Can I supplement the sunlight on my balcony?

adastra09(9)March 17, 2010

Hello, I'm a begining gardener who just planted my first garden- a kitchen/container garden full of sun-loving plants (eggplant, cucumber, squash, tomatos, peppers) on my shaded balcony. On one hand, I think that may help since it's 85 degrees here today in Phoenix and it'll be in the hundreds by May so my plants will appreciate the break from the heat. Also, the walls of my balcony are a very light stucco so there is a ton of reflected light so it is actually very bright out there. My question is, is there any way I can supplement the sunlight out there? I was thinking of putting some full spectrum lightbulbs in the fixtures out there during the day. Are there any other lights/other things that I should try?

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How many hours of sun are the plants getting?


    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 5:57PM
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Like four hours of direct sun, probably about 8 hours of reflected sun

    Bookmark   March 18, 2010 at 9:55AM
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You shouldn't need to. During just those 4 hours, they will be getting ~16 mols on a sunny day. Plan-ts grow great with a total of 20 mols a day.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2010 at 2:37PM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

I did this and it was beneficial, but sunlight was a little more limited than yours. It's easy enough to hook up an outdoor MH or HPS floodlight to shine down on your plants, but remember that a 400 watt HID light (the strongest I've seen for outdoor use) will only illuminate about a 5 foot square area, and must be mounted a few feet above your plants. I had some hassles with neighbors, too; you can buy hoods to cut the light off at the edge, and of course the lights will only be on during the daytime, but some people may find a reason to complain whatever you do.

I'd try it for a season with what you have before spending money on the lights and electricity.

Here's an example of what you can do with outdoor lights in shade. Click on the picture for more details.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 1:57AM
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