Geopod Propagator with Grow Lights
I’ve not grown under lights before. In fact, I’ve always been uncomfortable with growing under lights because it involves the cost of the electricity. Not just financial, but the environmental cost.
Looking at it more logically, the lights use little more than a propagator. Over the propagating season, these will use at most 12Kwh – about £1.80 worth of electricity and that’s probably a high estimate. And, of course, light equals heat so the amount of time the propagator is drawing power is reduced, probably halving the extra cost of the lighting.
Of course, the lights themselves have a cost, £40 for mine. Since they have a lifespan of 10,000 hours and operate around 500 hours each season that’s a 20 year life or £2.00 a year. I should live so long!
Is horticultural lighting worth it?
The proof of the pudding, as they say. Well the results are excellent. Strong plants, very healthy colour to the leaves and a very good rate of growth. I must emphasise, I’m not growing in the dark with lights. I use the lights to extend and supplement the natural daylight available early in the season which is weak and short length.
Currently I’ve only got the Geopod with lights so I’m concentrating on peppers and aubergines. What I’d really like to do is get more lighting so I can bring more plants on – especially as I’ve got the polytunnel now which means a lot more room for growing under shelter.
Clearing up after Storm Doris
Friday was beautiful; blue skies, fluffy white clouds and sunshine – if a little cold. Looking how others got battered, we did very well. Not even a power cut. I suspect part of the reason we got off lightly was high winds being so common here. We’re generally prepared for them.
Despite that I’d got pots and plants blown around all over the place along with the table chairs. Got those cleared up and then to the greenhouse. At one point during the storm I quite expected the whole thing to go as it was flexing in the wind and the next thing would be glass popping out all over.
It turned out that some of the bolts in two of the corners had worked free and the strengthening bars had popped off. I think the house has twisted a bit as I had a right job getting the one at the front back together. The other corner is at the back and I had to wait for my hefty son-in-law to push the frame whilst I pushed the bar back on to the bolt and put a nut on.
Got the glass refitted properly with stripping. I’d fixed the glass back in with W clips during the storm. It took a while to find the strips that had flown off but tracked them all down. We had more strong winds over the weekend thanks to storm Ewan but not as bad as Doris and happily everything was OK, even the plastic patio chairs didn’t go flying. A ‘rain and wind stopped play’ weekend, nevertheless.