Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Journal December 23, 2015 - Gentilina lettuce

After having received 14 hours of light for the last several days the Gentilina lettuce seedlings were ready to be planted.

Once again I have decided to grow them aeroponically.  Although it is possible to grow more plants in a flood and drain system, the aeroponic systems are easier to maintain, assuming you have no leaks.

The plants will have a photoperiod of 12 hours, with an intensity of just about 5,000 foot candles.  That intensity is not necessary,  however, it should not harm the plants.

After my morning walk I took a look around our property to see if the unusual warm weather was having an effect on the plants.  The foundation plants are still green, the gazania is putting out new growth, dill seed is germinating, and the chives are thriving.

Christmas is forecast to be warmer here in upstate New York than it will be in Los Angeles.  The greenhouse is still open, with the forecast for the warmer temperatures to continue into next week, it will probably remain open into January.

I am not complaining, it could stay this way and I would not mind at all.....

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Journal December, 6, 2015 - Seed starting

The Gentilina lettuce seeds have been placed into horticubes to further develop prior to being placed into the aeroponic systems.

In my opinion, horticubes are far superior to rockwool, in that they do not have to be pH adjusted and are almost impossible to over water.

That said, I find the pre-punched holes in the cubes are far too big for tiny seedlings, like lettuce.  To overcome this, prior to placing the seedlings in the cubes, I use the end an artist's brush to punch a small hole on the bottom of the cubes for the seedlings.  Using tweezers and the artist brush I place the seedlings in the holes and "tuck them in."

The cubes are fine as is for larger seedlings like cucumbers, but work better for me using the above method for small seedlings.

Once tucked in, the seedlings are placed under 2 24" T5 grow lights until they have a few true leaves and roots showing from the cubes.

Using the 1/4" tube I can exhale CO2 into the tray a few times a day to help the seedlings along.


Saturday, December 5, 2015

Journal December, 2015 - Seeds sprouted in 48 hours.

It may be difficult to see in the above photo, however, every one of the Gentilina seeds have sprouted within 48 hours of being placed in a moist coffee filter.  The filter was placed in a plastic bag, which was placed near a light source.

This illustrates the importance of having fresh seed, for lettuce in particular.

This will be my swan song in terms of Fairy Gardens, although I have found making them an enjoyable process.  They have been placed in my den, on a shelf under an LED grow light.  All of the plants I have used are terrarium plants, so they will require little maintenance.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Journal December 2, 2015 Fairy Gardens

Making the Fairy Garden with Ava turned out to be such an enjoyable process that I decided to make a few more.  There is enough space under one of the LED grow lights in my den to accommodate three or four small gardens, so that is my plan at this point.

Today I started seeds for Gentilina lettuce to be grown in two of the aeroponic units.  It was necessary to purchase seed, so I placed an order with  The seeds were received yesterday, however, the sell by date is only three weeks away.

That is normally not a problem, but with lettuce is it definitely will be a problem.  The seeds were placed in the refrigerator in an attempt to prolong their viability.