SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure

Discussion in 'Small Spaces' started by sqwib, May 28, 2015.

  1. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    • February 1st, 2016 - Well it seems the Thyme likes the cold.
     
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  2. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Trying to eat all the lettuce up this week to start my seeds.

    Laura giggles every-time I say, "I'm gonna sow my seeds this weekend"...what the heck is so funny about that?
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  3. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    Calling it on the Lettuce (5 weeks)
    • February 2nd, 2016 - This will be harvested for tonight's dinner, One think I noticed is that this lettuce was started a week later than the established plants were brought in, and is doing much better. I guess there is some truth in the fact that one of the most critical things to a plants overall health is a good start from seed.
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    Next year I'll probably do a Kratky Lettuce Bed...less time consuming, the radishes I'll continue to grow in the wicking planter. Meanwhile I'll squeeze in another experiment using the Kratky Method.
     
    Kratky Lettuce Experiment
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    • January 31st, 2016 - I decided to run a quick test using the Kratky Method, It's a bit late to be playing around because I have seeds to start this weekend. I will have to move these under one of the LED Shop Lights. These will not be on a heat mat. Why these bottles? Because I always have a ton of these in the recycle bin.
    • My only concerns are;
      1) I squeezed the rockwool a bit tight jamming it into the bottle, hopefully the roots will be ok.
      2) Airspace...Usually I would have something like Hydroton in a net pot and the very bottom of the netpot would barely touch the water.

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    Due to the shape of the bottle I had to leave a bit of airspace so I just shake it a tad to moisten the rockwool if needed till the roots start reaching for the water. So far the rockwool has stayed moist for 3 days undisturbed. I would like to go back to the Folgers Coffee cans with the netpots and hydroton but they don't nest inside each other... I wish I wouldn't have thrown mine out. I'll be making a few Rubbermaid 10 gallon Kratky Containers and give them a shot.
     
    • February 3rd, 2016 - Black Seeded Simpson

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    • Parris Island Romaine

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    Nothing from the spinach yet, but that is to be expected.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2016
  4. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Marigold Update

    • February 3rd, 2016 - This little guy is motoring! The bud looks like it will be opening soon. I am very happy with the results and will be planting the rest of my Marigold seeds this weekend, hopefully.

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  5. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    More from the garden

    Last nights dinner

    Chicken Dinner
     
    • Red Russian Kale
    • Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce
    • Parris Island Romaine
    • Shaved Carrots
    • Sharp Cheddar
    • French's French Fried Onion
    • Vidalia Onion Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
    • Acme Fried Chicken
    • Side of Mashed Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes.

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    Todays Lunch

    Turkey Club
     

    • Fresh Sliced Turkey
    • Wheat Toast
    • American Cheese
    • Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce
    • Mayo

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  6. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Turkey Club...again!
     
    • Fresh Sliced Turkey
    • Wheat Toast
    • American Cheese
    • Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce
    • Bean Sprouts
    • Pickels
    • Tomato - Store Bought...BOOOO!
    • Mayo
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  7. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    One more

     
    Grilled Chicken Caesars salad

    Yes...with anchovies!
     

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  8. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Alright that's enough with the food pics,...no more food pics.

    Finished up the asparagus bed.

    Jersey Knight Raised Asparagus Bed

    In an effort to grow more greens with less muss n' fuss, I looked into Perennial Vegetables and was extremely happy to see that Asparagus was a Perennial Vegetable. Asparagus is one of my favorite green veggies for cooking, followed closely by Broccoli. Eggplant is my overall favorite veggie for cooking, I'm not dissing my love for tomatoes but I look at them more as a standalone fruit, I can just pluck one from the garden and eat like an apple... cant really do that with eggplant!

    But the problem was, where the hell would I plant asparagus? I literally have no room.

    I think I may have found a place that gets good sun, it is directly in front of my AC unit, it's tight, but with a little construction, I think I can get a decent bed of 10 plants. It Is a small area, maybe 3' x 4.25' (12.75 sq.')

