SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure

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

  1. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    And I thought I was being strange for enjoying the pepper seeds!! LOL 

    Beauty is in the eye, right?

    <Chuckles>
     
  2. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That looks awesome, I'm Jealous. I'm a but surprised you don't have a control bucket. How often do you water and do you replace the soil each year?

    Do you do anything from seed! I'm thinking of starting from seed and setting up some grow lights for 2016.
    • The only thing that I still have alive (not growing but alive) is some herbs, lettuce and carrots, although the carrots are still growing a tad.

    • The parsley has been great, I didn't realize how nice of a spice this is fresh, has a nice mellow pepper flavor.



     
    gary s likes this.
  3. Looks Good,     The only thing I have left, is Lettuce, carrots & green onions
     
  4. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Mmmmmm......... green onions!
     
  5. I agree, Love those green onions.  I'd be lost without onions and Tony's  they go in just about everything I cook !!

    Gary
     
  6. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Checking the garden again, I do still have some herbs going, I'm gonna have to cut these back and cover with a bed of leaves and hope they overwinter.

    I had luck with my Sage and Oregano by the back pond coming back this year , no luck with wintering over Rosemary and well have to see if the Thyme comes back.
    • Sage, Thyme and Rosemary



    Its crazy...It's still December and I'm anxious to start planting.

    I'm gonna setup a grow station in the basement to start some seedlings and try some Heirloom varieties this year.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2015
  7. jaxrmrjmr

    jaxrmrjmr Smoking Fanatic

    I do have a control bucket.  My float is in a small tote over near my hose bib.  My control bucket is closer to the actual plants so that when I add fertilizer to it the water doesn't have to wander down 50 ' of hose to get to the first plant.  I drilled a hole about 3" up from the bottom and this seems to work really well at letting the excess water escape when it rains a lot.

    I would like to get my system off of city water and use rain water.  A barrel or two that can hold a couple hundred gallons and let gravity do the work.  My system would be completely off the grid then.  Maybe I can get that done this year.

    Depending on how many plants, how big they are, and how heavily they feed - I usually put fertilizer (Master Blend) in the control bucket so that it's the equivalent of mixing up 2-3 gallons of solution every day or two.  I fertilize from the top with different things about every week while sometimes giving them a break by skipping a week - Texas Tomato Food is great stuff as well, extra epsom salt for peppers, extra calcium nitrate for green leafy stuff, etc.

    I start quite a bit from seed.  The wife won't give me that much room to do it inside, but I do what I can.  Here is the light I use:

    link

    It's a 4' foot grow light with 4 T5 bulbs.  It costs about $85 delivered and puts out a lot of light.  It is a basic model but it has worked great for me plus the 4 bulbs are included which saves you $40 right there!  They also have a 2' model for $20-$25 bucks less.

    My house is full of family right now, but I'll get started with my seeds in a few weeks. I'm giving big heirloom tomatoes a try for the first time this year as well.  I settled on Cherokee Purple and Brandywine.  We have lots of diseases and fungi that like to attack tomatoes down here, so I'll see how it goes.  I have had good luck with big beef here.

    Delicious looking roast there! Just put a 14 lbs packer brisket on the smoker - hot and fast to 170, cover and should be ready for supper this evening.
     
  8. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    • I had a few lettuces growing, a few were growing in the shut down Aquaponics planter and a couple sprouted from seed I had planted late in the season in the shut down Aquaponics rail NFT/Deep water culture hybrid system. I figured this would sort of be a trial, the plants are placed under one of my 2 bulb LED shop lights. The plants are in terracotta planters lined with a wicking material (pond underlayment) then placed in a steamer pan with some water and a bit of fertilizer. These will be moved to the grow table when completed, if they make it. I intend to do the indoor greens using the Kratky Method in 2016

     
    gary s likes this.
  9. Keep us posted,  I am very interested     Points

    Gary
     
  10. jaxrmrjmr

    jaxrmrjmr Smoking Fanatic

    You listing your plantings made me think about a tomato plant - Matt's wild cherry.  It is supposedly an old school breed from Mexico that some guy named Matt re-discovered on a visit to Mexico and then marketed.  Who knows?  Anyway, the fruit is about the size of a marble (the small ones we played with when we were kids) and they have an amazing tomato flavor.  Last year was the first year that I attempted to save seeds, but it was also the first time that I tried fermenting tomato seeds.  They may work, they may not.   I don't know yet.  I'll send you a few if you want to try them.

