I have been thinking about space limitations especially in urban communities. With a lack of abundant space in a city, there are often limitations for gardeners to have enough access to sunlight. A few days ago I received and read Mel Bartholomew’s book Square Foot Gardening – Answer Book. He has thought and articulated the solutions to many, many issues. He has a good idea for people who have limited sunlight on their property. Mel suggestion is to use Styrofoam panels to reflect sunlight when the light is scarce.
There are mirrors being marketed that redirect solar gain to provide natural light in houses or used to improve passive or active solar efficiency. My concern about using mirrors is the possibility of the strong rays burning the plants.
Mel suggestion is a good one. Styrofoam will certainly work however it is not very durable or attractive. A white fence could work well however it would be expensive and require maintenance.
While walking the beach today, I told my wife of an idea that I have about using a whiteboard as a reflector. The whiteboard meets the criteria as a reflector in terms of durability, reflective properties and multi-purpose educational uses. I mentioned that children could use the whiteboard to draw or practice their penmanship. My wife came up with the idea of having children use the whiteboard to document information about the garden. Examples would be to record the percentage of daily sunshine, amount of rainfall, temperature variations and germination rates or growth of the plants. If the child’s interest wanes a little, merely use it as a reflector. Once they start to harvest vegetables their interest may increase. When this happens, simply guide the child toward developing her / his writing, math and science skills using the whiteboard.
As a parent think of all the seeds you can plant in your child’s mind. We can all make a difference; “1 Sq. Foot at a Time”