     

    I have always disliked this part of the yard, between the slope, the AC, the trashcan, the neighbors hemlock hedge and the Bradford pear roots tearing everything up I just hate it. Over the next few years I plan on fixing this up somewhat, clean out the roots once the stump is dead, put pavers in place of my spray painted roof tile. This season I will be putting in the Asparagus bed and hopefully next year I can build a self wicking raised bed on the other side and lay pavers.

    So, I ordered 10 Jersey Knight Asparagus plants in January from American Meadows. Asparagus is shipping the week of April 4th, so I do have plenty of time but want to get this knocked out ASAP.
     


    From what I have researched these are supposed to be an all male variety and will produce more and last longer than their female counterparts.
     

    The weather may be half decent this weekend so I'm gonna try to get my son outside away from Black Ops 3 and jump on building the bed.

    OK, I'm going to need a 2"x10" x 12', some deck screws, aluminum strapping and loamy soil...whatever that is! I also picked up two 5/4" x 8' decking planks, I decided at the last minute to cap it, figured since its gonna be a permanent bed, I might as well dress it up a bit.

     

    Dam I'm gonna need more 2"x12", oh well back to the store, picked up another 2"x12" but an 8 footer, dam again, it was supposed to be a 2"x10" not a 2"x12", oh well, I'll use it to my advantage.
    • First I cleaned out the area, removed the river rocks, removed the three pavers then cut the concrete slab that the AC rests on.
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    • I didn't realize but this slab had concrete mesh which made the job a tad bit more of a pain.
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    Next, I trimmed the 4x4 on the walkway with a sawzall.
     

    Then I dug out about a foot of soil.

     
    • The frame is assembled with 3" decking screws, dropped in place and leveled.
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    • Buckets of dirt and concrete are tossed in back of the truck to dispose of. I'll use the dirt to fill in a few holes in our lot at work.
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    • The raised bed is capped with 5/4" deck board. This will be stained next year.
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    Over the next few weeks, the bed will be filled with a mix of peat, lime, vermiculite, leaves, manure and my spent potting soil mix from my indoor gardening... hope it's loamy enough.lol.

    My son wasn't interested in this project...it's really a shame, he is the one missing out and when I look back I wish I would have hung out with my dad more, our parents are such an under appreciated resource.
     
  9. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    SQWIB, Looks great....   Is that a concrete cutting chain saw you got there...  Pretty cool....  LOL......
     
  10. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Here's some roots from my Marigold plant that was in the NFT System.

     
  11. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    OK.. The moment of truth, time to get those seeds planted.

    A shout out to JaxRmrJmr for hooking me up with some seeds.
    • The Grow table is cleaned up and the Heat mats are tied in to one thermostat, I'm hoping that the inside of the domes will be near the same, I will have to make heat adjustments if the dome is removed from one and left on for another. Next year I'll invest in another Thermostat and have two thermostats operating two heat mats each, but I have spent way too much THIS YEAR already.
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    • The trays are in place and my Blackseeded Simpson is tossed back on the table until it cam  be harvested.

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    February 6th, 2016 - what are we planting?
    • Pepper - Hot, Anaheim Chili HEIRLOOM February 6th
    • Pepper - Sweet California Wonder HEIRLOOM February 6th
    • Pepper - Hot, Tabasco HEIRLOOM February 6th
    • Pepper - Ghost chili (From JaxRmrJmr) February 6th
    • Pepper - Datil Pepper (From JaxRmrJmr) February 6th
    • Flower - Marigold  February 6th I have one Marigold growing now as a test
    • Flower - Gerbera Daisy (only had a few fertile seeds) I'm not holding my breath February 6th
     I pre-soaked all the pepper seed s for 6 hours

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    • Gerbera Daisy Seeds, one on the left is fertile, the one on the right is not. I really don't have much hope for the Gerbera Daisy seeds, I only got maybe 3 or 4 that looked good. The marigolds and the Gerbera Daisy seeds were all just tossed in potting soil and if they take, I will separate and transplant once they are big enough.

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    • Water is set out for a few hours and the pH is checked, had to add a bit of Vinegar to drop the pH a bit. The rock wool is soaked. After 6 hours the seeds that float are discarded and the ones that sunk are planted, I had extra seeds that were put in 3" planters with soil. The only exception was the Ghost Pepper, none of the seeds sunk but I planted them just in case, but it's not looking good for the Ghost Chili.

