Sunday, November 13, 2011

November 13, 2011 journal

Today I planted a small Balcony Hybrid seedling in my revised homebuilt AutoPot. The size of the tray has been reduced to better match the size of the pot, and, hopefully, prevent any more overwatering of small plants.

I spent a considerable amount of time trying to find what I thought would be the perfect tray to use for this system. I walked the aisles of Home Depot and Wal-Mart looking for an idea, and all that time I had the perfect container at home. The container is, of all things, a shallow cat litter pan that I had been using to wash hydroton.

All in all, this may work out better than if both plants survived, as it appears that these plants produce a lot of tomatoes in a short period of time. There is exactly a two month difference in the age of the plants, so we may have fresh tomatoes over an extended period.

Additionally, I decided against using the 90 watt LED to light Ava's Aerogarden. The LED has been replaced with a 24" single tube fixture using a 6400K T5 bulb. In my opinion, this approach is equal to, or better than, using the Aerogarden bulbs. It is certainly less costly.

So, other than the unit itself, I have an operational system devoid of any Aerogarden supplies. The pods contain open cell foam used to weatherseal air conditioners, the nutrients are homebrewed from Wal-Mart plant food, epsom salt, and calcium nitrate, the light I have already mentioned.

Seed starting using foam in the pods is a little tricky, so if you plan to try it I will be happy to explain it, just place a request in the comments section.

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