Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Plants In Hydro Buckets Doing Good

Tomotoes plants now have green fruit approx. 2 inches in diameter on them. Still using grow formula fertilizer, will be switching over to the bloom formula this weekend.

The zucchini plants doing extremly well in the last past heat wave had. I have the same plants at a community garden plot and they are only about 10 inches tall. Here they are close to being 36 inches tall. Pick the first zucchini last Sunday, along with my the first two cucumbers.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Next Morning Check

The four plants from the day before are still wilted. I removed them this morning to let move air circulate the remaining plants. All other plants are looking OK.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

NFT, Late Evening Check

Cooler air has moved into the area this evening. All but four plants are showing signs of recovering. Will check again in the morning.

NFT, All Plants Showing Signs of Wilting

NFT main system. The heat index is now 95, all plants are starting to show signs of wilting. Looks like if this heat wave keeps up, all the plants will die. Adjusted the pH to 6.0, Hoping this might help the plants accept more water.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Plants Under Stress In NFT Tubes

NFT Tubes main system. Four plants have started to wilt. The heat index is currently at 108. I believe the plants are unable to to take in enough water due to their small root system. The same plants in the the Hydro Buckets are doing just fine in this heat. Not sure if the problem just due to lack of water or if the plants can't get air either. In any case, I added a air pump and air stone to the nutrient tank. Also increase the slope of the tubes to get more fresh water pass the roots. Checks the plants again that night and notice some were recovering from the heat.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Support Structures On Hydro Buckets

Here's a current photo showing some of the the various support structures in place to date.
There is a 3' by 7 ' grid with 2" squares over
the zuccihini and rhubarb, which is in front of me in the photo. Behind me is a a grid of poles making a 2.5' deep by 12' long structure for the tomatoes and cucumber plants.

Latest Photo Of NFT Tubes

Latest photo of the NFT tubes. The plants here are about 3 feet tall. The the hot weather finally here, plants consumed about 8 gallons of nutrient Saturday.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Vertical NFT Moved

Vertical NFT tubes were moved from the side of garage to the sunny side of the house this morning. Hopefully with more sun light, the strawberries plants will start to grow more. Only three plants show any sign of growth so far.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Top Heavy

Upon checking the NFT tubes after work today. I found that one large tomatoe branch had collapse from weight of the rain on its leaves. Good news is the branch didn't break, it just buckle. A couple of tomatoe clips and the branch was back good as new. Also all the tomatoes plants in the Hydro buckets are getting top heavy and leaning to one side. Time to put the support structure up. This will be done this week, weather permitting. Still need to move the vertical NFT tubes to the sunny side of the house.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

New Grow On Strawberry Crown

Spotted some new grow on one of strawberry crowns today. Good sign that they all will all grow this season. With all the over cast and rain the past 2 weeks, I was afraid they might rot. Also based on garage roof over hang above the vertical NFT tubes, there will be be very little sun light reaching it. There fore it's time moved it to the sunny side of house next week .

Thursday, June 11, 2009

New Ph Meter

Purchase my first pH meter today. With all rain the past several weeks, I was sure that the pH level would be running high in nutrient tanks. Normally I don't bother with adjusting the pH level of water. I had borrow a pH tester from a friend last year and found that my tap water ran a pH of 6.0. Good enough for me to use without making adjustments. Upon checking all my tanks, found their pH was running 8.1. Now the trick will be to keep the pH level down around 5.5. Its been raining here ever other day now for the past 2 weeks. I highly recommend that you check the pH level of your nutrient tanks after each heavy rain.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Cantaloup Added

Found a couple cantaloup plants at Jewel to today. Just for fun I added them to one of the spare buckets, on the second set t Hydro buckets.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Strawberries Plants In

Planted 18 strawberries plugs, or the center two tubes. Also threw in in two impatients or fun.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Vertical NFT Tubes Up And Running

Decided to buy a pump from from my local hydroponic store instead of Lowes. Fill up the nutrient tank with water. Connected the new pump to supply line and dropped it into the tank. Fill up all the tubes perlite. Turn the pump on and began looking for leaks. Almost ran the tank dry before any water started returning to the tank. Did not realize how much water the perlite would retain. In this case, about 8 gallons water. Added another 6 gallons of water to the tank. No leaks were found. Will be putting strawberries plants in this Saturday.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Vertical NFT Will Need A New Pump

Connected nutrient tank to the vertical NFT system today. I was going to use the pump I had on the Hydro buckets last year. Ran a simply test on the pump to make sure it was still running OK, but found it only has a pumping head height of 4 feet. I need 7 feet. So starting up of the vertical NFT will have to wait until can buy a new pump. Been using pumps purchased from Lowes. However, this year they switch to a different brand. Which I'm not sure if like the style of yet.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

More Photos

Rhubarb, cucumbers and zucchini

Current Photos of NFT and Hydro Buckets

Here are current photos of both the Hydro Buckets and NFT tubes. Most of the plants have more than double in size.