Eco-friendly gardeners continue to come up with new and clever ways to reuse and recycle household waste. You can use plastic bottles and jugs to create drip irrigation systems, watering cans, flower pots, among other things. Organic materials like wood chips are now used for compost to keep them from the junk pile, toilet paper rolls are now helping seeds germinate, and many more!
There are so many ways you can recycle household items, and some gardeners started using aluminum foil to reflect light for plants, too! But how can you use foil properly for your plants and light requirements? Read on to find out.
Using Aluminum Foil to Reflect Light for Plants
There are so many benefits when using aluminum foil for your garden. You can use it to deter pest, retain soil moisture, increase plant vigor, as well as warm or cool soil. Besides this, foil can reflect much-needed lights for plants to get more of.
Not only will your plants get the sunlight they need to grow, but the light will also help warm the soil, which is beneficial for seed germination. With more light in just the right amounts, it would increase light to all parts of your seeds and plants, helping them grow fully rather than turning leggy or spindly. Furthermore, the foil would light up the plants’ undersides, where insects and pests such as aphids, snails, slugs, and other species like hiding in.
Besides warming it up, the aluminum foil would refract light to the plant from the ground, helping it cool the soil to retain as much moisture as possible. This would increase photosynthesis and help with plant vigor.
You can use any type of foil, though the aluminum foil is best. Foil can be bought in your local grocery stores, online, or you can recycle used aluminum foil from potlucks and parties! Just make sure that you clean used aluminum foil well, as dirty ones may attract insects and pests.
Just make sure that you place your plants and foil strategically near the sunlight or grow light so you are ensured that the light will reflect on the foil, reaching the plants. There are different ways you can use aluminum foil to reflect light for your plants, such as:
1. In Grow Rooms
You can place aluminum foil on any grow room’s walls, as well as under the grow room’s plants, so you can reflect light. Hang the foil with the shiny side outward rather than against walls. The foil won’t reflect a lot of light compared to grow films or white paint, but the amount of light it does reflect will help with plant growth.
When doing this method, make sure that you space the plants well enough so the light reflected from the soil will reach all the foliage. Furthermore, place the plants far from foil to prevent leaf scorch, which can come from the foil’s mirror-like material. If you see your plants’ leaves having brown margins despite it being well-watered, then your plants are too close to your foil.
2. Make a Sun Box
You can also make a sun box with aluminum foil for individual plants to thrive. Place your plant/s in a box covered with aluminum foil for it to reflect light to your plant, which encourages more warmth and growth from the sun’s reflection.
You can use any box, even a shoebox, as long as it fits your plant/s. Place aluminum foil on all sides of the inner part of your box, ensuring that it is well placed into the box’s walls. If you see foil coming off even just a little bit, add more tape to keep it in place.
3. How Else to Use Aluminum Foil in the Garden
There are also other ways you can utilize foil in your garden, such as:
- Scaring the birds away because of the shiny surface foil has. It may also deter other animals like deer, rabbits, among other rodents that can chew on your plants and harvests
- Keep the bugs away when covering the soil with foil, which would also conserve moisture, balance the temperature, and keep weeds from popping up in the soil.
- Small pieces of foil are used for wrapping toilet paper tubes that are used as seed pots to keep the tubes from falling apart when they are wet
- Mix shredded aluminum foil with mulch and apply it around your plant’s base. This would also attract butterflies and moths, which are beneficial insects
- Place it in or out your plant containers so it catches water and/or keeps the soil in
Wrapping It Up
You can find various reflective materials you can use for the garden, such as white surfaces, synthetic films, white plastic, and light-colored mulch. An aluminum film is a great material to use not only for reflecting light onto plants but for other means as well. That’s why if you have aluminum foil lying around, you may want to try it on your garden as well.
I hope you learned a lot about using aluminum foil to reflect light for plants! If you would like to try doing this for your indoor or outdoor plants, follow the tips above and see how beneficial foil can be now. Happy gardening!