My summer systems

grizzmanJune 10, 2009

This years systems.

A duplicate of last year:

with 4 vinson watts tomato plants originally. two died during the first week

my new Enf system:

18 plants total. I believe all but three are peppers. those others are eggplant.

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how do you keep the plants stable? Do you later add cages or some type of trellising?

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 2:14PM
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for the tomatoes, I will later add cages as needed. I'm trying the supercropping freemangreens mentioned a few months ago to see if I can keep them small enough not to need cages. If that doesn't work, I'll stick 3 10' long pieces of 1/2" aluminum conduit into the ground and run stainless wire as required to hold it all together. That's what I did last year and it worked fine.
I wasn't anticipating anything for the peppers. the ones I grew last year mostly stood on their own. (except for one) If it becomes a problem though I will probably run a horizontal piece between the plant run to tie them to.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 3:38PM
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I'm trying the super cropping, too, after Freeman got me interested. That is, if you are talking about removing most the leaves and such. In fact, I've been meaning to hunt down that thread and post my results as I'm admittedly very surprised.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 9:54AM
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When I say supercropping I'm referring to where you squeeze and twist the stem just below each set of new leaves to promote a stronger stem and smaller node length.
Though I do intend to crop the leaves below the fruit as well as limit the number of suckers I'll allow to develop.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 11:08AM
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Oh. I was way wrong, then. I've never done that and I must have missed that post. I'll have to look into that one.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 1:52PM
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You don't have any issues with rez temps?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 3:42PM
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not yet. but its only been running for 1.1/2 weeks now. though we have been having temps in the uppers 80's to low 90's. I didn't have any issues last year with the trash can. I may eventually wrap the EnF rez with insulation if I think its getting too hot. And I'll probably put some alum. foil on the runs to lessen algae growth.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 4:22PM
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two weeks in the system was Saturday.



Anybody know how an eggplants feeds compared to tomatoes or peppers?

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 5:41PM
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Was just curious as to what you are using for nutes in your set up. I was thinking the warm nute temps would be a problem?
what are your night temps?
For my peppers I am using only pure blend bloom from start to finish. I'm in about week four, plants are big and green but seem a little on the short side?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 12:29AM
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currently our night temps range from about 65°F-75°F, with daytime temps in the mid 80°'s to 90°. the weatherman says we're looking at mid 90°'s by the end of the week though.
The batch I mixed up sunday is 0.6g/L of soluble hydroponic solution (from southAG), 0.4g/L of Calcium Nitrate, 0.2g/L of Epsom salts, and 0.3g/L if potassium carbonate.
The potassium carbonate is way too much however. I added too much when buffering my solution and thus had to add a lot of citric acid back to it to bring the pH to 5.9.
Next batch I will probably cut the potassium carbonate back to more like 0.1g/L or less.
I will let y'all know how the buffering goes.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 7:23AM
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Updates for July 1st.
My two tomato plants:

the tallest is about 14", the other 9"
solution added 29 June
Conc: 760ppm
EC: 1.4
pH: 6.0 buffered

My Pepper runs:

solution added 1 July
Conc: 740ppm
EC: 1.2
pH: 5.9 buffered

My largest pepper:

My first fruit:

Notice the spent flower behind the fruit. That was officially my second set. I saw it this AM

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 8:01AM
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davemichigan(zone 6a (SE Michigan))

This is so cool! Thanks for sharing, Grizzman.

I have a question. On the tomotoes, what are the brick for? Are they just to hold down the cover against the wind?

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 2:19PM
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Thanks Dave.
The bricks are for weight. To get a waterproof seal between the lid and the can, you have to use weatherstipping. And the only way to make that seal waterproof is to apply some weight to compress the weatherstripping just a bit.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 3:23PM
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I know its kinda quick.
I snapped some shots on the cellphone to show a friend at work and thought I'd post a few here too.

The big one is about 2 feet tall and almost ready for another support.

The pepper runs are looking good. the yellow is gone from the leaves and everything is growing. tallest peppers and the eggplant are about 18". the small ones (not the runts) are about 10"

This shot is of one of the pepper plants showing the numerous fruit sets.

hope y'all enjoy!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2009 at 4:51PM
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the Tomatoes are going well. I'd say the largest is about 2 feet now. There are probably 10 tomatoes currently on the vine.

The peppers are all doing well too. as are the Eggplant.
you can see the middle row is still smaller, but it's growing and fruiting too.

In order of shown:
some cheery peppers from the first row
some true heart peppers from the first row.
some peppers from the second row. cherries I believe.
some true heart peppers from the third row.

Hope y'all enjoy!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 9:52AM
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Storms knocked one of my pepper runs off the system last night. my journey to work was waylaid as I improvised this NFT system this morning so the plants wouldn't die.

Interestingly the plants didn't fall over. The entire run was pulled down. I suppose a strong wind grabbed the plants and sent things flying. Luckily, the way the system is designed, I can easily add or remove runs from the main reservoir without causing too much damage.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 9:43AM
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Just a brief update:
My first cherry peppers were finally fully ripe today.

my first pepper set was 1 July. initial ripening was 2 Aug (32days) with full ripeness today(37 days)

A smallish true heart started to turn 4 Aug, but the others (including the larger ones) have not.

Tomatoes are huge, but still green.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2009 at 8:39AM
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I'm very impressed, grizzman. Awesome job.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2009 at 12:21PM
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Here are the second and third harvested this year. they weighed 9 ozs and 1lb 3.3/8oz, respectively.

This shot is to show a scale of the big one

things are beginning to wind down now (for me at least). I've been very negligent of the plants. it's been 3 weeks since I changed solution. the fruits still look good, but the leaves are beginning to suffer. We had another accident on the Enf system so now everything if NFT, which I kind of prefer. And the bugs are starting to come out: stink bugs, caterpillars, and horned caterpillars. Anywho, here's a sneak preview of my next harvest. these were rooted from volunteers in the cuke patch. I'm excited to see what the fruit looks like.

I'll post more as I get to it.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2009 at 9:00AM
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