hydropnics starter plants 1 week later

daveb

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As seen in publish article with NFT rail system plants were a bit slow to start for me this batch as i am trying a new group of seed suppliers and finding the difference of germination and growth at start a bit slower to start.

here is comparison of plants 1 week difference last Saturday afternoon .
article here - https://www.selfsufficientculture.com/ams/hydroponics-start.27/

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And plants this morning

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daveb

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and this morning curiosity i took a few more pics

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as you can see on the extreme end i am at the edge of the light so smaller growth i need to add my refelctive film back on the right hand end, the front row is same its at extreme front of the current light so i should make a drop curtain at from of reflective film also. i will later slice the current light lenghtwise so the two section can be moved apart to get beyyet light coverage at extreme points. restarted some seeds the front right is a new type i am trying called ruby red the other front row left is Bronze Mignonette an older heat tolerant heirloom very similar to butter crunch and other butter head type lettuce , others types growing - butter crunch - black seed simpson , red romaine , parris island romaine , red salad bowl and oak leaf , at far back hidden are a few herbs just starting to get some growth on them
 
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daveb

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and an update today of plants so as you can see the plants at front are at the extreme edge of viable light so i will be cutting the light panle in section so i can widen its foot print for coverage
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daveb

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Lettuce as of 10 am oct -26-2022 these are same ones as show in the hydroponics article i will have to check notes but i think date i put seeds in pots was around 23rd to 26th sept. so now one calendar month from time seeds were planted. lights from top of grow channel to bottom of light 9 1/2 inches ( 24 cm )

will be cutting some for salads tomorrow

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daveb

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They look so yummy and crispy! 😍
if you look the leafs from second row are starting to hang out past front , so that's at-least 20 cm long leafs that you see from the bottom growth plus the amount over hanging
 
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daveb

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So just broke off a few samples of lettuce to make a salad for lunch and supper this evening. very sweet crisp nice full flavor the butter crunch very smooth and subtle nutty tone in the back for flavor . took some butter crunch - black seed simpson - mignonette bronze - red salad bowl for types tray is off my dehydrator about 14 inch diameter, Also picked a little over a quart container of some grape and cherry tomatoes off plants in tomato area so salads today

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daveb

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ONE MONTH AFTER START

So at one month since set the plant in the newest NFT rail system i have harvested off most of the plants taking select leafs off some and full cut back on a couple in back rows where slightly more difficult to reach.

I have now raised light to 13 inches above the grow rails. Total as added to nutrient tank is 3 gallon plain water and 11 gallons of standard solution 3 gallons over the two fill ups tops tank to target EC reading ( ec is electrical conductivity - the reading of dissolved materials in solution much more accurate the guessing at ppm) total nutrient used 22 grams Masterblend fertilizer ( 4-18 -38 ) , 22 grams calcium nitrate (15.5 -0 - 0 , 11 grams Epsom salt.
Sorry i did not weight the lettuce i harvested but two trays as shown above which was 8 almost 9 large salads, plus a 2 quart zip lock for an elderly neighbor. and today i just cut all but 4 back for full cut i have already haRvested as much shown of the simpsom black seed and butter crunch combine



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clockwise , bronze mignonette - ruby red - red romaine

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parris isle romaine

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Black seeded simpson

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butter crunch

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red salad bowl - oakleaf

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each tray is 14 inch diameter

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and packed in One gallon zip bags for myself and a couple neighbors


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daveb

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here is a couple changes i would suggest and i will be making some changes , this system was replace a flood drain tube system that had an issue of water staying in low points of tube all the time as it was made with round pvc , it preformed very well with extreme harvest amounts but showed sign of pythium in roots.
this newest NFT zero issue except the plants are more aggressive growing so actually need more room between them. They are 8 inches apart down the rails and rails set 6 inch apart center to center and 4 rails 21 inch outside to outside i will reduce to 3 rails total 9 inches center to center and rail alternate 6 holes in one rail 7 in next so 6-7-6-7 front to back for 26 plants. Plans going to test a few hole patterns working around various types of lettuce possible 7-6-7 or 6-6-6 and shift one down
as you can see from photo the black seeded Simpson variety and the buttercrunch are very aggressive growers The amount on the tray for them was 2 plants same with the red romaine the parris island romaine was one plant. the black seed and buttercrunch were both cut back partial on the 27th. almost 2 more full 1 gallon zip bags wife estimates each of those bags at least 3 pounds and close to 4 pounds each.
so approximate total harvest weight 28 this cut and 6 to 7 at least on prior trimming no herbicides no pesticides - non GMO seeds so local at prest the prices range $2.99 to $4.99 per lb depend on variety and brand name and a rare cheap questionable occasional bag at $1.99, for sack of arguement lets assume eaxch bag at 3 lbs 21 lbs now an 6 prior for total of 27 lbs at 2.99 thats $80.73 and could go as high as $134 total cost , about $1.07 in nutrients and 69.3 Kwh at $ 0.194 kw 13.45 for total of slightly less $14.52 not a bad savings i didnt figure in cost of equipment becuase that will be stretched out over a very long period but even if i assume on extreme high side to recover material time over a couple yeats its still only dollars a month
 
