Saturday, September 14, 2013

Journal September 14, 2013 - Indoor gardning - beet greens

I will begin this post by saying that the issue with Kinsvillegrower has been resolved and the olive cuttings are enroute.  It was an unfortunate incident caused by the grower going out of town and accidentally leaving his cellphone at home and not being able to communicate.

While most gardeners are preparing for the end of the season, as year round gardener I am gearing up for some serious indoor gardening.

The above photo shows today's harvest of Early Wonder beet greens from one of the ebb and flow systems, and, fifteen Garnet Rose lettuce seedlings that will go immediately into the system to replace the beet greens.

The current photoperiod of twelve hours for the lettuce and greens in the grow chamber seems to be just fine, so I am going to leave it be.
On the subject of lighting; frequently I hear from someone who is attempting indoor gardening with shop lights of CFL bulbs, and I try to stress how important light is to plant development.  Light is just as important as nutrients, if not more so.  The above photo shows the Garnet Rose seedlings before I placed them in the ebb and flow system.  They should give you a benchmark of what a properly lit seedling should look like.  If your plants are long and leggy, they are not getting sufficient light and are reaching for more.


Margaret said...

Hey Jack,
Thanks so much for sharing what you are up to. I'm enjoying your posts.

You noted 12 hours of on light for lettuce. How have you determined the periodicity for lights being on and off?

Thank you!

Jack said...

I was getting some tip burn, which I thought might be coming from growing conditions being too good; too much light, heat, nutrients, so I began cutting back on all. When grown too quickly, calcium uptake does not keep up with the rate of growth, which can be a cause of tip burn. I cut back on the photoperiod, which was 16 hours, and the nutrients. That said, I still saw tip burn on some varieties, so I added a small amount of calcium via calcium phospphate, which improved the tip burn. That said, I continued the photoperiod at 12 hours to save electricity. I can see no difference between 16 hours and 12 hours, so I am going to stay with 12 hours. Let me also say that is for the level and quality of my lights, it may not work as well with what you are using. I once asked Howard Resh, PhD if an increased photoperiod would compensate for lower light intensity when growing tomatoes, and he replied: "I don't know, why don't you try it and find out." I guess that would be my advice, try it and find out what works for you and your conditions.

Bill Graham said...

Hi Jack,
What do the neighbors think of the electric purple glow in the greenhouse? LED light may be effective at low wattage but the spectrum looks like something from Burning Man.
I see you are using Oasis cubes for starts and they are one of my favorites, too. Instead of pinching them over seeds like you have, I turn the sheet over and make a few slices with a blade or scalpel. One or two deeper stabs gives the root a crevasse to follow.
Good luck,

Jack said...

I have never had a comment from the neighbors. The greenhouse is hard to see, as it is pretty well hidden by fences, a hill and the house. I little care what they think anyway at this point in my life. At times I also use the bottom of the cubes, depending on what I am planting.