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Low Light requiring food plants


Ganoderma
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What are some ideal food plants that fir teh following requirements.

 

*Low Light Levels**

fast growth/short harvest times

good size able harvests

 

sweet potato here is grown as a secondary crop under things like betel trees and coconut here, so they are shaded, but still have adequate light. what are some truly shade loving vegetables, fruit, herbs etc that still grow fast? i keep trying to think of something, but everything i seem to think of prefers good light levels.

 

they cant be trees because lighting will be artificial and will not be great at penetrating leaf canopies....so smaller, at least shorter, plants are ideal. Is lettuce ok in less light?

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There are plants that don't like full sun, these will be close to what you seek. Lettuce can handle the light to an extent but bolt when it gets too hot.

 

Herbs like oregano and thyme can sit in the shade and grow, but not fast. Watercress does ok in the shade. Parsley will grow in shade again not well, but well enough to get a feed.

 

Here's a bit of interesting science for you. Some trees share nutrition between them using mycorrhizal fungal bridges. A smaller tree in the shade will be given carbs by the larger tree hogging the light.

 

Now, how do you teach veggies to share like that?

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yes coffee is a great one, but not really a food. ideally i would want a food crop. although they would work good fr experimenting.

 

i think that's a contradiction of terms for any green plant.

i want low levels, not no level :D the idea is indoor cultivation without windows and little electrical input. so there will be light, jsut not a lot and nothing that is able to penetrate through a few layers of leaves well...so tall plants would likely fail miserably. this is not limited to green plants, plants with other pigment spikes are ok as well, but other pigments jsut need other wavelengths so its not really so much different i suppose. it's not going to be bright in any wavelength, although blue and red will be more.

 

Parsley is a good one, very nutritious. i wonder what kind of light levels it prefers. be a good one to play with as its all good and a low grower. What about purple yam? it has purple leaves, that turn green in lower light, wonder how well they would do, anyone grown them in shade before?

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i think that's a contradiction of terms for any green plant.
i want low levels, not no level :) the idea is indoor cultivation without windows and little electrical input. so there will be light, just not a lot and nothing that is able to penetrate through a few layers of leaves well...so tall plants would likely fail miserably. ...

 

well it's all a measure of energy density. one reason plants do poorly in low light is that they spend energy elongating the stems to try & reach the light. they "know" what is enough & what is not enough light.

 

for your underground situation i'd go with a green house above ground, if not directly over the bunker. i'd make it a central part of the habitat so not only would plants grow there but heating/cooling/cleaning of air, collecting of water, holding of solar cells, light tubes, mechanical equipment yada yada yada in support of the cave. . . . . :( :fire:

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thats a wise decision. we are building a greenhouse now, but it is in a flodo area, so probabyl tunnel building would be pointless lol.

 

i am not really thinking just tunnel farming, but moreso thinking multicropping (if thats a word). for example a squash/been/pea etc type farm typically utilizes stakes and they form a canopy or tent with the plants, leaving underneath relatively bare and unused. now there will be light getting through, but i suppose also mostly in the more useless spectrum (green). so was thinking of perhaps a purple plant crop to grow on the ground under such a crop as above.

 

that was just an example, i will likely be planting under trees not beans. so teh corn+bean method wouldn't work so hot. beans and trees though might be interesting, but hard to control their height.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Hi There!

This is Bella!

Im new in this site!

I am not really thinking just tunnel farming, but moreso thinking multicropping (if thats a word). for example a squash/been/pea etc type farm typically utilizes stakes and they form a canopy or tent with the plants, leaving underneath relatively bare and unused. now there will be light getting through, but i suppose also mostly in the more useless spectrum (green). so was thinking of perhaps a purple plant crop to grow on the ground under such a crop as above.

I hope I can have more friends here!

Just keep on posting Guys!

Thanks!

Good Luck!...

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yes coffee is a great one, but not really a food.

Coffee is not food OMG!!!

Unfortunately i doubt if coffee will produce beans with low light. They need a lot of sun to produce beans, even in the garden.

 

I have a 1M (3') wide walkway at the side of my house, with an 18" strip where i could grow something. The last owner 'grew' scorea (volcanic pebbles). I have been thinking of maybe irrigating the area, and growing some ferns, but would prefer to grow food or even just useful plants. it faces west-ish. there is a 2m high paling fence stopping a lot of light. I am experimenting with 'mirror stickers' and reflective bits of food packaging to see if I can get more light to the area. I may be able to achieve this, to a very limited extent, but in high Summer only. There is a 4m wide public walkway on the other side of the fence.

 

I will ask this question in another place and see what we come up with. It is a hard one..(No comments on last sentence Please)

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  • 1 year later...

Coffee berries can be eaten, not sure how tasty they are. Other low light food plant is taro AKA elephants ears, the corns and the leaves are edible.

 

yes coffee is a great one, but not really a food. ideally i would want a food crop. although they would work good fr experimenting.

 

 

i want low levels, not no level :D the idea is indoor cultivation without windows and little electrical input. so there will be light, jsut not a lot and nothing that is able to penetrate through a few layers of leaves well...so tall plants would likely fail miserably. this is not limited to green plants, plants with other pigment spikes are ok as well, but other pigments jsut need other wavelengths so its not really so much different i suppose. it's not going to be bright in any wavelength, although blue and red will be more.

 

Parsley is a good one, very nutritious. i wonder what kind of light levels it prefers. be a good one to play with as its all good and a low grower. What about purple yam? it has purple leaves, that turn green in lower light, wonder how well they would do, anyone grown them in shade before?

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  • 7 months later...
  • 8 months later...

For what it's worth, I grow a number of short season crops in recycled freezers as raised beds. The bottom of the freezers can be filled with almost anything you have at hand (brush, leaves, straw, cardboard etc.) and a seed bed of composted soil on top of that. We basically have only 75 frost free days so I grow plants that will tolerate cool temperatures with a bit of protection using a spun polyester row cover over them for the whole season to protect them from insects and to retain soil moisture.

 

I have had awesome success with carrots, Napoli variety, growing 20 lbs in a space of 21 inches by 32 inches or 4.66 square feet. Arugula and mesclun mixes have done well for me and Raxe radish, a German hybrid, is phenomenal. It grows large very quickly without getting woody. Purple Kholrabi is another good one and purple top summer turnips as you can eat the greens and the roots. My freezer beds are planted among clumps of willows which provide quite a bit of shading.

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For what it's worth, I grow a number of short season crops in recycled freezers as raised beds. The bottom of the freezers can be filled with almost anything you have at hand (brush, leaves, straw, cardboard etc.) and a seed bed of composted soil on top of that. We basically have only 75 frost free days so I grow plants that will tolerate cool temperatures with a bit of protection using a spun polyester row cover over them for the whole season to protect them from insects and to retain soil moisture.

 

I have had awesome success with carrots, Napoli variety, growing 20 lbs in a space of 21 inches by 32 inches or 4.66 square feet. Arugula and mesclun mixes have done well for me and Raxe radish, a German hybrid, is phenomenal. It grows large very quickly without getting woody. Purple Kholrabi is another good one and purple top summer turnips as you can eat the greens and the roots. My freezer beds are planted among clumps of willows which provide quite a bit of shading.

 

:thumbs_up good stuff is worth a comment. has la nina fouled you up as it has me at the 45th parallel the last 2 or 3 years? when will you plant the carrots this year? last year was the first time i had any success with them and they took all season. :( alas i rent and can't do raised beds and i have little inclination to invest too heavily in ammending the soil.

out of curiosity, what species of willow(s) have you got there in the wooly north?

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