Well weather doesn’t always want to play fair. We were past the final freeze of the spring when I planted the hydroponic system and temperatures were in the 60’s. Then the increasingly unstable weather decided to get cold again and for 2 weeks we had overcast late winter weather.
It never got down to freezing but it did get within a few degrees of freezing; now I know that Beans and Cucumbers hate the cold. The beans (nearly) died and I haven’t found replacements. Luckily cucumbers are plentiful so I just dumped the dead ones, rinsed out their net pots and put in new cucumbers.
The peppers grew slow but they showed new roots growing out of the pots so I knew they would pull through. The Snow peas lived up to their name and did really well in the cold weather and are now in need of support they’ve gotten so big.
I’ve been debating how to create an overhead support for the plants. I’m trying to emulate being on an apartment balcony where they is usually another overhead balcony or cover. In that case it’s a simple matter of screwing a few heavy duty hooks into the above floor and suspending a pole three inches from the top using wire or something.
The south side of the house has no overhead and I don’t want to punch holes in the siding. I need to create something that stands on the ground, is about 7.5 feet tall, will support the weight of the plants hanging off it, and won’t tip or blow over in the wind.
First the plants as they are now. As you can see the peas are looking for something to grow up. The peppers are getting bigger with a blossom here and there (I’m actually clipping them off since I want all energy to grow large plants right now). The 2 new cucumbers are about 7 days old, have gotten over the shock of transplanting out of soil and are starting to get bigger. The poor bean plant that seemed dead actually struggled out a few new leaves but its so far gone I don’t want to wait for it to come back, it will be replaced in a few days.
As it’s been about 3 or so weeks since the last nutrient solution went in. It probably doesn’t need it but since over half of the system got overhauled with new plants I decided to refresh it by dumping the old and mixing a new batch. I found that if I dissolve the solid nutrients by hand in about 4 cups of water then filling up the rest of the water it get much more of it to dissolve (I actually learned it from mixing cornstarch in to foods while cooking).
You can see all the Ph balancing stuff still out from getting the nutrient ready.
I decided an A-Frame setup holding a rod of electrical conduit above the plants is the way to go. It’s very stable front to back but from side to side a baby could knock it over. I had some ideas to stabilize it but figured they could wait till next weekend.
A very costly mistake.