than my very own work space, with our very own grow specialists? 

I was aware that a new exciting experiment was emerging when two of my colleagues began mushroom cultivation. While eavesdropping on their conversation one day I heard that mushrooms prefer the white or blue light over the red one. This got me thinking, googling and asking lots of questions. 

Wavelengths

In general, plants use wavelengths of 400 and 700 nanometers for photosynthesis, and usually the sun provides it all and the plants take what they need. Since here at Urban Oasis we are growing indoors, we must provide a habitat that is as close to our plants natural habitat as it gets. So the right intensity and wavelength of light is very important.

The cool light (430-450nm) is most important for strong root growth, while the red light (640-680nm) encourages the stem growth, flowering and fruit production. Of course the intensity and duration of light are important aspects to consider when beginning your journey to DIY farming. Depending on the plant you choose to cultivate, you should begin by doing your research. Usually indoor plants that are under artificial light need to make use of at least 12 hours of light and the lamp should be relatively close! In this case the more the merrier method does not work though, because as each and everyone of us, plants need some rest. Maybe not for the same reason as us humans... but to trigger the flowering response. Without the jing there is no jang. Without the hunger, no satiety. Without the darkness, no flowering response. 

So if you want to dip your little toe into the pool of farming on your own in your home the first thing you should consider is light. What do you want to grow? How many hours of light does the crop need? What should the intensity be?

Once you have these questions answered, we can safely move on to the next point on the agenda. The substrate! I realize that not every one of you is fortunate enough to have as wonderful of a biology teacher as I do. So In case you wonder, a substrate, is a base on which an organism lives off. You’ll find out everything you need about the substrate on the next article!


June 1, 2021