Friday, February 10, 2012

Journal February 10, 2012






Ava presented her grandmother with the the last of the flowers from the calendula and zinnia plants today. The plants were still growing, but showing their age. When I checked the tags in the plants, I was surprised to find that they have been growing since October, so they have nothing to be ashamed of, as they did a yeoman's job producing flowers.


In a normal winter we would have had about six feet of snow by this time in February. This winter, we have had hardely any, and the temperatures remain above normal. As much as I like LED lighting for growing, I can't resist giving the plants natural light when conditions permit.



The three tomato plants spent the afternoon in the greenhouse; this being the first time these plants have been exposed to natural light. It is, in fact, the first time that they have been out of the tents.


With that said, the plants are such a healthy color green, that they appear almost blue green with very compact internodal spacing. Yet, there are still those who insist that: "LED technology is not there yet."








7 comments:

Arcanum said...

Hi, I've been following your blog for a couple months now as I think about doing an outdoor Autopot setup this spring/summer. Watching your plants develop and reading your commentary has been useful and a bit inspiring.

Anyway, regarding your troubles with cucumbers and the Autopots generally overwatering: Have you considered a mixture of hydroton and coco coir, possibly with a layer or two of straight hydroton on the bottom of the pots? I've seen a couple mentions of this as something to help with "wet feet" elsewhere on the 'net.

Jack said...

Yes, I have considered adding hydtoton. To keep my expenses low I have reused the same hydroton for at least five years. Adding it to the coir, in my opinion, would make cleaning and reclaiming it messy and difficult. If the metering did not solve the problem that was to be my next remedy. Actually, the problem turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as the shut off valve and meter solved the problem. I don't believe autopots were intended to be used indoors, where conditions are very much different. The plants do not take up very much liquid indoors, so overwatering becomes an issue. That said, I would never install autopots, even outdoors, without adding the shut off valves.

Arcanum said...

Hmm, interesting. You're the first I've seen to suggest that the Autopots weren't intended for use indoors. I see your point, though. On the other hand, aside from certain plants and configurations, most people using them seem to be having good luck both indoors and out, and they do have the advantage of being relatively low-maintenance.

I'm thinking I'll do either hydroton and coir, or perlite and coir, this spring. If all goes well, maybe I'll invest in lights and such for my basement for the rest of the year. If overwatering starts to be a problem, I'll look into feed valves.

Thanks for the info!

Jack said...

The CEO of the Autopot company recommended that I pot up the cucumbers and not add liquid to the system for four to possibly six weeks. What does that tell you? In the summer, in the greenhouse, they work OK. Indoors, in the tents, tomatoes and peppers seem to show signs of overwatering, but survive.

I have seen posts regarding autopots overwatering on sites devoted to growing plants to smoke.....

Arcanum said...

I'm not disagreeing with you, or saying they don't tend to overwater. I was just commenting that you were the first I've seen to make the indoor/outdoor distinction for usage.

Jack said...

I did not intend to imply that you were disagreeing, only wanted to clarify. Sorry if you got that impression. Here in upstate New York I have noticed leaf tips turning brown in early spring and fall from overwatering. During the summer, when the plants are using gallons of nutrients, the systems work fine.

Arcanum said...

Ahh, I gotcha. I'm actually up in Rochester, so our climates aren't all that different.

Thanks again for the information and the blog. I'll keep reading for info and inspiration. :)