I didn’t see one started yet so figured this should work.
This year we decided to change things up and try a new seed starting setup. I’ve been curious about hydroponics so I figured I would try something out and see how it works. The frame is one of the inexpensive four shelf deals that come with a plastic cover. No sure who we got it from but likely Christmas Tree City or Harbor freight.
for lighting we tried out these LEDs and we use three per shelf. We got two sets so we could use all four shelves
To see if it works, a couple of months ago we started some Orange Hat tomatoes, which are a dwarf variety that can live in small containers indoors or in a planter. We also started alot of greens. Stuff like Bok Choi, Siamese Stir Fry Blends, Orach, and a few other lettuces. The logic was that if it didn’t work, oh well, but if it did, we could just keep trimming the greens and keep making salads.
So a couple of months in (started in mid/late January) and the results have been promising. The tomatoes were taken out a couple of weeks ago, full of blooms and we currently have fruit on them.
The greens have been annoying successful as we cannot eat enough salads. What I have been really amazed by is the root growth. It seems to be lower maintenance since we have a much larger water reservoir so we fill it up less.
Will add to this thread as the season progresses. Plan is to start a bunch of seeds next week.
Very cool @fnfalguy. Both my girl and I enjoy the idea of growing our own food. We had a great little garden at our last apartment, even though we had to deal with crazy amounts of tomato horned worms and deer, we managed a good amount of veggies. I think this sort of set up would be awesome for us now, but our one cat would be eating everything, lol.
what are you using for plant food ?? i used General hydroponics 3 part stuff when learning it .. dang peppers can take 3500 ppm of nutrients and turn into trees .. keep the water ph right is a key too ..
grew Tomatoes , Strawberries ( you have to be the bee for them ) , peppers and Mint , Catnip , Lavender and other ornamental plants .. all hydro
and in the house spare room ..
i was using Florescent lights and picking what color temp scale to use .. had 2 in the 10K scale .. got from fish store .. and 2 HID lights .. 350 watt and 1k watt .. and a few other florescent ones .. .. never got into the led ones . they were just coming out back then ..
PS .. the second photo .. the plant in the back is not weed LOL .. it a Texas Star Hibiscus .. good plant to fool the neighbors LOL ..
That’s a serious setup there Acer, looks like you could feed quite a few folks and keep a bunch of plants happy.
Since I see none of the links I tried to get cute with worked, I just posted them below. The fertilizer is by Urban Farm, for tomatoes, but seeming works for other stuff. The lights are supposedly 24W LED, 800W equivalent.
wish i could find the series of photos i took on the pepper plants .. every day you could see the growth .. started them in the house , they would flower and then the flowers would fall off.. nothing .. searching and asking questions .. pepper will drop flowers if the temp is to high .. so had to move the
hydroponic unit outside.. and then keep the water cool at the same time .. buried a 25 gal ( i think, the biggest the store here sold at the time ) tote in the ground .. and set the unit back up ..
3 sweet peppers on the left and 5 habenero peppers
I tried to grow little pots of herbs a few summers ago. They sprouted but never did much after that. I would love to grow tomatoes this year but I doubt I could get them to grow, and if I did the deer would surely get them. But there is nothing like a homegrown tomato in the summer!
I don’t start any seed till April 1
Granted I push them at 80° in a greenhouse after they are up. I like to transplant outside may 10 for the first planting. I want my transplants 6-8” tall. For me shorter is better tall plants take a beating when they’re not used to sun and wind.
I think that’s the biggest mistake people make. Aside from not reading the variety disease resistance list
Going to try to push my luck with some early beets, carrots and greens. I’ve done it before on mild years so what the heck seeds are cheap enough add full sun and some 6mill plastic. Just need to toss in more 4yr old cow crap and gtg.
Me and my father plan on making a bunch of these. His raised beds need to be rebuilt. My new house hasn't really established a garden yet. I dont if I will do anything other than railing planters this year.
Yesterday we got our first 60 seeds planted inside. Some peppers, eggplant, ground cherries and litchi tomatoes (a new one for us)
Build a make shift cold frame for one of the 4x4 raised beds to transplant the greens from inside the house to give them some prayer for survival.
@MilesTeg That looks interesting and will be curious to see how it is to build. We replaced three of our beds with elevated raised beds to make things a bit easier and now my wife really likes those so we will be replacing the others as they rot out.
Nature is amazing, in one of the photos is spinach that made it through the winter outdoors.
I like the idea of concrete hopefully they will last a very long time. I also like the modularity. You can start with 1 course high then build your soil up to another coarse as you go. I will try to post a build thread as we go. Everything is on hold until syrup season is done.
I just potted about 30 "Big Jim"chili pepper plants that are germinated and sprouting. There are a couple dozen more a week or so behind the first batch. I usually have about 3 dozen plants in the garden. We roast the peppers and freeze them. Nothing like fresh roasted chilis on a hot tortilla with some shredded cheese melted under the broiler!
There’s still plenty of time to plant fruit trees. The sooner you decide to , the better.. even though there are some varieties that are self pollinating the better producers need a pollinator and will typically take a minimum of 4-6 years for your first crop. ( apples, pears, peaches and such)