Archive for the 'hydroponics' Category

20
Aug
17

hydroponic update

Much has changed since the last posting about hydroponics, the one tomato plant remaining in the DWC since the removal of the other plantings that failed, has enjoyed a revival. The one plant several feet bare from the bottom to some blossoms at the top, has sprung growth all along the main stem.

One idea that was illustrated to me by http://www.hydroponics.com.au/  (in one of their online magazines) was the method of where tomatoes grow to excessive length, that they are lowered and then trained to grow horizontally. since the new growth spurt caused the plant to grow beyond the top of the tomato tower, I did drop, and resecure the plant now winding it around the poles and suspending it with the twine and clamps.

Pictures tell the story better than description.

(Small additional greens have been started and placed in 2 of the net pots.)

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Thats the air pump in the background , runs 24/7, housed in a plastic container.

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16
Jul
17

hydroponic update II

07/11/17

Some wilting of  some the leaves on some of the plants, could be from

  • too high a nutrient level
  • root overcrowding of the reservoir, too many plantings for the capacity of the reservoir
  • not enough aeration of the nutrients
  • inadequate flushing of the reservoir, 2 week intervals
  • too much sunlight
  • not enough air flow
  • accumulation of rainwater overfilling reservoir
  • all of the above

The tomatoes continue to bloom and ripen despite the drooping leaves, some leaves have browned,

Some of the leaves were removed  from the lower parts of the plants to promote air circulation.

Tomatoes ripen at different sizes, possibly from different nutrient mix, Open Sesame, Beastie Bloom, Cha Ching. (Fox Farm nutrients) Different stages of growth on the vine locations.

Next year, most likely less plantings, only one per net pot, only 3-4 per reservoir.

The NFT lettuce and greens system in on hold for now,  read an article on Meniscus membrane systems. Could continue during the colder months indoors or earlier.  No rush whatsoever.

07/16/2017

More of the leaves have browned and drooped or dried. Dropped nutrient level, and checked the PPM more frequently. Tomatoes  still ripening and harvesting.

07/20/2017

The PVC tomato tower was a success, plenty  of places to tie on support lines

Cut back a lot of the dried growth

Some of the tomatoes have a grape like skin and fruit

07/30/2017

  Cut back browned plants, harvested tomatoes on the vine for ripening.

Drain and cleaned out net pots , lava rock and flushed reservoir light solution of Sledgehammer. Massive root ball one one side of the reservoir .

New growth on remaining plants.

Trashed trimmed vines

The root system was so dense, I had to cut the roots of the discarded plants

Flushing of the reservoir with a weak Sledgehammer solution and clean water

Sun ripened tomatoes from the vine.


08/03/2017

 Now I trimmed down to one plant in one net pot. the plant is still growing and producing fruit. but of course the harvest will be much less. Some trimmed vine fruit is ripening off the vine. The flavor of these tomatoes are not sweet, so to speak, but have a good balanced tomato flavor that I’ve grown to enjoy. It’s difficult to get a good sweet tomato even from the store as a certain variety has to be at the peak of flavor and that is a very short time. Overall I like this type of tomato that’s  for container gardening and will grow it again. I’ve learned the limits of this setup.

Assortment of greens have been started indoors for the remainder of the summer and fall. I suppose I could start more tomatoes, but will concentrate on greens for now and develop the NFT system.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

29
Apr
17

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.

12
Nov
16

After shopping, quick bite supper

Sourdough flatbread, fresh ground beef pan fried pattie,  romaine lettuce, cherry tomato, cucumber, sauteed mushrooms.

img_1163

On a later date  a redo of this recipe.



Fresh ground beef, Hawaiian sea salt and pepper. Pan broiled.


Lettuce and  spinach….


Add burger, cucumber, mayo, ketchup, bacon, caramelised onion, parsley.

The flatbread was a bit tough, all in all a good meal. 

21
Oct
16

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

fullsize

hydro1

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hydro2

 

 

11
Sep
16

stuffed eggplant

Eggplant is one if those ingredients that can replaced meat or augment it. Usually I prepare one type of eggplant recipe most often, sliced , breaded, and fried, or baked. That  method requires preparation. If you follow the salt and drain routine to remove the moisture from the eggplant this is  more prep time. Occasionally viewing cooking shows on TV gave me the idea to change the routine breaded eggplant recipe.

Stuffed eggplant seemed like a straight forward recipe, remove the eggplant interior  from the eggplant, once sliced in half lengthwise, and return it to the shells after being cooked and mixed with stuffing components and baked.

 

img_0836A quick search for Lydia’s stuffed eggplant recipe gave me the starting point for the recipe. Ground chicken thighs would replace the ground beef.  Also I would being using one rather large eggplant.

No breadcrumbs were available so stubborn me, resisting the quick trip to the market to get some, made a quick biscuit recipe. Then when done, further baked  at a low heat to dry it out some what. Finally this was cut to resemble cubes of bread. This biscuit was in the form of one large round biscuit , the dough being pressed into a large diameter cake pan which fit in the microwave/convection oven.

Time wise the stuffing had be be cooled when completed so there was sufficient time to prepare the cubed bread substitute. img_0835

 

The ground chicken was cooked and then added some rice wine, another substitution as I don’t usually have white wine available as an Italian kitchen would. No green bell pepper available either.The Parmesan cheese only measured about 1/2 cup. Now the recipe was coming together, this was along the lines of a meat stuffing one would prepare for a turkey for example.

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Didn’t get any pictures when this was done from the oven but the result did remind me of a stuffing for poultry with a filling meatloaf like texture, the biscuit substitute actually better than bread due to the fact it was denser. Cherry tomatoes (we are fortunate to have a small amount of hydroponic cherry tomatoes available, more on that endeavor to be posted) also rounded out the stuffing and thyme instead of parsley, perhaps that accented the the poultry flavor with the ground chicken thighs.

All in all a good meal and as I am partial to cold meatloaf sandwiches, this meal was better the next day un-reheated.

I’m going to rework this recipe as far as the stuffing combination, rice will be used instead of the bread and it most likely will have a more spicy flair.

http://createtv.com/recipe/meat+stuffed+eggplant

 

 

 

27
Jul
16

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





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