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Mirror Mulch

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One of the challenges with greenhouse cultivation is removing excess heat at ground level, which can kill some types of plants (no wind).

A mulching sequin is a stiff 2" disk of reflective foil with a non-biodegradable coating to keep it from oxidizing.

As well as normal mulch duty - inhibiting weed growth and minimizing water loss - the sequins reflect light (that would otherwise heat the soil) back through the leaves.

Make the reverse side black and it can be used to heat soil during a cool season.

FlyingToaster, May 17 2016

Aluminum Can mulch Aluminum_20Can_20Lithic_20Mulch
[bungston, May 29 2016]


       You will have a devoted following of crows. A following that follows you around and makes off with the sequins. Sparkly!
bungston, May 17 2016

       Yay, pretty dirt.
blissmiss, May 17 2016

       Albedo one to cast my opinion on using aluminised mylar for this. Turn litter into glitter...
4whom, May 25 2016

       Thick mylar, so they can be washed and reused.   

       Better than simply silver|black would be silver|red and silver|blue - whatever the plant uses at its stage of development: silver side up reflects everything so some of the light can leave the greenhouse and not be trapped as heat; blue/red side up reflects the important colours into the leaves and warms the bed.
FlyingToaster, May 27 2016

       /silver|red and silver|blue/ It just so happens that I have about a gross of empty Bud Lite cans in exactly this colors.   

       I was thinking how the mirror mulch would be constructed. Mica pressed into a pellet? A rock, tumbled to a mirror finish (could that work? I suspect I would have seen them in the tourist trap souvenir bins). A piece of mirrored aluminum?
bungston, May 29 2016

       They could be like one of those aluminized mylar balloons, but thick enough to retain shape; or they could be aluminium disks, clearcoated... about 2-3" across.   

       As soon as the seedlings poke their heads up, lay them flat between the plants, butted up against the stems; whatever side/colour is appropriate to their current absorption requirements, and to aid temperature regulation in the greenhouse.   

       Come harvest, collect, rinse and stack them for their next use.
FlyingToaster, May 29 2016

       / Come harvest, collect / Iron would have a big advantage here because you could use a magnet.   

       I am thinking now of shapes. A sequin is flat. But that flat top will quickly gather dirt and there goes the mirrored reflectivity. Flat is conservative of material but if you are a person using technological artifacts as mulch that may not be so important.   

       One can get steel balls with mirrored finish. I think that chromed mirror finish also repels rust. The curved top with shed water and dirt. Yes: Pinball mulch.
bungston, May 30 2016

       //Pinball mulch// likey that idea - Given the opportunity, there's no real excuse not to have a dozen or so barrels full of ball bearings kicking around.
FlyingToaster, May 30 2016

       I read that plants respond differently to different frequencies of light, thus it might be grow light colored.   

       there are puffed mica thingies at soil mixes, the fancy version of puffed mica could be grow light colored mirror mulch
beanangel, Jun 04 2016


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