Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Hydroponic Update

I accomplished 80% of what I have been wanted to this weekend. I hurt my back trying to move an 18+ gallon trash can full of water, dumb mistake, but it wont move itself and I have no help.

Accomplished (15+ hrs of work):
  • Setup the hew hydroponic irrigation drip lines/plumbing
  • Changed nutrient reservoir water. Replaced (27 gallon) square tank with an (18 gallon) round trash can. This should work better, we will see.
  • Trimmed and pruned all plants.
  • Moved electric in the greenhouse.
  • Went bug hunting in my greenhouse and dirt garden
  • Removed collard greens and a few other plants in the dirt garden
  • Organize dirt garden.. weeding & pruning.
  • Much more I'm sure....
Todo:
  • Setup the plumbing for the drip drain to recirculate back into the reservoir. 
  • Dig a hole in the greenhouse to place the 18 gallon-trashcan reservoir in. (Should reduce the heat of the water and also lower the height so the returning drain water can flow back)
  • Get the NFT gutter system active to start my greens (lettuce, spinach, etc)
  • Start new seeds for fall - greens. Need more rockwool, but I will use some peat plugs if need be.
  • Get 3 more leach trays and rockwool slabs - Im broke, so this will have to wait.
  • Create an indoor controlled environment to start seeds. Use ubiogrow and log results throughout the life cycle.
  • Take pictures and maybe a couple videos. I admit, the traffic on my website isnt very high and I know it could be better. It does take time to get a good web presence and I believe Im going to make a few videos and post them on youtube. Hopefully this will attract more users to my blog.
  • Rest - back is hurting!
Plant Progress:
  • Okra (Rockwool Slab Drip) - Growing like trees. I had no clue until I found a picture of the orka being grown at Epcot- they are huge! I have a orka fruit growing and a couple flowers opened this morning.
  • Beefsteak Tomato (Rockwool Slab Drip) - Doing very well. Starting to flower. Getting tall.
  • Jubilee Tomatoes - (Dutch Bucket Drip) - Tomatoes are starting to change to a yellow color. More flowers forming.
  • Patio Princess Tomato - (Dutch Bucket System) - Doing very well and a few tomatoes are starting to turn slightly red. (NFT System) - I picked 2 tomatoes off and eat them. Pretty good tomatoes. The hornworms are back, so I have to manage them this week.
  • Hot Peppers (Dutch Bucket Drip) - Doing very well. TONS of peppers, more than I know what to do with.
  • Eggplant (Dutch Bucket Drip) - Doing great. I've lost 3 flowers do to dropping, but hopefully I can get one to pollinate because there are plenty more! Eggplants are truly a beautiful plant!
  • Cucumber (dutch bucket) - I separated the two buckets and noticed that the cucumber has a massive root system in the second bucket (what I was aiming for). It still gets a little wilt during the hottest parts of the day. Im thinking about removing this plane from the greenhouse. If I had my camera to take some pics of the roots, it would have already been gone. It has grown too big and requires waaay more water than the other plants.
  • Starter Plants - Tomatoes, bell pepper & Asian cucumber - all doing well. I need more rockwool blocks to transplant a few into, but other than that, all is good. I sprayed Ubiogrow on the starters already in the rockwool and I've already seen a little improvement :)
Conclusion
I think Im only going to grow a couple or few crops in my hydroponic greenhouse environment. Maybe only tomatoes and peppers. Mostly everything else will be in dirt next year. I dont have the space right now, or time, to do that many, all in one system. Lesson learned :)

I will post back with updated pics soon as I find my camera card. It is lost again - I swear something hides stuff in my house.

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