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    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016
  12. jaxrmrjmr

    jaxrmrjmr Smoking Fanatic

    Busy man I see.  Hope the seeds work out for you and thanks for seeds and set up for sprouts you shared.  The ghosts are hot as hell, but actually have good flavor behind them.  The datils are totally unique.  I think you will really like them.  Unique taste.  Yeah, only two of my kids even care about gardening or building stuff.

    I have wanted an asparagus bed for years, but, like you, I'm not sure where to put it as it takes a couple years to really start producing and lasts for many years. I love cooking with it, so does the wife and 4 of the 5 kids.  Steamed with Hollandaise sauce or tossed with some garlic oil.  Good stuff.  Home grown broccoli is probably my favorite (tastes sweeter but really stinks up the house), but asparagus and brussel sprouts aren't far behind!  Roasted or mashed cauliflower, fried okra, cabbage with sweet onions cooked in bacon grease................ I love meat, but I love me some veggies too!  I guess I just love food.

    My hat is off to you for what you have been able to accomplish this year!  I told the wife that I would wait until my previous investments paid for themselves before I would buy "much" more.  A successful spring crop should get me to a break-even point before my fall plantings.  It takes me about three plantings in my self wicking buckets to break even.  A bucket setup costs me about $10 each.  A head of cabbage, followed by a tomato plant, followed by greens or herbs pretty much gets me to or past that $10 point.  My goal is to get my plants, on average, to cost $1.50 to grow out after fertilizer, replacing hardware, starting seed, fungicides, etc.  That would be a $1.50 for a head of broccoli ( I also cook down the leaves as greens), or an entire tomato plant, or couple pounds of hot peppers, or 10-20 bell peppers from a plant, or 20-30 eggplants from one plant, etc.  I consider my labor as free since I like doing it.
     
  13. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That would be cool if it was Dave, but I used a Angle Grinder with a Diamond blade...not in the pic.
     
  14. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'm way past the point of breaking even, That's why I now call this a "Hobby", it eases the pain of the cost!!. Hopefully over the next couple of years when everything is established I may see a return, right now its an investment but keeps me out of trouble. I did ok on growing lettuce on the grow table and will be switching the soil out for Kratky lettuce next winter.

    I am going to invest in some soil ammendments this year for my Dirt Farming...It must be 10 years or so since I done anything with it.

    Everytime I make something I keep telling myself, "You're not getting any younger" so I try to make things least labor intensive. My next years project will be a self watering, wicking raised bed ...I'll make it high so I don't have to kneel as much..lol. I

    This past weekend I noticed my Elaeagnus ebbingei ‘Gilt Edge’ plant was infested with some type of mite.

    pretty colors, and I contemplated buying some pest treatments for it and asked my self, is it worth it...I cant eat it, so this is what I did.

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    Grabbed a beer, pulled out my phone and ordered 3 Raspberry Plants.

     
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    I'm at the point now where my space is so limited, that I feel the plant has to earn its way to stay in the yard. Yes I like color, but I like to eat even more.

    I was going to try the buckets like you did but I'm gonna try Kratky Buckets Instead and I have something else I am working on that I think you'll like.
     
  15. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I think you guys will find this project worthwhile, Next Year I plan on building another 20 gallon for herbs and maybe 55 gallon for various plants.

    Garden Tower
     ​
    I was hoping to build a 55 gallon drum composting vertical garden last year. I had so much going on with the hydroponics and Aquaponics and my regular gardening that I put it on hold, Well I have been researching this a ton this year hoping to build one.

    One of the problems I am facing is, where the hell will I put it? I literally have no room. Well I figured since it wasn't a permanent structure I could always move it or empty it at the end of the season and store it on my back hill.

    What I have found out during my research this year changed my mind on how to make this. Much of my research about the composting part, primarily the worms needed, (red Wigglers) scared me off. I won't go into the science, but what scared me off was the fact that they may not survive my Zone 7 and that the amount of composting they would do in that small of an area (4-6" pipe) is negligible, so it really didn't seem worth the extra effort. I'm gonna put the extra effort into a center wicking pipe.

