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icon Day 53: October 31, 1998

We now have two beans on one plant ready for eating. My wife’s reaction: “Oh boy, an entire dinner”. Sarcasm aside, the largest bean plant is 28” and the smallest at 5”. The largest tomato plant is 5” with the smallest at 1 1/4”. It is really apparent that this lighting device does not work further than 28” away. I feel very comfortable that the device works for 16 sq. ft. The mylar has improved the growth somewhat, to expand the sq. ft. coverage.

If you were to set this up on a large scale to minimize energy usage, I would recommend rows that are two rubbermaid tubs wide(on the large side) with mylar on one side and a walking row on the other. Putting a mesh covered spigot 4” from the bottom of the rubbermaid tubs for drainage and watering the soil(perlite, vermiculite, topsoil mix) has worked very well. This eliminates the need for pumps and the opportunity for the plants to really dry out if something breaks down. Plant leaf growth at 90% red, 10% blue is significantly better than last year under a halide lamp. However, that could also be the difference between the media used this year and rockwool which was used in 1997.