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daveb

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2 picture of regrowth as it starts coming back forgot to post these yesterday

so had help trimming back the lettuce so some vary in height slightly where they were cut off a prime example of how fast certain lettuces regrow and the rate, also went along and snipped of the dead leafs at bases and wait for next harvest , at far back you can see a few of the herbs poking up that got buried under the onslaught of lettuce growth

front left bronze mignonette ( 3 ) and far right front ruby red ( harvested ) plus one close to bronze that didnt get cut

second row left red romaine ( 2 ), simpsom back seed ( 2 ), butter crunch (3 )

third row Parris isle romaine ( 2 ), red saladbowl ( 2 ) oakleaf ( 2 ) hidden behind others


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Mandy Onderwater

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It looks amazing. And I somehow only just now noticed how small those pots are. But I guess they don't need much space when water and nutrients are readily available.
 

daveb

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It looks amazing. And I somehow only just now noticed how small those pots are. But I guess they don't need much space when water and nutrients are readily available.
they are 1.9 inch diameter at top opening, and correct because the plants do not have to fight to force growth into soil plus the liquid and nutrient are easy available, the roots run down the inside over the bottom of the rectangular tube channel they sit in. the pot bottom actually sit on the bottom of the channel as yu can see the top of pot is above the top surface of it the outside diameter of the flange at top is only 4.44 cm.

A couple that the seeds did not start i will remove tomorrow and see if i can get an angles photo up into pot and also a photo from the drain end of the channel so you can see how the root lay in the channel. As the pump cycles off it allows the rots to partially dry so no rot to the roots and they get the max oxygen so develop healthy strong roots. My original NTF system like this for the tiny tim tomatoes Has a root mat almost 1 1/4 thick the full width of the tubing and one plants roots run into the next plants roots forming a woven bottom which actuall lends support to each plant my tomatoes. Have made a simple wire form wrapping the channel and extending up i can in the new test channels so will support about 6 inches above the channel draw back this limits how close i can get light in early stages, but does allow some extra support to the tomatoes i just gave that single Tiny Tim channel to nephew and about to build my dbl 5 foot tomatoes channel with it will have 10 of the miniature tomatoes in these same pots but have room for more if i decide.

All this being said here lays the one minor draw back if a plant dies back or you decide to replace it. If the plants are too close or too vigorous a growth in foliage and as a result also roots, then the roots plant to plant can tangle making it difficult to remove one plant and replace it advantage any disruption will easily negate itself as roots are healthier and not stressed with having to struggly for oxygen water and nutrients so will recover faster


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daveb

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Ahh. Very interesting :D
Here is the grow media i use its rock wool i use an old serrated bread knife to cut it to sizes i need the 3 inch thick was the only one instock at the time i ordered but its works fine i could cut a tiny amount off top to recess the top below pot top as you see in a couple of them. and i also use some 3 inch pots in my mason jars and a few of the one gallon water jugs.
Buying in sheet allow me to custom cut as need i have made a guide now can cut side of the plus at an angle so they match the taper of the pot so i cut across sheet getting start angle flip so it is a strip and has 2 angles closing down like a wedge then cut across those to make 4 sided taper plug take a wood skewer and poke hole in top for seed.

so have something similar to these
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Mandy Onderwater

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I hadn't ever heard of rock wool before. Was an interesting google. But at the same time I shouldn't be surprised as my partner liked to buy rock paper notebooks as they didn't deteriorate when wet.
 

daveb

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ok so this is second rail back looking up into the right hand side the first pot in view in the net pot for the right hand Buttercrunch as you can see health roots a few tiny dark tips where exposed to high power of my lights. This is a bit over 5 weeks of growth that first net pot you see is about 7 to 8 inch to edge of pot back inside the channel the roots hanging down go about 14 inches in length below channel and into the reservoir , you can see how i heated the end of the down spout to make a spout lip like a coffee pot those roots will get tucked back in and routed to grow back up the channel. So you can see where roots from the next plant up the channel their roots are down and running past this net pot.

i was curious why the return nutrient was getting quieter as it flowed back into tank



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