Saturday, April 17, 2010

Floats Are Coming

Went out to the hydroponics design system center (Home Depot in this case) and hunted up some nice thick foam to use as floats in the mini-float system. A sheet of 2" maybe 3" thick foam 4'x 8' went for $27 which is about twice what I need but it will be fun cutting it up, popping some holes in it and getting it all ready for the roll out. Meanwhile the little plants started popping out of their seed shells yesterday and are perking up. I mixed up some 1/4 strength nutrient and poured it into the container with the rockwool cubes so the little pants will had some source of nutrition since the rockwool cubes and ordinary tap water don't provide much. The French Dona's are way out ahead of the Abraham Lincolns and Atkinsons in terms of germination. I've always liked the Donas, but had a hard time finding seeds for them last year. I'll try to get around to taking some pictures for the next posting.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Summer 2010 Is Coming ...

Well I finally got off my can and soaked some rockwool cubes and stuck some tomato seeds in them. I've been incredibly lazy. I just pulled a sheet of rockwool cubes out of my stash in the basement and put them in those little plastic starter trays and soaked them with water, no nutrient. Then I put three kinds of seeds in the six-cell rows, four rows each: 1) Abraham Lincolns, 2) Atkinsons, and 3) Donas. All the seeds were leftovers from last year so I hope I don't have a germination problem. Well that was a tough ten minutes work, now to relax.

The other adventure was what should the system design be? I bought a little hard plastic kiddie pool about four feet in diameter for $10 and I'm planning to make it into a baby float system with a central waterfall for oxygenation. This is sort of a follow on from last years largely failed wick systems. The waterfall should address at least one problem. Float systems don't like heavy plants however since the floats tend to sink then so I'm not sure what I'm going to do about that since I really only want to grow tomatoes. I think maybe just radiate the plants out to stakes (that might be just the ticket).