MichaelPidde.com

Hydroponics - Day 25

Well into the third week, my lettuce seems to be doing really well. I'm always surprised by how much they grow overnight in the dark; it's enjoyable going down to turn the grow lights on in the morning to see how much larger they look.

The broccoli is still plugging along. I'm not sure what it's supposed to look like after this amount of time, but as long as it's still growing (which it is) then I'm happy. I may need to research how temperature and pH affects it, and see if my numbers line up with the recommendations.

My bunching onions seem spindly so far, though they are branching out as expected. Since they're more of a root vegetable despite the stalky part that you eat anyway, I'm not sure that they're the best candidate for this growing medium. I did start some onions seeds in dirt not long ago, but have yet to see them sprout.

My mesclun seeds are only on day 6, but they're coming through wonderfully. I have no doubt that they'll be ready to harvest after the 30 day grow cycle.

And here's what the entirety of the shelf system is looking like:

I put 3 more lettuce seedlings into their jars tonight since they were growing quite long taproots already. I'm not sure how many days they've been going since I was negligent in keeping proper track, but they seem to have popped through the bottom of the rockwool faster than the first batch. I don't remember if I used plain water for them or nutrient water, but all of my newer started seeds are in a nutrient blend by this point. In the soil medium I'm starting them on plain water, but spraying with nutrient blend to water them every day thereafter.

Since I'm really running out of shelf space now I decided to buy another lamp on Amazon. It's the same as the 2 already in place, so I'll just add another shelf on, probably between the middle and top. That'll have to wait until next week, though, as it's not expected to arrive until the 29th. Hopefully I'll be able to make do with the space constraints until then. If I have to, I can use my old Jump Start light as a fallback plan in the mean time.

The spinach seeds that I started in soil 4 days ago are now starting to show the first seedlings popping through. I'm guessing that I'll see a few more tomorrow morning and throughout the day. I have hope for the plant now since in a pure hydroponic medium I didn't get any germination. I'm also starting to see the first signs of either the emerald jewel lettuce or the Genovese basil, though I'm guessing the former. I didn't label them and they're in the same type of container, so I'll have to wait and see.

On a sad note, my sugar snap peas didn't germinate, and I think they started to rot. They smelled very bad and became slimy and mushy. Whether or not they're a great contribution to my indoor garden right now is dubious just due to the space constraints that I know I'm going to have. Peas will need a good amount of headspace which I may not be able to provide under the shelf system. They're by no means unreasonable to grow hydroponically, it's more a limitation of my space right now.

I suppose these are the dates, according to the seed packet timelines, that I can expect some harvestable vegetables:
May 10 - salad bowl lettuce
May 14 - mesclun
June 5 - broccoli
Beyond those, the other vegetables will have quite variable ranges.