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Monday, October 29, 2012

2012 fall greenhouse

The rest of the pictures are from our greenhouse!  I’ve been harvesting radishes and they grow quick.  I just put them in a plastic container with holes in the bottom for drainage.

Here is some of our floating leaf lettuce.  When doing these, we just have a nutrient reservoir below Styrofoam.  The cups are 2” so Michael made 2” holes and they are 2” a part.  The plastic container is just a dishpan. We also got some air rocks that you use in an aquarium to oxygenize the air.

The larger lettuce on the right is loose head varieties.  Since they larger, they are 6”  a part. The plastic container is one that would fit under the bed.  I painted it black because of light issues.  Again, the nutrient reservoir is below. 

We also got a 2” PVC pipe and cut about 40  two inch holes in it and placed some lettuce to grow there.  This part of our greenhouse has four PCV pipes that have a pump and then drain into a 15 galloon plastic container.  We have not done lettuce this way in the past  but wanted to see how it compared with the other way we do it.  We do put in broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc.  Those pipes are 3” wide. Michael just cut them down but we have decided we would rather have 3” holes a foot apart and will do that in the future.

For the grow cups, I like to use newspaper cups and some soil. The soil helps keep the roots damp in case something goes wrong with either electricity loss or nutrient loss.  I like the mesh pots to put the newspaper pots into to hold them in place.  The roots grow right through the newspaper and the holes in the pots.  The newspaper also acts as a wick to pull up the water and nutrients.  For the lettuce, we have used bathroom size plastic cups and cut with a hole in the bottom and holes around the sides but I think the roots go out easier with the newspaper and mesh.  In fact, you will see roots a foot long!

Here are our greenhouse tomato plants.  We started these August first and they are setting fruit and are about four feet. They are just in pots and about once a week when I redo the nutrient reservoir, I will use those nutrients to water the tomatoes otherwise I water daily.  I also have a couple of pepper plants that I started as new plants. 

We use technaflora fertilizer.  They have three main components, boost,  grow and then when it’s setting fruit you use bloom instead of the grow. It is an organic fertilizer and I like it.  It stays fairly stable in measuring the parts per million, unless it is hot and then I may have to add water.  One gallon will last a long time.  I do use a water meter to measure how much parts per million it has and try to keep it at about 500.  I am enclosing you a handout on mixing but find it doesn’t use as much as it calls for to make it at 500.  I mix in a 5 gallon bucket and use 2 T of boost and then 1 T of grow and mix that and then add about 2 ½ gallons more to get it to 500.

I will also be putting herbs in the greenhouse.  Right now they are in pots on our deck closer to the kitchen.  We have tried to garden most of the year and in January we will start early crops to put out the end of February and later start spring plants.  We pretty much eat something from our garden almost daily.

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