Archive for the 'hydroponics' Category

28
Oct
17

hydroponic update

pictures taken OCT 20

Even at this date the outdoor hydroponic DWC still provides us with tomatoes and also a few flowering brassica leaves and tatsoi leaves for greens. One tomato plant still going. I’ve pinched off growth of the tomatoes since any new flowers won’t have time to develop into fruit outdoors.

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flowering brassica

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flowering brassica, tomato and tatsoi

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some  green tomatoes on the vine

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a few each day are harvested as they turn ripe and a few outer leaves of the greens are used for soups and salads

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tatsoi does well hydroponically

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more greens

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meanwhile indoors, using LED lighting seeds are started

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using rockwool Grodan cubes, basil and rosemary are started with kale and tatsoi, a bit leggy on the greens, probably should heighten the lighting. These have been transferred to net pots since the picture was taken. Hydroponic works for me, unfortunately there are some who associate hydroponics with only cannabis  growing IMO.

another use for the tomatoes

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03
Oct
17

Back of the house, hydroponic update

A sunny warm beginning to October, usually cooler in the early hours now, but not that crisp colder fall weather yet.

The DWC hydroponic has produced some greens , flowering brassicas and tat soi , the tomatoes have produced grape like clusters and with the beginning of cool weather pinching back any new growth. A clear type covering to the system in consideration to extend the growing season before it’s brought indoors. The outside limit will be the temperature of course anything near freezing the DWC will moved indoors. More greens should be started indoors.


For all you hydroponic geeks out there, I usually keep the PPM nutrient level now to about 900 to 1200, at the most bi weekly nutrient flush saponin.

Bonus pictures:

A simple chicken salad , Diane’s

Toasted, morning toast with onion, garlic and ginger butter, Good Morning!

window sash

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.

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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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hydro3

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