    For composting I'm gonna stick to what I know.

     
    Anyhow I figured this would be a fun project for My son and I and I'll let him take care of it this season.
     
    This design will be simple, a standard 55 gallon drum, top cut off with 40 slots for plants. Center pipe will be added and capped at the bottom with a few tiny holes in the pipe at each level and wrapped in pond underlayment for wicking. I will drill a few holes in the bottom of the barrel to allow for drainage.
     

    When I got home and made my way past the swamp, (lotsa rain), I climbed up on the hill to pull out the 55 gallon drum earmarked for this project. When I was sorting through all of the junk on the hill I came across one of my 20 gallon drums that I use for storing pool supplies, hoses, fittings, hardware and such. Since I am getting rid of the pool I decided that this would be our first Tower Garden. The barrel is in bad shape it has a couple breaks in the side that I will need to work around.


    Lets get started,

     

    • I cleaned and marked the barrel...mostly eyeballing it.
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    • Then I was wondering what to use to cut the slits. I figured a jig saw and then said nah, I don't want to drill starter holes, then I contemplated a circular saw, nope... I wanted to do this with my son and a trip to the ER was not sounding good. How about an angle grinder with a thin blade?...nah, probably melt too much when cutting due to the high rpms, Sawzall, nope ER. Biscuit joiner...nope. I got it I'll use my Fein Multimaster..check it out here. Pretty incredible tool.

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    • The slits are cut, I had Stephen cut one of the slits and since it's an oscillating blade it was pretty tough so I took over the cutting.

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    • Stephen manned the heat gun and I manned the beer bottles.
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    • You could really make this fun and start with full beer bottles!!!

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    • There we go, 24 slots, I decided not to put the 6 slots in the bottom, due to the taper and it being a little tight, we figured we could do 24 strawberries in the slots and 6 around the top for a total of 30 or 24 strawberries and 2-3 pepper plants, that's plenty.

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    Next up was paint... hmmm. what should we use, I really like the Krylon Fusion Terra Cotta Spray Paint... well guess what, it has been discontinued, like I was surprised.
    I'll see what I got in the workshop and come up with something... maybe nutmeg will look nice.
    • I sanded the drum with a 220 grit and wiped down with vinegar.
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    • I had Stephen cut out some templates that I had printed out that I found online
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    • But he was too busy to help his dad and only cut a few of the butterflies out so I had to reuse several of them once the paint dried on one side.
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    • The drum is then painted with a primer and then spot painted with various colors.
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    • The templates are tossed on and the entire barrel is painted with a nutmeg spray paint.
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    • I kinda like the barrel with all the different colors, I was undecided so I let my Daughter make the decision and she liked the nutmeg with the butterflies
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    • Barrel is flipped and a few Holes were drilled in the bottom for drainage. As mentioned earlier I decided not to do the composting section but liked the idea of something in the center so I wouldn't need a whole lot of potting mix, What I did here was use a 4" piece of PVC, Capped the bottom and drilled 1/64" holes in it to slowly weep into the soil, I cheeped out on the cap and used a Mayo Lid, I wasn't about to spend $7.00 on a cap.
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    I'm still undecided on the underlayment at this point. This pipe will just sit in the center and can be removed if needed. Hopefully this will work and I can add additional ferts and water through the center every other week or so.

    This center piece will be added when the soil as added.

    This barrel will be light enough to rotate 180° to change expose the North side facing South.

    I have a lazy Susan type thing that this will sit on to spin, you can also mod a rotating Christmas tree stand on a timer to turn it every couple of days, but I'm gonna keep it simple.

    This will  be for some ever-bearing strawberries and a few hot pepper plants on top.
     

