Cleaning out one DW system, and planting more greens.

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pepperhead212
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Cleaning out one DW system, and planting more greens.

#1

Post: # 11667Unread post pepperhead212
Sat Feb 22, 2020 9:34 pm

I decided to harvest my mizuna for the last time, even though it would have kept producing for several months! This is the most productive green I've grown in hydro, and I usually end up pulling it out, only because all of the other plants are gone, and I can't plant any more, as this will choke small plants out. Here's the two plants, still growing since planted from seed in the first days of October. I got the first harvest a month later, and they haven't slowed down! The leaf lettuces and bok choy have been gone for a few weeks, and I should have done this sooner.
ImageMizuna, before removing from the hydro by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Here is a photo showing the growth areas of the two plants, after I sliced them off. The one in the upper right was one plant, while all the rest was the other plant, growing about 80% of it! I just harvest the outer stems, and it keeps growing from that central core, but also sending out more areas, that look like another plant starting.
ImageMizuna cut off, showing all of the growth sectors, most of one plant. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

ImageOverflowing 8 qt bowl, with the mizuna from the hydro. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

The deepwater system didn't really need much cleaning inside - the pump was still going well, and there was little sediment. I just had to pull the old roots off the baskets, flipped the styrofoam over, and put new filling in the baskets. Then I got some of the plants I started for outside - 3 types of lettuce, a bok choy, and 3 red streaked mizuna. I'm hoping that this type of mizuna isn't quite as vigorous as the regular, which chokes out other plants, if I don't harvest every few days.

ImageNew plants for the cleaned up hydro setup. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Image3 lettuces, a bok choy, and 3 red streaked mizuna in the middle, 2-22-20 by pepperhead212, on Flickr
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Woodbury, NJ zone 6B-7

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pepperhead212
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Re: Cleaning out one DW system, and planting more greens.

#2

Post: # 12546Unread post pepperhead212
Sun Mar 01, 2020 5:33 pm

Here are those plants just 8 days after transplanting. The bok choy, in the upper left died, but it was really bad looking, which is why I tried it in this. Everything else is going crazy!
ImageHydroponics 3-1, just 8 days after planting the transplants. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

That "saved" leaf lettuce in the upper right, looks a lot like the red fire (corrected - Red Dragon was the red napa I planted), but it is growing faster. I found that saved variety in a "Mesclun Mix" several years ago, from Renées seeds, and it was the most heat resistant leaf lettuce, I had ever grown! Of course, I had no idea what it was, so I had to start saving seeds. I keep trying similar, slightly red varieties (I'll see if Red Fire works out), to see if any are identical, but so far, none have produced as far into the summer, when outside. Does great inside, too, in hydro.

This is the drawback to buying mixes - you get something good, and you don't know what it is! I had this happen with an Asian greens mix from Baker Creek years ago - they didn't even know what it was when I called them - just said that a lot of things went into the mix that they didn't sell individually. I eventually found out it was Shogoin, which I now see in a lot of catalogs.
Last edited by pepperhead212 on Sun Mar 08, 2020 9:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Woodbury, NJ zone 6B-7

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pepperhead212
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Re: Cleaning out one DW system, and planting more greens.

#3

Post: # 13271Unread post pepperhead212
Sun Mar 08, 2020 9:14 pm

And here are some photos I took yesterday, one showing the incredible growth of the lettuce and mizuna in just 6 days!
ImageHydroponics after another 6 days 3-7-20 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

These others show 6 month old parsley and basil, still growing very well. In late April I'll take some cuttings from the best basil plant, and clone them, to plant in the Jr Earthbox.
ImageParsley, in hydroponics 3-8-20 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Image6 months old Serrata basil, in hydro 3-8-20 by pepperhead212, on Flickr
Woodbury, NJ zone 6B-7

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Rajun Gardener
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Re: Cleaning out one DW system, and planting more greens.

#4

Post: # 13272Unread post Rajun Gardener
Sun Mar 08, 2020 10:25 pm

I just fired up the greenhouse today and I gotta get some Kratky going. Those look awesome.
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Zone: 9A
Climate: Hot and Humid
Avg annual rainfall: 60.48"

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pepperhead212
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Re: Cleaning out one DW system, and planting more greens.

#5

Post: # 13823Unread post pepperhead212
Sat Mar 14, 2020 1:34 pm

Here's that lettuce just another 6 days later - about 3 weeks after transplant. I'll definitely have a salad with it later! The largest is Red Fire, which is the closest I have found to that unknown saved variety. The smallest - Avenue - is supposed to be very heat resistant, and I'll find out in the outside plants.
ImageHydroponics lettuce and mizuna, 3-13-20 by pepperhead212, on Flickr
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Woodbury, NJ zone 6B-7

rdback
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Re: Cleaning out one DW system, and planting more greens.

#6

Post: # 14012Unread post rdback
Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:56 am

Excellent, and tasty, results.

DWC rocks. What nutrients do you use? How do you fill the reservoir - manually or do you have a nutrient tank/float value thingie? How often? What about lighting?

Curious minds wanna know lol.
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pepperhead212
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Re: Cleaning out one DW system, and planting more greens.

#7

Post: # 14046Unread post pepperhead212
Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:39 pm

@rdback the first nutrient mix I used was the one part Maxigro powder, and I used up the end of that in my herb tub this year. A few years ago I got a bunch of nutrients when a place went out of business - Foliage Pro, a one part liquid, and Tri-Flex, a two part liquid, which is what I used in the greens tub. I also add some silica, and some Karma, which has some humic and folic acids. I just fill them with a hose from my deep sink, when they start getting a little low. Another thing I use, which is very useful, is Hygrozyme, which is an organic compound, which helps dissolve the dead roots and the like, basically adding more nutrients to the water. The guy at the local store was always giving me free samples of things, and this was one, and I noticed the benefits immediately. Little is needed - I just finished the first half liter container of it, that I got several years ago, and got my second one, halfway through this season.

As for the nutrient level, I have one of those conductivity meters, to get the level right, to start out (I shoot for around 22 CF, to start, and around 18 CF, later on), and amazingly, it seldom needs topped off! Even when those things are growing like crazy, the level barely drops. I just add a little bit of that Foliage Pro, to bring it back up every couple of months.

Another thing I put in these is a piece of mosquito dunk, to keep out fungus gnats. I learned about those the hard way, the first year!

The lighting is four 4' bulbs, two 5,000k T8 bulbs in the middle, one 6,500k T5, and another, newer one, since one T5 fixture bit the dust - an LED, 5,000k, with 5,000 lumens, though it seems slightly brighter than the T5, which is rated slightly higher. I have them on a timer, for 14 hrs a day. I would need more, if I was growing flowering vegetables, but it's plenty for greens and herbs.
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Woodbury, NJ zone 6B-7

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