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Mirrors in the Garden

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Mirrors in the Garden

Post  ralitaco on 3/28/2017, 12:34 am

So I may soon be in possession of 2 - 15"x72" mirrors and another 3'x4'.
The 15" are from a bi-fold closet door. I am planning to disassemble it and hopefully use it to make some sort of cold frame cover/contraption for one of my 2' beds. The other is a dresser mirror that will soon have no dresser.

I was wondering if anyone knows of any uses for mirrors in the garden.
I've seen them used decoratively in flower gardens to make the garden look bigger/fuller, but I am wondering if there was any other use for them. something more useful...e.g. in a dehydrator, as sun reflectors.

Just curious, before they go to the landfill

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Re: Mirrors in the Garden

Post  sanderson on 3/28/2017, 3:11 am

I've seen some articles with some cute ideas. They are usually featured in a small cottage-type backyards so I don't know how they would look in a large area like yours. Here, the sun reflecting off the mirrors might fry something in the summer. Razz Let us know if you come up with something.



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Re: Mirrors in the Garden

Post  plantoid on 3/28/2017, 5:38 am

My glass house runs east to west unfortunately,  it is also shaded at the west end by the garage wall .

  A few years ago I read of people using white reflectors around their gardens to direct sun on to solar photo voltaic panels & on to solar  thermal panels .

That led me to thinking do folk use reflectors to put more sunlight into dark corners or to help plants to grtow .

 About three years ago I happened to be in a big food store that has the big cold  foodstuffs shelves , at night they pull down a metalized cloth roller blinds over the food to keep the coolness in & also to help stop shop light fittings flooding the goods with too much UV from the tube lights.

They were replacing several of the blinds that had become split at the bottom rail area.
 being cheeky I asked if I could meet them out by their repair truck & buy a damaged blind off them as I wanted it for the reflected light quality,  to use in my greenhouse .
  They gave me one FOC & cut the three meter length down a few inches so it would fit in my large  Outlander PHEV

I made some hangers  , fitted them to the north wall inside of the glass house then hung the roller so it is about an inch off the floor .. tThis gives a massive 5 foot x 10 foot  metalized reflector .

 Last year was a terrible year for sun light & growing things . It was the worst year in the last five for solar PV generation , it being  almost half of the best one .
Having the reflector in the glasshouse  was an absolute boon , I still got nearly 30 pound or tomatoes .  1/2 a pound of mini chili , nine aubergines , it also brought on trays & trays of seeds that I'd germinated in the heated bed out inthe office . . no one else near me got anywhere near that .

 So yes ....use them as light reflectors to direct light on to plants that need sun or use in a glasshouse as a big reflector on the un-sunny side.

 Another place to have a large mirror is across the back of a work bench , you'll be surprised at the amount of useful light it throws back and also how much quicker you can find things on a cluttered bench .

 The final place to put one is low down at the back of the garage  against a wall so you can check the rear lights etc on the car or trailer by looking in your rear view mirrors .

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Re: Mirrors in the Garden

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 3/28/2017, 7:59 am

I'd looked into mirrors for reflecting sun back when I was in the apartment with a small balcony that didn't get much sun. The biggest issue I read about was the potential of birds attacking their reflections. Since I was also feeding birds on the balcony (and being far more successful at that than gardening!) putting mirrors right where I already had a lot of birds seemed like a poor choice. I later mused that something reflective but producing a poor image, like aluminum or mylar would have worked.

I'd say give it a try with one directly in the garden - but make sure to periodically check in the early morning when the birds are most active to make sure you don't have any obsessed birds. (Inside a cold frame likely wouldn't be an issue.) If they don't work out, you could try the free section of the Wilmington Craigslist to try to give them away before tossing them.

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Re: Mirrors in the Garden

Post  RC3291 on 3/28/2017, 12:17 pm

The long narrow ones might be turned sideways rather than standing them up. I don't think it would harm the plants because it's not being focused, just reflected. I thought of doing something like that for my cukes. They are against my porch where the trellis hangs. It would be more like being in an open area instead of shaded on one side.

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Re: Mirrors in the Garden

Post  ralitaco on 3/28/2017, 10:06 pm

Thank you everyone.
Hopefully this weekend I can get some time to work on them.

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