    Larry Hall's potting mix is the following:
    • two 5 gal buckets of sphagnum peat moss
    • one 5 gal bucket of well rotted manure based compost (bagged is fine)
    • one 16 oz coffee can of perlite (you could use vermiculite but if what you plant doesn't like "wet feet" be advised, vermiculite holds much more water)
    • 1 1/2 cups of garden lime (powdered)
    • 1 handful epsom salt Mix well
    I use 16 oz of vermiculute and 16 oz. of Perlite
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2016
  16. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Test Marigold update
    • February 9th, 2016 - Flowered and got another bud, I do have a concern about some of the leaves it appears that the leaves could have a fungus, I''m not sure but it don't seem to be hurting the plant.
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  17. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The barrels are really cool.....  Genius, using the heat gun......  
     
  18. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Can't take credit for anything but the paint job and method of cutting the slots, was all gleaned from others. Definitely a great way to get more garden space, Vertical gardening is pretty cool stuff.
     
  19. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    February 12th, 2016 - I had off Friday and decided to plant some seed that were scheduled for Saturday, No pre-soak. Water pH 6.0.

    • Tomato, Mortgage Lifter HEIRLOOM - 8 weeks (3 Hydro, 2 Soil) February 13th
    • Tomato, Brandywine Red (Potato Leaf) HEIRLOOM - 8 weeks (3 Hydro, 1 Soil) February 13th
    • Tomato, Matt's wild cherry (From JaxRmrJmr) - 8 weeks (1 Soil) February 13th
    • Eggplant, Black Beauty HEIRLOOM - 8 weeks (3 Hydro, 2 Soil) February 13th
    • Eggplant, Meatball Hybrid - 8 weeks (3 Hydro, 2 Soil) February 13th
    • Eggplant, Striped eggplant (From JaxRmrJmr) - 8 weeks (2 Soil) February 13th
    • Leeks, American Flag   - 8 weeks (Soil) February 13th
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    February 12th, 2016 - 6 days
    • Pepper Hot, Anaheim Chili HEIRLOOM - 10 weeks (1 Hydro, 3 Soil) February 6th SPROUTED
    • Pepper Sweet, California Wonder HEIRLOOM - 10 weeks (1 Soil) (4 Hydro) February 6th NOTHING
    • Pepper Hot, Tabasco HEIRLOOM - 10 weeks (2 Soil) (2 Hydro) February 6th SPROUTED
    • Pepper Hot, Ghost chili (From JaxRmrJmr) - 10 weeks (2 Soil) February 6th NOTHING
    • Pepper Hot, Datil Pepper (From JaxRmrJmr) - 10 weeks (2 Soil) February 6th SPROUTED
    • Flower, Marigold - 10 weeks (ALL SOIL) February 6th I have one Marigold growing now as a test NOTHING
    • Flower, Gerbera Daisy - 10 weeks (ALL SOIL) (a few fertile seeds) I'm not holding my breath February 6th NOTHING
    • Since I had a good germination rate I took the peppers off of the heat mat removed the lid, elevated the tray closer to the light and put on the fan.
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    • The California Wonder and Ghost chili still not sprouting, I moved these to the tomato/eggplant tray that will be covered and placed on a heating mat at 80°
    • Time to chill, lets watch some TV.
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    • Oh wait, I forgot, my German Shepherd killed my TV, at least the radio works.
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    • February 13th, 2016 - 7 days - So far I am sold on this Rockwool stuff, I had seeds sprout in 6 days and my soil peppers haven't sprouted as I write this, 9 days later!
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    • I finished working on the wicking tube for the 20 gallon, this tube holds about 1.5 gallons. A few 1/16" holes are drilled in the tube, then its wrapped with Pond Underlayment and secure with polyester twine. Not pretty but you wont see it.
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    • I decided to make another vertical garden for herbs, I didn't want to hack up my other 20 gallon barrel for two reasons, one is that I use it for my fish tanks and when working on my pond, the other reason is if 'm not happy with the results I wasted a good holding tank. This will not have a wicking tube and I will see how often it needs watering before I make it a self watering garden.
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    • I was working on quite few projects this weekend and had time to mix my hydro fertilizer.
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    • The Marigold was moved upstairs, I want to see how it does with minimal light. I think it may have been getting too much light on the grow table.
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    I even had time to work on my NFT Rails and smoke a Prime Rib
     
    gary s likes this.
  20. Great job, I really like what you are doing, keep those pics coming  [​IMG]

    Gary
     

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