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Red reflected light for strawberries

 
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I have a pyramid-style strawberry bed. It looks similar to this google-images picture:




I have heard reflective red film around plants can benefit strawberries. I don't want to use red film, as they supposedly have undesirable aspects also: often too thin breaking apart, and ostensibly starves certain bacteria in the soil?

Has anyone used red film - has it noticeably helped your strawberries or tomatoes?

My thought is, what if I paint the wood a reflective red paint, so it reflects red light sideways back to the plants? Would that be a waste of my time, or beneficial?
 
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Location: 7b desert southern Idaho
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My strawberries would quickly bury the planter with leaves. I put my effort into the soil.
 
Jamin Grey
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Dennis Mitchell wrote:My strawberries would quickly bury the planter with leaves. I put my effort into the soil.



My pyramid planter (not the example image above) actually has 14"-high walls, and my strawberries only go up about 8", so the sides aren't occluded much by them. I hear you though, about the soil!
 
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Location: South Central Kansas
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Jamin Grey wrote:I have a pyramid-style strawberry bed. It looks similar to this google-images picture:




I have heard reflective red film around plants can benefit strawberries. I don't want to use red film, as they supposedly have undesirable aspects also: often too thin breaking apart, and ostensibly starves certain bacteria in the soil?

Has anyone used red film - has it noticeably helped your strawberries or tomatoes?

My thought is, what if I paint the wood a reflective red paint, so it reflects red light sideways back to the plants? Would that be a waste of my time, or beneficial?



I heard that old wives' tale too.

BUT, placing mirrors to reflect light upwards (if you can) drive out many pests and gives the plants more light.

Silver backed mirrors not aluminum backed mirrors.
Very very very hard to find anymore.

Mirrors do lost a percentage of light that is reflected though.
 
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red plastic mulch is proven to increase yields on strawberries and tomatoes whether painting the planter would have the same effect I don't know, but it certainly wouldn't hurt them, though it may make the strawberries harder to find!

An article dealing with red plastic for strawberries Here if you look on the right hand side there are some links to other articles which concern flavour and sugar, which apparently are also increased on red mulch.
 
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The trick to using a red plastic mulch is that it reflects red light back onto the plants (all plants respond to red light by flowering) but if you were to have light pass through that red film it would be a blue light and red light filter not an intensifier, that would fairly well starve the plant by stopping photosynthesis.

Plastic mulches are used in many commercial gardens, usually black is put down in the spring to help warm up the soil below, it also solarizes the soil (cooks it). So What happens when you cook soil? It turns to dirt because the heat kills off the microorganisms. Is that what you, the grower wants?
The red films are translucent which allows for sunlight to pass through somewhat, but the effect on the actual soil is the same, solarized soil. It's a matter of personal choice but I would rather have healthy soil than create dirt in the name of more red light for my plants. If I want red light for my plants I'll get overhead bulbs that give that part of the spectrum.

 
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