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Old 03-20-2012, 05:54 PM   #1
Grantman1
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Default Using mirrors for extra sunlight. Think it'll work?

I've narrowed down the section of my backyard that gets the most sun throughout the day, and it's only about 5 hours worth, from 9AM-2PM roughly. It's been painful, considering I love growing fresh herbs, tomatoes, etc.

I plan on situating 2-3 mirrors in my garden to direct the sunlight to this spot during the hours of 2-4PM, hypothetically giving my new hop plants an extra two hours worth of sun. My only worry is scorching them.

Anyway, think it'll work?

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Old 03-20-2012, 05:58 PM   #2
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I don't think it will hurt anything, but I'm not sure it will help that much either. I wouldn't worry too much about it. I have 3 plants on a trellis that sits right against the east side of a garage. The house shades the plants when the sun comes up and they get shaded by a large tree at around 3 pm or so in the middle of summer. I get a pretty good yield from them. Just make sure they get as much sun as possible and you should be fine.

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Old 03-20-2012, 06:15 PM   #3
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Mylar is much more reflective, cheap, and wont shatter!

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Old 03-20-2012, 06:45 PM   #4
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you're far enough south (NC) that 9-2 should be plenty of sun. in fact, some southern growers look for ways to limit how much sun the plants get. do the mirror/mylar/etc thing if it suits your fancy, but i'm pretty sure your hops will do just fine without it.

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Old 03-20-2012, 06:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASublimeDay View Post
Mylar is much more reflective, cheap, and wont shatter!
-1 for mirror. +1 for mylar.

Mirrors reflect visible light which is insufficient for plant growth. Mylar has 95%+ full spectrum reflection. Get some thin wood, spray with adhesive, roll on mylar with roller, profit.
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Old 03-20-2012, 06:53 PM   #6
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Sick. Mylar it is. I may have enough light as it is but if mylar is this cheap ($12 for 25 ft) I'm gonna give it a go. Thanks guys.

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Old 03-20-2012, 06:57 PM   #7
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You will mess up their natural turn around the twine (or whatever), you can manually fix them, but they follow the sun (however brief) and turn with it and continue in that direction UNLESS the sun is suddenly on the other side or both sides.

For a non vining plant mirrors are great.

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Old 03-20-2012, 07:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grantman1 View Post
Sick. Mylar it is. I may have enough light as it is but if mylar is this cheap ($12 for 25 ft) I'm gonna give it a go. Thanks guys.
I'm up in the DC area, and the summers here are very hot and sunny, to the point where they start to bake some sun loving plants like tomatoes. This is my first season growing, but I'm thinking of putting them in a place where they will get afternoon shade so the heat doesn't kill them, let alone increasing the intensity.

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You will mess up their natural turn around the twine (or whatever), you can manually fix them, but they follow the sun (however brief) and turn with it and continue in that direction UNLESS the sun is suddenly on the other side or both sides.

For a non vining plant mirrors are great.
Fresh from wikipedia...
"The rotation of the shoot tip during climbing is autonomous, and does not (as sometimes imagined) derive from the shoot following the sun around the sky – the direction of twist does not therefore depend upon which side of the equator the plant is growing. This is shown by the fact that some bines always twine clockwise, including runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus) and bindweed (Convolvulus species), while others twine anticlockwise, including French bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) and climbing honeysuckles (Lonicera species)."
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Old 03-20-2012, 07:07 PM   #9
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I would consider a way to mottle the surface the mylar is attached to. To provide a diffuse pattern to the light scatter.

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Old 03-21-2012, 11:39 AM   #10
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Make sure the Mylar is stretched tight. Failing to do so will create areas of very concentrated light (caustics) that could potentially burn the plant the way a magnifying glass would.

Does the Mylar need to have something behind it to give maximum reflectivity?

Don't worry about the ability of the bines to wrap around their supports; they do it independently of the sun.

Please post pics once you get it set up and let us know how it works!

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