Well the massive harvests from the hydroponic garden will be ending soon. I haven’t been keeping up as much as I should and the plants have stopped sending up new blossoms, so it should all be wrapping up soon.
Recently all the basil came out. The earwigs tore through a lot of it but there were still enough untouched leaves to makeup about 4 cups of pesto. Considering that 50% of the basil was trashed that’s pretty good, I can’t eat food I know a bug was eating so anything with a hole in it was tossed into the composter.
All the plants were getting so many peppers that they were leaning all over the place. One of the drawbacks with Hydroponics is that the roots don’t provide an anchor anymore. I tried using zip ties to hold the root baskets down but they still had a tendency to lean over so I had to run some twine around the plants and tie it to the nearby grape fence to hold things up. Next time I’m building an overhead frame or bar that I can run wires down to the planter tube and then just clip the stems to the wires as they grow up.
Look at all the peppers!
Here’s one with the peppers still in and growing. Since the sprayers only hit one side all the roots prefer to grow there but the wicking action of the root mat actually pulls the solution over all the roots pretty well. However I would like to run a second watering rail down the otherside just to keep the nutrients in the planter cycling regularly. The power drain by the system is virtually non existent so even if I need another pump it will still be very economical.
The pepper section of the “normal garden”, not bad but the square footage is a bit larger and the output a bit smaller. Plus the water usage is significantly more, and in an arid climate like Utah water can get expensive for large deployments.
The normal garden looks good. I want to plant cucumbers in the hyroponics next year, but to do so I’ll need good supports like the angled cucumber racks in the center of the shot. Plus the vines are growing up to 12ft without signs of stopping, I was hoping for 6ft vertical with hydroponics but I may have to look at the possibility of them growing up then looping back down just to fit them in the space requirements I’m thinking of.
Full Hydroponics Flickr set here.