Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tieing up some fallen branches.

   Several branches have bend over from a heavy rains last night.


The roots has finally grown big enough to block the flow of water thru the pipe.  This in turn is keeping nutient from reaching all the plants.  Many leaves are turning brown.  Will be shuting down this system shortly.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Need to use a ladder to reach the tops the cherry tomatoes now, which are approx. 11 feet above the ground.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New pictures the zucchini plants


Zucchini plants are growing little faster than I expected.  Last year I put 2 plants to a bucket. This year I put 6 plants, with the intention of pulling out 2 plants from  each bucket.  But now the roots have all grown together.  I'm worry that the root mass will be to dense and the water will not drain from the buckets.  Time will tell.   

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Nylon Trellis added for plant support

Here I'm holding a left over piece of the nylon trellis that I just added. The trellis has 7 inch squares. The actual piece I put on was strench out to be 5' x 10' in size. Ten foot sections of 1/2" conduit were added to the long edges of trellis to keep the trellis strench out.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Support structure in place for zucchini plants

New 3' x 9' support grid was built and put in place today. This is using the same style 2" x 4" fencing as last year. This will provide each hydro bucket with 27 square feet of support.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Plant support to keep plants from being wind blown

1 1/2'" diameter pvc piping structure added. Temporary strings were then added to keep the plants from being wind blown during thunderstorms. The 1/2" pvc pipe was added for support to the first two plants. Will be replacing the strings with a nylon trellis later.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Pump failure

Another pump wore out. Second pump in 4 years, not bad. Came home tonight and found the pump on the NFT/DWC system making a strange sound. No water was being pumped. Switch out the pump with another, was back up and running.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Getting nutrient tank ready fo new system.

Spend the morning digging a hole to sink nutrient tank into. It will be about 3/4 of the way into the ground. This is a new three buckets system for my zucchini plants.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

First plants are in the NFT/DWC

The first plants of season are in. Still would like to rise the tubes up another 4 to 6 inchs. This would allow me drain the water back into the nutrient tank from the side instead of the top. This would also permit the lid to be place back on the tank.

System On

Here's a closeup of the modifed PVC pressure testing cap. A hole was made in it to keep the water level approx. one inch deep in the solo cups.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Water supply connected to NFT tube.

Added a 1/2 inch connect tap to the NFT tube for connecting the nutrient supply line to.

Friday, May 14, 2010

PVC tubing glued

Here I'm testing for water leaks after having glues the PVC pipes together. Everything looking good so far. Now need to find a way to control the water height within the tubes. If to high, the water will leak around the solo cups.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Firing up of NFT system delay

No time to work on the NFT system Sunday. The forecast for the next couple of days is rain, so I hoping to get the system fire up sometime this week.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Electric outlet in place.

I was going to cut the patio pavers to size early to day, but could not find my masory saw blade. So I will have to buy a new one some time this coming week, before can cut the pavers. How ever, I did add another 2x6 to the framing. Which I then mounted the the electric outlet to. You can see it here with the weatherproof cover on it.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Pavers added to top of walls.

Did pickup patio pavers to top off the tops of both walls. This also gives the walls an extra 2 inches of height, which allows the NFT tubes to clear the top of the nutrient tank ( See third picture ).

Still need to cut a slot this one paver to allow the electric line to pass thru.

Here you can see that the NFT tubes just clear the top of the nutrient tank. I also decided to reused the old tubes for one more year.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Finished second NFT support wall

Finished the second support wall last night. You can see the electric outlet hanging near the top of the wall.

The new wood framing made out of 2 x 6's was started tonight, but ran out daylight to get much done with it. Now need to get some 2 inch pavers on top of both walls before I do any more framing work. Will try to get pavers tommorrow after work.

Now I need to decide if I going to reused the existing PVC tubes or replace them with new ones. New ones will allow me change the spacing between plant holes. Will sleep on it tonight.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Old support structure taken down.

Ran out of time tonight trying to get second support leg/wall built. Did get the old NFT support structure taken apart and ready for the garage man.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

New support structure for NFT tubes

The NFT tubes support structure is getting rebuild. The old wooden structure is being replaced with concrete blocks for the legs at both ends. Here you can see the one end being build. The other end will be bit harder, due to having electric line coming up thru it. I'm hoping to have the other end completed tomorrow. The new legs/walls are 39 inches wide, compare to the old structure of 24 inches. This should allow me room for four NFT tubes.
I thinking that I might try a doing a deep water NFT system with two tubes this year. Along with the standard NFT system.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

NFT tubes support legs are cracking.

Today when I was placing my NFT tubes back on the support structure. I realize that I never got the electric outlet wired up on the stand. So I went ahead and wired it up. I the process, I found that the wooden legs of my support structure were all starting to split apart. Most of them didn't look like they would last another season. So I decided it time to rebuild the structure. So this will be one of my projects this coming week. It also means I have to wait until next weekend to fire up the NFT system, weathering permitting.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

This season I'm also planning on adding sensors to the nutrient tanks. Sensors will report the status of the following:

1. The tank water level
2. That water is actually flowing from then return pipe.
3. Pump still has A.C power ( Gound fault has not tripped )

Cleaning the NFT tubes

Getting the NFT tubes ready for the new growing season. I'm scrubbing the the insides of the tubes, by closing off one end. Adding 1/2 cup of bleach with 1 cup of water to the inside of tube. Then using a piece of 1/2 inch pvc tubing, with a sponge attached ( see picture ). I pull the 1/2 inch tubing back and forth with some downward pressure thru the NFT tube. Works quite well.

I purchase some sweet 100 tomatoes plants early today. I hopine to get the NFT tubes up and running by next weekend, so I can insert some of the sweet 100's in the NFT tubes.

Monday, April 19, 2010

New support structure for hydo buckets plants

My support structure last season started to fall apart from weight of plants. So this season I wanted a stronger structure. Here I'm starting to put together 1 1/2 inch pvc tubing for the main support poles. Still trying to come up with a roof structure to put plastic on to keep rain out of the buckets.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Waiting for Spring to come

Here's the garden under about a foot of snow. Can hardly wait for Spring to get here.