Saturday, February 27, 2016
My greens are being grown hydroponically under a 150 watt multi spectrum LED grow light in an ebb and flow system.
For nutrients I am using an off the shelf basic dry nutrient from Wal-Mart, some calcium nitrate and Epsom salt.
The EC is about 1.3 with the pH at 6.5 with the photoperiod being 14 hours.
The video is about two and a half days growth and illustrates the rate of growth using hydroponics.
You tend to think of plants as being static, but when seen in time lapse it is evident that they are rarely still.
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
With sun rising higher in the sky and the night temperatures not so severe, I have begun thinking about returning the olive trees to the greenhouse to make room for seed starting.
Heating the greenhouse at night has always been an issue in early spring and fall; previously I have relied on electric heaters controlled by a timer. The timer was set from nine in the evening to nine in the morning regardless of the temperature.
Controlling the thermostat on the heater was another major issue, as I could never get the heaters to behave quite as I would have liked them to.
This device may provide a solution to the problem, it is called a Thermo cube and automatically turns the electricity on and off according to the temperature. My device was purchased through eBay, but they are available from other vendors in the $12 to $15 dollar range.
The literature says it will turn the electric on at approximately 35 degrees F and off at approximately 45 degrees F, which is IDEAL for the olive trees.
To test the device I placed a small night light in one of the sockets and placed it in the greenhouse today.
To monitor the device I used my remote indoor thermometer and the IP camera in the greenhouse. Sure enough, when the thermometer hit 35.2 degrees F, the light went on!
It is so nice when something works exactly as they claim it would, and I expect to reclaim the cost of the device in energy savings.
Sunday, February 21, 2016
The same questions pop up each year as people try to start seeds indoors, with leggy seedlings being at the top of the list.
They worry about having just the right soil mix, temperature and what to feed the seedlings, while overlooking the most important requirement: light.
Many gardeners use basic 4 foot shop lights for seed starting, which work to some degree. That being said, if you are really serious about giving your seedlings a good start T5 grow lights four or five inches above your seedlings will make a world of difference.
Sunday, February 14, 2016
In this case though, the parent plant is also budding, not like the Ascolano cutting where the cutting is budding but the parent is not.
Monday, February 8, 2016
Today I set up and tested a flood and drain system for a growing project. It has been sometime since I have used these systems, so I had to do a complete setup and test.
The grid and screen on the bottom are intended to prevent the roots from laying in standing water. The grid is from Home Depot, and is used to defuse lighting. It is inexpensive and can easily be cut to size.
The beet green seedlings had grown to the perfect size for planting, so I decided to plant them before they got much larger.
The photo below shows a seedling after being placed in the system. As you can see I have buried as much of the stem as possible to provide support to the tiny seedling.
When I placed the plants into the flood and drain system, I filled all of the space around the pots with expanded clay pellets. The photo below shows the system while being flooded. The extra layers of pellets keep the top dry, which prevents algae from forming, thus eliminating the possibility of fungus gnats.
The greens will be grown under a multi spectrum LED grow light with a photoperiod 14 hours. The pump cycle for the nutrients will be fifteen minutes on every four hours.
Thursday, February 4, 2016
It is a mystery to me why the cutting would flower while the parent did not, considering that they are growing side by side, under the same growing conditions in the same soil mixture.
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Another thing I am wondering about is if turning on the flowering spectrum of the large LED grow light is responsible for the number of olive varieties that are now budding.
Being early producers the arbequina and koroneiki trees have flowered before, now however, in addition to those two, the picholine, chemlali, leccino and empeltre are also beginning to flower. Other varieties under different lighting are not budding, so it does make one wonder.