Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Journal February 1, 2012


Three cucumber seedlings have been planted in an ebb and flow system replacing the plants growing in AutoPots. These seedlings will be grown using a 90 watt red/blue/white LED with a photoperiod of fourteen hours. The initial EC was 1.6 with a pH of 5.6 and the cycle is fifteen minutes on every six hours.

The ebb and flow system is filled with hydroton, with the net pots containing the seedlings buried in the hydroton. In addition, I have placed a layer of ceramic tiles on the bottom of the tub to protect the roots from any liquid that might remain in the tub between cycles.

I am firmly convinced that when using an AutoPot indoors it is absolutely necessary to control the release of nutrients to the reservoir manually, as there was a dramatic improvement in the cucumbers after I began monitoring the moisture levels. Still, I felt that the plants were so stressed from being overwatered, that they would most likely never fully recover. However, I was able to make a small batch of pickles using my own cucumbers, grown indoors during the winter, and that in itself was rewarding.

The chard that has been growing under the red/blue LED for the last six weeks was harvested today. We have enough for probably six individual servings from one ebb and flow system and the quality is fantastic, with the leaves being so green that they appear to be artificial.

As I am using highly efficient LED lighting and inexpensive off the shelf nutrients, the cost to grow the chard is hardly worth considering.

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