Thursday, July 30, 2009

What It Looks Like Today: July 30, 2009

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Here we are July 30, 2009 and we've got blossoms and some tiny tomatoes developing. Of course that's what you expect when you started late from seeds on May 21. The rundown of the systems are 1) Deck system in pots with potting soil being fed Miracle Gro -- three plants doing very well, 2) four plants in rather bad clay soil with plastic cups with the bottom cut out so they can be watered and being fed Miracle Gro, and 3) three tubs, each with five plants creating a jungle on an elevated platform in the back yard. These are all hydroponic wick systems, also doing well but pretty much unsupported so just sprawling all over the place. There are a bunch of other tomato plants in pots on one side of the platform on the ground which are the overflow plants that I didn't have the heart to just throw away -- so they're doing their best in pots with just potting soil and water. I may give them some Miracle Gro too.

The nutrient strength in the wick systems is 20-24 CF measured with a Dipstick meter. I took a couple pictures of roots as they grow out of the bottom of the cups down into the nutrient solution so you have an idea of how that works. About all I have to do is go out, water, check the nutrient strength and add a little concentrate to bring it up to the target nutrient concentration. I do that every couple of days. When the tomatoes start getting bigger I'll take some more pictures. The next interesting part is harvesting tomatoes and measuring them. I have this great little electronic scale that reads out very accurately, which I use to make all kinds of weight measurements.


Red Icculus said...

Didn't you know Miracle Grow is pretty much the devil? Even cheap Maxi-Grow from General Hydroponics will beat the heck out of it. What nutrient line did you decide on for your awesome wick planters?

Ray Schneider said...

The Miracle Grow was just for the plants that were in dirt or in pots on the deck. I use Total Gro's Steiner solution for the wick systems and it's served extremely well for many years. It's a great two part nutrient.

The wick planters were not very awesome, but the plants are doing well. Much too crowded. But they're all flowering like made and setting fruit.