MichaelPidde.com

Hydroponics - Day 39

I suppose I'll need to start naming these posts differently since I'm not strictly doing hydroponics only anymore...

This past weekend we finally ate some of the lettuce with mesclun mixed in. I snipped off the large outer lettuce leaves and the larger of the mesclun. Some of the lettuce was browned around the edges and I'm not sure why. I thought at one point that it might be outer leaf marginal necrosis, but I tested the EC level and it was well within the desired range. The pH level is maybe a tick higher than idea, but I haven't found that as a cause of that symptom in my research. Whatever the case, they still tasted fine and clearly haven't killed me. :) The lettuce was light and tender with a slight sweet note to it.

Another thing that I noticed was that the roots of a particular lettuce plant developed black tips. Again, I'm not sure what's causing that, but my reading has told me that if the plant still seems otherwise healthy and is growing fine then it's probably not much of an issue.

As far as what the original lettuce plants are doing now, they have some new growth coming through already, though some of the leaves seem spikier and heartier than the original batch. They start to look more like a weed than an edible, but realistically you'll only get 2-3 palatable harvests from a plant, based on my research.

The new lettuce plants are coming in nicely. I wager they might be doing a bit better on this nutrient solution than the original crop. I wish that I new their start date, or had a side by side comparison. I suppose I could set that up in the future if I'm so curious.

I decided to transplant 3/4 of my broccoli into dirt since I think that'll allow better support over the long haul. So far that has amounted to be true. The fourth plant was withering that day because the nutrient solution level had dropped below the rockwool and the plant hadn't yet dropped roots down, so I topped it up and the plant perked up by the next day. At some point I'll transplant that one as well.

My genovese basil has finally started doing something. It seemed like the seedlings were in stasis for a while and I was starting to fear that they would never grow, but they're finally popping up and developing new inner leaves.

The original batch of bunching onions is still growing strong. I think. They tip over at random times and I don't find any rhyme or reason to it. But they're bunching as expected.

Here's the newer batch in dirt, which are likewise doing well. Interestingly, the perlite or whatever is mixed in with the soil is turning green. It's African violet potting mix which we had around and I thought I should use up. Anyhow, they may need to be thinned at some point, but I'll make that call later on if or when it becomes a real problem.

The spinach is still nothing great to behold. Some of the seeds that I had been germinating in a damp paper towel in a bag hung in the window did what I wanted, but a large number didn't germinate. The smaller plants are those window-germinated ones that I shoved into the dirt a while back. The larger plants were from the original seed spread, but there aren't many, and most of them seem top-heavy.

The mesclun is still a veritable forest even after selectively harvesting the large leaves. I'm very happy with the growth rate and the flavors. It's day 23 for it, so fairly close to the general harvest date according to the seed packet instructions.

Last, as usual, is what my shelf is looking like right now. The newest addition is a seed starting tray down on the ground. It comes with 4 separate tray segments which each have 18 nodes. I split those down further for ease of use so each tray segment holds 6 nodes. I planted 6 window-germinated emerald jewel lettuce seeds (5 others are in rockwool) and 6 parsley seeds. (Edit 5/8/2020: Also 6 sugar snap pea seeds tonight.) If all of those manage to sprout I'll quickly run out of space for mature plants, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there.