Vegetables need both visible and invisible light rays for healthy, vigorous growth. Outdoor gardeners do not have to pay all that much attention to light They simply place their garden in good sunlight and hope that the growing season will not be excessively overcast Indoor gardeners have to be more knowledgeable. The following brief explanation should be sufficient for most needs, but additional information can be obtained from the many recently-published books specializing in light gardening.
Natural light rays have a spectrum, rather like a rainbow, and different kinds of artificial light are made up of these colors in varying strengths. Blue light provides energy for both photosynthesis and chlorophyll synthesis: it also inhibits the elongation of cells and organs such as stems (so your plants won't get leggy). Red light also provides energy for photo- and chlorophyll synthesis; it also promotes other plant responses such as seed germination, seedling and vegetative growth, cell and organ elongation, flowering and pigment formation. While the red light encourages plant growth, the far-red light causes it to stop. Thus a balance between these two types of light is desirable. There is some question about the value of green and yellow-orange light Though they appear to be neutral, some experts believe that they do play a role, not yet fully understood, in plant growth.
A plants need of red light is generally greater than its need for blue light In supplying artificial light, it is vital that the proper balance between the different light colors be maintained. Fluorescent tubes and the common incandescent light bulb each produce some of the needed rays. Fluorescent lights, for instance, produce blue and red rays; incandescent bulbs produce the red and far-red rays.
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