Archive for the 'garden' Category


Garden 2017

With a LED grow light, tomatoes were started indoor several weeks ago with good results. Now set out into the warm sunshine outdoors. Seeds started in Grodan Rock wool grow plugs and placed into the lava rock net pots. A small heating pad was used. Some buds already forming.

Already the need for trellising.

5 sites for tomato and one for greens, at right. Tomatoes are a mix of  Burpee and High Mowing Organic small container sized tomatoes, same as last year.

The PVC pipe constructed tomato tower. Better than the rigging I had in the past. Let’s see if they get to the top , 7 ft height.

Setup is hydroponic DWC , 6 site. Easy to tend to , no watering or weeding required (just the mixing of nutrients and changing periodically).

The small 12 site NFT system also in the works for greens under construction.


hydroponics summer/fall

This year the outdoor  hydroponics consisted mostly  of cherry tomatoes, Burpee and High Mowing organic Bartelly F1, three plantings, though I did not track how many from each variety. Late start as they require warmer temperatures possibly a heat mat to germinate than other varieties of greens I had grown from  seeds. This was the answer though as to a better variety to grow hydroponically compared to last year as they produced grapevine like clusters of tomatoes. Trellising needs to be improved, not tall enough to support the height of the tomatoes, some stems folded and split and leafs became mottled. Late in the season trimmed lower leaves as it’s probably close the end of the growing season (outdoor). the most recent pick some were more sweeter than others but the fact the they are still growing and ripening is a plus. may also benefit from some type of trellis/plastic wrap for cool weather protection.

Overall a big improvement from last year variety of tomatohydro7










Summer 2016

Now that the hot weather is upon us, menus have switched to meals requiring less heat indoors for preparation, except for late hour bread baking.

Here just a few meals via photos

grilled meal

rice and veggie

bread still bakes during the hot summer

simple greens

BBQ pizza

risotto with greens

take out salad

small breakfast

chicken and greens salad

hydroponics greens

Couscous and leeks

couscous, salad , topped with grated cheese

take out roasted veggies


Saturday AM

One egg omelettes served this morning. 

One , Egg , a bit of milk, sweet onion, garlic, tat soi, kale, cheese, mushrooms. Side of orange.

One just sweet onion.

Coffee is a blend of Mexican and Columbian , roasted together , very good considering it was roasted just before brewing.


What’s on your plate today ?


Weekend morning plate

Left over corn dough quickly pressed into service. !

Picked some greens from the hydroponic unit topped with egg, hot sauce and shallots.



Skip the store bought version , get creative with ingredients on hand.



hydroponics review



Seeds , High Mowing Organic, Te You Flowering Brassica, Tat Soi Asian Greens, Red Russian Kale.

Lettuce, Heat wave; Burpee’s


image                                                              Harvested greens for salad

imageI guess that’s why they call it flowering Brassica !

The goal is to provide a year round system for growing edible greens for salad, properly planned to provide periodic  harvesting.

This would include seed starting to either full grown or baby greens. (lettuce, kale and other brassicas).

Later to expand to tall growth plants, tomatoes, peas, etc.

Indoor growth during winter months, out door during seasonable warm weather.


A Deep Water Culture Hydroponic System


Decreased foot print vs. soil containers, generally plants can be spaced closer vs. soil based.

Rapid growth

Little maintenance between nutrient changes ~2weeks

Healthy, disease resistance plants


equipment initial cost  (one time purchase) maybe more costly than container soil based.

electricity requirement (air pump) ; negligible cost.

electrical mechanical device (air pump), Failure might slow the growing process till replacement.


Hydroponic growing system remarks:

Initial equipment purchase  for a system kit: Deep Water Culture tub, top cover , net pots, growing aggregate (lava rocks), air pump, air tubing, air stone, nutrients for the first few weeks. Out of the box setup, Do It Yourself, less cost.

Refills required: nutrients, PH test paper.  pH meter (optional) , TDS meter (optional) , expansion  additional lava rocks for expansion (optional) additional net pots (optional) additional containers (optional)

A soil based system equivalent would  need : containers, soil, nutrients as required by size of plantings

If the a nutrient schedule is used for both hydroponic and soil, the nutrient cost probably would not be that different.

(An NFT Nutrient Film System might require less stored water per plant vs. Deep Water Culture but requires a water pump for circulation of nutrients in addition to the air pump.)

Weekly check of PPM nutrients and Bi weekly change of nutrients, outdoor spring and summer months require topping off of nutrients. Discarded nutrients can be used on other outdoor plantings.

So far the progress was better that previous soil based gardening, the big plus was the nutrient use and schedule which worked well with both the hydroponic and container grown plants, tomato, green and hot pepper. Some separate hydroponic containers were used (less the air pump).

 Most of the greens grown are cold tolerant so an unheated indoor space that doesn’t go below freezing can be used, when outdoors they tolerated a light frost.

Lighting for indoor growth.

Lighting with new technology L.E.D. requires much less power and space than florescent, HPS or metal halide and doesn’t require cooling in small fixtures. Red and blue L.E.D.s provide the necessary wave length for growth.

These fixtures are at reasonable cost compared to the commercial versions and so far have provided adequate light for about a 12 hour on/off cycle.


a good hydroponic online free magazine:

(geared more towards the commercial grower)


  Green Sense Farms is the country’s largest commercial indoor vertical farm.



July 2017
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