How to determine the area of your mature canopy space
Mature canopy space is the lit area occupied by mature flowering plants after they've finished with the outward horizontal growth typical of the vegetative phase, and after the fast stretchy growth typical of early flowering. It can also be called the lit space under which the plants matured and were harvested.
This space is used as the base for all the per square foot figures in the YOR, therefore it's important to carefully measure its perimeter before computing the square footage. How you go about measuring your mature canopy's perimeter depends on whether you confined its growth to a light-managed bordered space, or a dead space. A light-managed bordered space is one where the grower surrounds his grow space perimeter with reflective materials so that direct light isn't wasted on dead space, reflective borders can be static (unmovable) or adjustable. A dead space is one without the benefit of any reflected lighting from the sides, the center of a large room for example. For a light-managed bordered space the perimeter is defined by its borders or walls, for a dead space it's defined by the matured plant growth.
If you use a static bordered space, your canopy area is that space. If you use either an adjustable bordered space or dead space, you won't know your canopy area until after the plants have finished the fast stretchy growth of early flowering. By then they'll have taken up all the horizontal space they're going to occupy, adjustable borders will stop expanding, and in the case of dead space the matured plants will have reached their maximum girth and the perimeter can finally be determined.
About the Illustrations
Illustrations are overhead views for some of the ways grow spaces can be configured, and how the canopy space perimeter (outlined in red) would be determined for a YOR contribution. The green shapes are matured flowering plant growth. It should be noted that plant containers too can be static or movable depending on the grower's situation, but for explanatory reasons plant placement is not considered in the illustrations. A white background indicates space receiving reflected light, a light-managed bordered space. A black background indicates space receiving no reflected light, dead space.
Side lit canopies are not illustrated. With gardens designed solely for side lighting, measure the area of the sides where the lighting is installed (eg-for Phototrons use 8.00 square feet). With gardens using top and side lighting, measure both the top (as in the above illustrations) and side lit areas.
Click here to download a full scale blank template as used in the illustrations.