Tuesday, March 20, 2012

March 20, 2012 journal

Hydroponic beets were harvested today and a replacement batch of chard was started. It is my intention to continue to grow beets, chard and lettuce indoors under lights all summer.

The unusually mild weather continues; for the first time ever in March I had to apply the shade cloth to the greenhouse. The temperature, in the greenhouse, was 95 degrees , so to control the heat I decided to place the cloth on for the afternoon.

My wife wanted to know if I could spare a few peppers for dinner. I asked how many she needed and she replied: "three." When I gave her the three peppers she said: "Oh My God!" She later asked why she has never seen these in the market and I told her that I doubt any farmer would pay fourteen cents a seed to plant a field of these peppers. If you don't grow them, you will never taste them. That is one of the joys of gardening.

Pretty much all of my gardening books do not recommend lighting to be more than 18 hours per day. That said, I have read that a few commercial growers light their seedlings 24 hours a day, at least for the first several days. I thought that I would give that a try with some annual seeds that had just germinated. Placing the seeded cubes in an enclosed dome, I added a CO2 generator consisting of water, sugar and yeast. A 1/4" airline fed the CO2 into a very small test tube filled with water to filter any yeast from the CO2; a 125 watt compact fluorescent was used to light the seedlings for 48 hours. The resulting seedlings are more robust than seedlings I planted two weeks ago. This will probably become my standard practice for starting seedlings. Nothing ventured, nothing gained when it comes to growing.

The warmth is kicking the tomatoes into high gear also. It was necessary to up ot them from the 3" pots already and they are only a few weeks from when I opened the seed packets.

1 comment:

Early Childhood Classroom said...

I'm excited to find your post! Had no idea you could grow beets and carrots hydroponically. I will be reading though your posts to learn all that I can!
Thank you for sharing!