Tuesday, November 2, 2010
The top photo shows the interior of the grow chamber with all of the systems finally in use. All of the plants have been grown hydroponically, under artificial lighting, receiving not one photon of sunlight, or drop of rain. They have not had to deal with insects, or insecticides, or contaminants of any kind. In fact, their environment is so clean it is not necessary to wash the produce before using it.
I might add that the plants in the foreground were mere seedlings when I launched the grow chamber on October 18th, and they have made remarkable progress in only two weeks.
The three ebb and flow systems each contain fifteen plants, and the modified aeroponic system has six plants, so there are fifty one plants growing in this small area. Try that in your soil garden, or greenhouse!
The author of the current greenhouse gardening book I am reading denigrates hydroponic gardening with such phrases as: "you are tied to a hydroponic dealer" and " it requires expensive equipment." and blah, blah, blah. He goes on to tell soil gardeners to buy bugs to control bugs! There are endless pages regarding bugs, fungus, mildew, sterilizing soil, making compost, manure tea, and on and on. Hmm, I can skip chapters seven to fourteen, as they don't apply to me. And, that will be the day when I pour manure tea on lettuce I am going to eat! Well, to each his own I guess.
Each of my three ebb and flow systems has a slightly different nutrient strength varying weak to normal, and the seedlings will progress through the three systems as they grow. The plants in the foreground in the top photo are the very first plants to enter the chamber, and they are about two weeks from harvest at this point.
The bottom photo shows a modified aeroponic unit overflowing with lettuce under a 90 watt red/blue LED. The LED light is so intense that the strobe on my camera can not overcome the red from the lamp. I can, however, assure you that the lettuce is a deep healthy attractive green. Again, these plants have never grown under anything other than LED lighting.
Thanks anyway, but you can keep your beneficial bugs, fungicides and manure tea!