Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Night is falling on the TundraGarden

At this latitude, winter is pretty dark. Today, the sun officially rises at 10:51 and sets at 3:30. So we have a whopping 4 hours & 40 minutes of daylight! Of course, it's overcast today, so there's not any actual sunlight. It diminishes rapidly; tomorrow's sunrise is10:58 and sunset is at 3:30. I believe the sun will set until next year on Novemeber 18th.

This doesn't mean that it's totally dark. Around solar noon the sun is close enough to the horizon that we get a sort of twilight that one could read by. The ground is snow-covered, so what light there is is reflected. When there is a full moon and no clouds it is actually quite easy to get around outside of town.

I've ordered an Aerogarden, and am eagerly awainting its arrival to try a few things under lights. My house plants live unde a couple of flourescent strips we put along the windows they are next to, to make up for the sunlight they don't get for half the year.


Gardenista said...

Wow - you're going all out to get the fully automated gardening experience of the Aerogarden! I wonder if the expensive seed pods for those things are a rip-off. Hmmm. If you were to use just fluorescent tubes, you just need to have both grow light tubes and regular cool white tubes to get any plant to grow and flower/fruit. That's all I have and my peppers and tomatoes look okay so far.

AnneBrygger said...

Space is at a real premium in Barrow, so any solution has to be compact. I've been trying to get one of those light garden setups sent, but no-one wants to ship to Barrow. I could of course just build my own, which I have done when I had a 1000 sq ft basement under my 3000 sq ft house in Pennsylvania (worked just great for winter herbs & seed starting), but I'm not really good enough to produce something I want in the living room. You really need a lot of tubes if you want to do tomatoes; the standard 2 tube fixtures don't cut the mustard. Gotta be able to adjust fixture height as the plants grow, and a self-timer or two is always helpful.

So I've been scheming to ship something to my Mom's and have my brother air freight it. Then Jeff Lowenfels, AK gardening god, started raving about Aerogardens in print. Jeff is very much a do-it-yourself, make your own compost tea type of gardener, so I thought, why not give it a try? I just put one on my kitchen counter (no windows in the kitchen) and we'll see in a few weeks.

Sue Swift said...

Look forward to seeing the reults!

This is just to tell you that the link you sent in for the Garden Bloggers' Retro carnival was posted today. Thanks for participating!