    It's been so warm down here that I may try and over winter some of my pepper plants outdoors.  We are still in the mid 80's and will be for the next week or so.  We normally have a few freezes in December which kills everything.  I have tomato plants that are still sending out suckers.  I can usually plant them in early March and cover them if there is a late freeze.  Heck, I'm 60 days from that so I'm thinking of just rooting the suckers and having some good sized plants come March.  I love learning new things and trying different stuff.

    With regard to the soil in the buckets...  I have no clue.  What I have done up to this point is dump it into a trashcan when a plant is finished.  I chop it up with a shovel, add bone meal and lime, mix it with some new peat moss and vermiculite, then put it back in a bucket and add some worms.  I am lucky that I can dig worms from my back yard.  I think they eat up the old roots and leave good poop behind.
     
  11. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sure I'll try them!

    90% finished my Grow Station, just waiting on a few more parts. Blew out an LED strip and ordered another one.

    Gonna plant some spinach and Black Seeded Simpson tonight for a trial run, making a wicking planter with a soilless potting mix.

    My seedlings will most likely be started in Rockwool beings that for the most part will be dropped in my Deep water culture and Aquaponics setup. I wil be doing some in soil as well.

    Still playing around with these survivors, got them on 16 hours of light.


    I also tried pruning last year with great success.



    Any ideas why my Black Beauties turned yellow? this happened with my soil plants and deep water culture plants.


    They were looking good until we got a lot of heat high 90's

     
  12. jaxrmrjmr

    jaxrmrjmr Smoking Fanatic

    I wish I had the space for a grow station.  My little area is a corner of computer room.  It works, but I would like to have a table size deal like you.

    I have had really good results with rockwool, but I am trying a 60-40 mix of peat moss and vermiculite this year.  I hope it works or I will be weeks behind.  It is the same stuff that I use in my buckets, so I'm hoping it works.  I'm sort of in that soilless but not quite totally area.  The plants seem to like it but I'm not sure how to treat it.  I put some worms in my buckets this fall so I'll see if they are still living when I dump them out this month. 

    That's a nice set of tomatoes!  Looks like brussel sprouts growing like that.

    I have no idea what causes the yellow eggplant.  Late in the season I would have one or two do that with 8-10 growing on the same bush.  The rest would turn out normal.  Sometimes they would drop early.  Maybe poor pollination?  I don't think it's the temps because mine made all summer with no problem (90's from late June through August).  It happened to me late Aug going into September.  I have only had it happen on older plants.

    PM me an address and I'll send you some Matt's Wild Cherry tomato seeds.  Like I said, I'm not sure they will germinate as this is my first time trying to save any.  I planted mine tonight.  I'll throw some Datil Pepper seeds in too if you want.
     
  13. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Use height for your corner, if you can get e few shelves in there you could do a few layers of 18" wide fluorescents.

    For your rockwool, Do you just drop the rockwool direct in your system? what do you do with the rockwool at the end of the season, recycle into compost to amend soil or trash it?

    Goodluck on the seedlings!

    Here's something I threw together a couple days ago you might be interested in.

    Wicking Planter


    I threw together a wicking planter for a trial run of some winter crops, if this works out I'll make 2 more and grow some greens and radishes in the winter.
    .
    I picked up 2 Sterilite containers at Home depot for under $5.00 each, they will fit inside each other, one will be the wicking container and one will be the reservoir. I really wanted to have an opaque reservoir but couldnt find the right size containers in containers like the the Rubbermaid or Husky containers, if there is an issue, I'll wrap in some reflectix.

    • I used a beverage container with the bottom cut out for watering

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    • Using a sharpie, the holes to be made are marked.

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    • Holes are made with a soldering iron, these Sterilite containers crack when too easily to use a drill.

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    • Wicking cotton is placed in the bottom of the reservoir.

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    • Some cotton is pulled through the holes to help with wicking.

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    • A mix of pre-moistened Sphagnum peat moss, vermiculite and perlite are added with some osmocote... I really should add some compost, maybe next time. this mix is tamped down a bit tight.

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    • Next layer is added and this is packed down also but not a s tightly as the wicking layer.

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    • Filling the reservoir.


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    • Seeds are planted, Spinach, Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce, some radishes and 1 marigold (testing the seeds).


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    • Some more water is added.


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    • Covered in plastic wrap.


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    • Lid is placed on the container.




    • Each morning the top is sprayed with some water. After the 2nd day (36 hours) the top is removed as the seedlings have already emerged.

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    Ferts will be added once their true leaves show, I'm gonna use my 20-18-38
     
  14. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    OOPS!!

    Turned off pump this morning!



