Day 31 of my hydroponic experiment yielded the first little harvest from one of the salad bowl lettuce plants. I think two seeds had germinated and I neglected to thin them down to one when I put the rockwool in its jar, so while that plant seemed more lush, it was just due to having two there. I think they were sucking up more nutrients and so some of the outer leaves were getting marginal necrosis and having other problems. Anyhow, here's the plant after harvest, and hopefully the inner leaves will keep growing for more yield:
Here are the other full lettuce plants as of right now:
I do have a few new lettuce plants growing, though I'm not sure how many days along they are. I've started to realize how many plants you would need to have a consistent, recurring harvest (a lot more than I currently have).
My bunching onions are definitely bunching. They seem to vacillate between stretching up toward the light and leaning over precariously, and I can figure out whether it's a normal cycle or they have some kind of problem.
The onions that I planted in dirt are coming up nicely, so we'll see how well they vary from the hydroponic ones. I think since they're root vegetables, they'll do a bit better in the stability of the dirt, but we'll see ultimately. They may be a bit too close together, but they're growing, and I intent on keeping it that way. :)
The broccoli is still coming along. I'm not sure what kind of timeline you can expect it to start flowing on, but I figure it could be a while. I still don't know that hydroponic is the best media for it, but it's one of those experiments where time will tell. Two of the larger plants are starting to tip over now, which may become a problem. The stalks seem thinner at the base - perhaps I need to check how many roots are growing down into the nutrient solution and top it up until it touches the rockwool if there aren't very many roots yet.
On a positive note, my mesclun is growing like a forest. I'm positive that there are too many plants in there, but since they're so lush and none of them are dying off, I'm happy with the results. It's day 15 for that, so things should be on track for a good harvest around day 30. Once I thin out the larger top plants, the smaller undergrowth should have a chance to thrive. Maybe that's not a terrible system - time will tell.
Last but not least for plant updates, I think that this is my basil (though it could be the emerald jewel lettuce, I'm really not sure). Notably, you can see a sheen on the water which I assume is because I used nutrient water for these seeds, whereas with everything before this I used plain water. I think that the latter is really the way to go for starting out because you can start to get algae a lot faster given a nutrient mix for it to grow in when the light gets to it. Plain water doesn't seem to have that problem so readily.
Actually last but not least... I added one more light to my setup. The onions necessitated raising the light higher than I wanted for the other plants, so taller vegetables will go on the floor, and shorter ones will go on the two upper shelves.