Sunday, January 15, 2012

January 15, 2012 journal



The Giant Marconi pepper plant apparently likes the growing conditions in the tent, as it is doing very well indeed.

Today, for another experiment, I planted two Mountain Princess seedlings in the second tent. My intent is to limit the number of trusses to one, or two, per plant. I am trying to direct all of the plant's energy into producing a few large fruit, rather than a lot of fruit. It should also be interesting to see if the tomatoes mature and ripen in less time than usual.

It is sad to say, but the cucumbers have virtually ground to halt, so I replaced one planting of cucumbers with another Giant Marconi pepper. I still have one cucumber plant that is growing very very slowly. The plant looks fine, has two small cucumbers, however, it does not appear to be growing at all. I checked the roots on the plants that were replaced, and they were pure white with no sign of disease, so, at this point, I have no idea of what is going on with the cucumbers.

Seeds have been started for another attempt at cucumbers. This time I plan on using an ebb and flow system, burying the plants in hydroton, letting the roots wander where they will. As the ebb and flow system feeds the plants every four hours, any deficiencies can quickly be addressed.

I am also planning on using the same nutrients that I use for lettuce and chard for the cucumbers rather than the Peters Professional.



4 comments:

garverm said...

Jack, I have been following your cucumber grow and am interested in why your yields diminished so early. The AutoPot is an ideal growing tool.

I have seen where cucumbers in containers have stopped yielding earlier than expected. Sometimes when an overly mature cucumber signals the plant to stop. Other times production stops when the vine is allowed to hold a number of cucumbers between picking.

With indoor grows, the cucumbers have such a large leaf canopy that they can 'outgrow' the grow lights used.

If you have any idea on your situation, I would be interesed. It would be good to figure this out before I replant my cucumbers this year.

Matt

Jack said...

Matt,
I don't believe the problem is any of the above. The first sign of stress was some yellowing between veins. Thinking magnesium, I added a small dose of epsom salts. It continued, so I increased the calcium nitrate. I had already added P and K when the plants began flowering. The leaves are really small and there is hardly any growth. They have not overgrown the lights, as there is still plenty of room for growth. As posted, the root systems were healthy. The growing tips are green and healthy, but very small. They are, however, sending out great clusters of male flowers.
The nutrients and pH are at the correct level, and indoor conditions are perfect, in terms of temperature and humidity. At this point I am going to let them continue for a few weeks while replacement seedlings develop. They have been growing since late November, and the whole process is just taking too long. Sometimes, it is best to regroup and start over.
Jack

garverm said...

Jack,
Thank you for the quick reply! Glad to hear that you are letting your cucumbers continue for awhile. I was thinking back to your May 24, 2011 posting about Little Leaf Cucumbers, where the male flowers preceded the female flowers.

About the yellow leaves, I checked with the Easy2Grow manufacturer from the UK. Regarding too much moisture on cucumber roots, this can lead to some yellowing also. One of their staff members had a photo of a pad used to lift the pots up slightly from the tray, but still maintain contact with the tray water. They reported that cucumbers were their most sensitive plant regarding soil moisture.

You do such a wonderful job with your growing that I would not question your methods. I thought you might be interested in the aforementioned findings.

Matt

Jack said...

Matt,
I had thought of the moisture on the roots, and been controlling the smart valve with a shut off valve, letting the system dry somewhat before opening the valve allowing it to refill. I will try to place something under the pots to raise them slightly. Good suggestion. Thanks,
Jack