    Oregano and Sage-sicles

    Dropped down to 9°F, Hell it was 70° Christmas Day
    • Carrots were frozen in the soil, had to use hot water to remove them, 
    • cilantro  PARSLEY, was seriously wilted, probably dead but I brought it in anyway cut it back and tossed it under the grow light.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2016
  15. jaxrmrjmr

    jaxrmrjmr Smoking Fanatic

    Ouch.  We have been in the 60-70s during the day and usually in the 40-50s at night.  A few cooler snaps of 30s at night.  Yeah, we were in the low 70s Christmas Day as well.

    I pulled my tomato plants today...  I cut off many suckers and stuck them in water to get them to root trying to get a head start on the season.  It's been so warm down here that they were still blooming and even setting tomatoes!
     
  16. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

     Here's my Micro Green grow, start to finish.

    December 31st, 2015

    I Picked up a bag of Black Oil Sunflower seeds at Home Depot for my first run on Micro Greens using my new Indoor Grow Light Setup.
    This is all experimental to see if this is worth the trouble, the Grow Light was made to start Heirloom Seedlings but I wanted to utilize the table throughout the winter for other things.


    This is a nice project if you're Jonesing to do some gardening during the winter in colder climates.

    • December 31st, 2015 (Day 1) First thing was to make a sprouting jar...no explanation needed here!

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    • December 31st - January 1st, 2015 (DAY 1-2) Seeds are rinsed and drain with tepid water twice a day.

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    • December 31st - January 1st, 2015 (DAY 1-2) The seeds are then placed in a bowl on an angle and covered after each rinsing.

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    • January 2, 2016 (Day 3) After the seeds show 1/8-1/4" sprouts the soil is mixed, equal parts of Vermiculite, Perlite and Sphagnum Peat moss and soil is moistened.

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    • Sprouts are added evenly to the soil.

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    • Seeds are then covered and stored in a dark place until day 10.
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    • January 3rd, 2016 (Day 4)

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    • January 4th, 2016 (Day 5)
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    • January 5th, 2016 (Day 6)
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    • January 6th, 2016 (Day 7)
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    • January 7th, 2016 (Day 8)
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    • January 8th, 2016 (Day 9)
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    • January 9th, 2016 (Day 10) The greens are uncovered and put under the grow light for 24 hours. 
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    • January 10th, 2016 (Day 11) Greens are cut at base with scissors and stored in the refrigerator.
    • Burger with Smoked provolone, Jalapenos, Onions, Romaine and Micro Greens.

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    • January 11th, 2016, (Day 12) Salmon Salad with Alfalfa sprouts, Romaine and Sunflower Micro Greens.

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    The micro greens are almost done, I have been using them in my morning smoothies with the alfalfa sprouts.

    They were a bit of work removing the pods from the tops but worth it.  
     
  17. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Here's my Sprouts grow, start to finish.

    I have been wanting to grow sprouts for a long time as it seems like the easiest, least labor intensive thing one can do to grow a nutritious food indoors.

    • January 5th, 2016 (Day 1) 4:00pm, soak seeds overnight. I started with a tablespoon of Alfalfa sprouts for my first run.

     
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    • January 6th, 2016  (Day 2) 7:00am, dump out water and rinse seeds, place in a bowl or container at an angle and cover.
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    • January 7th, 2016  (Day 3) 7:00am, Ooops! I forgot to rinse in the morning, they seemed dry, hopefully they did not dry out.

    • January 7th, 2016  (Day 3) 5:00pm, fill with water, swish and pour off water, place in a bowl or container at an angle.

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    • January 8th, 2016  (Day 4) 7:00am, fill with water, swish and pour off water, place in a bowl or container at an angle.
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    • January 8th, 2016 (Day 4) 5:00pm, fill with water, swish and pour off water, place in a bowl or container at an angle under a light for several hours, the idea is to get a little green on the leaves, I am told that this activates enzymes in the plant.
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    • January 9th, 2016  (Day 5) sprouts are placed in the refrigerator right in the jar and used as needed for burgers, salads and smoothies to name a few. You can rinse the refrigerated sprouts every other day to keep sprouts moist.

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  18. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I haven't forgot about posting my grow light (indoor grow table) build after I still need to take a few more pictures and edit the pictures.
     
  19. jaxrmrjmr

    jaxrmrjmr Smoking Fanatic

    So, the idea of sprouts is to let them germinate, grow some length, and then put a little light to them?  Sounds like a plan.
     
  20. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Not really needed for sprouts but definitely for the micro greens.
    Best time to harvest micro greens is after your first set of trur leaves. Yhe first sey of leaves are cotyledons.
    This is when the magic happens

    I've been growing these like crazy. Started a batch of bean sprouts and more sunflower micro greens.
    Just had a smoothie from the indoor garden. Will post that Monday
     

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