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Watermelon Dilemma - Bucket Size.

Posted by bbrush 10 (My Page) on
Tue, Jul 6, 10 at 5:25

Hey, I got given some pretty run down watermelon seedlings a few weeks back, really thought they were on their last legs. Anyway I was building a flood and drain bucket system for a winter crop I have planned and I though I would put the watermelon plants in this system to test it out.

As I didn't have much hope for the watermelons I wasn't concerned about the bucket size, now the watermelons are going great guns and each have about 3 melons per plant. Has anyone grown hydroponic watermelon in buckets before? Am I just wasting my time growing them in these small buckets? I read soil gardeners suggest half wine barrels and similar size containers, is there a container size scale from hydroponics to soil? suggestions?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Watermelon Dilemma - Bucket Size.

How many gallons are the buckets?
Is there just one plant per bucket?


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RE: Watermelon Dilemma - Bucket Size.

About 3 gallons, 1 plant per bucket.


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RE: Watermelon Dilemma - Bucket Size.

I expect your bucket will hold all the roots. You may need to increase your flood frequency because the roots and hydroton will likely take up the bulk of volume in the buckets.
how often are you watering now? are you having problems with wilting?


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RE: Watermelon Dilemma - Bucket Size.

There is a simple equation with ranking plants (either smaller or bigger fruit size), as generally they expand their roots according to the expansion of the branches to insure nutrient uptake and evapo-transpirtation. Then again, there is a coefficient called shot versus root size which depends mostly on balanced/rich nutrition and best uptake.

In practise with limited bucket/root expansion size this means:
1. to insure sufficient irrigation/watering
2. disciplined and "radical" pruning (with a limited number of fruits only) and
3. balanced nutrients and best uptake conditions.

If you respect and follow these roles, you can indeed grow ranking plants with big fruit size successfully with limited root space (bucket size).

Your plants look just fine and have already some (at least one) fruit settings if I am not mistaken, which is a good sign. I don't see any reason why you wouldn't be able to grow "some balls" to maturity although using a rather sub-optimal (in terms of bucket size) system. ;-)


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RE: Watermelon Dilemma - Bucket Size.

Hello bbrush,
Just to make things clear I have not grown watermelons in soil or hydro. Although the reasoning for the questions that I asked was that I knew the answers would help anyone who may have some advice. I don't know what growing medium you plan (forgive me), although I would need to agree with grizzman, that as the plants mature (and depending on heat/climate) watering cycles will probably need to be increased in that size container.

As I mentioned I have not grown watermelons, but I feel you should be able to get some good melons from those plants. Keep the root zone and nutrients cool. I think that's more important than the bucket size (from the pictures I saw).

P.S. Keep an eye on the drainage system, to make sure the root system does not clog the tubing, causing problems. That's what I call preventive maintenance, also it can tell you a lot about the design for future plants.


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RE: Watermelon Dilemma - Bucket Size.

Thanks people, grizzman 15 minutes every 2 hours during the heat of the day and decreasing to 15 minutes every 4 hours during the night, no problems with wilting at the moment.

Yeah homehydro thats gonna be a problem keeping it cool inside those buckets, think I am going to have to build a wooden structure to try and keep them out of direct sunlight or just drape shade cloth over them.

Lucus when I posted that there was 2 or 3 fruit per plant, now the one at the very end has 7! So yeah I gonna have a lot of balls :)


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RE: Watermelon Dilemma - Bucket Size.

In addition to keeping it out of direct light, I'm thinking of using something like carpet insulation/under-lament or bubble wrap as the actual insulation (as long as it's a closed cell material). Styrofoam would work great also except it wont bend in such small circles unless it's extremely thin. But it can easily be used for both the top (inside), and bottom (outside) of the buckets.


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RE: Watermelon Dilemma - Bucket Size.

Thanks homehydro, will look at getting some closed cell bubble wrap or carpet underlay although I am not sure they will sell it in this country, can't remember even seeing a carpet in my 6 years here, to hot.

I might as well use this thread to update the grow, was thinking of leaving only 2 or 3 melons on 2 plants and let the other two do as they please but I am not 100% sure of the varieties, either crimson sweet and Sugar Baby but I cant tell the difference. Next season I will run a little experiment.

Anyway they are growing very fast, in 3 days I have noticed all together 12 more fruit, all the bees on the island seem to be in my garden :D


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RE: Watermelon Dilemma - Bucket Size.

You may find some flexible insulation in home improvement stores as home insulation. Also they use some here in construction of brick walls of all things. Also you may find some usable stuff as packing supply's, either from moving company's, or from UPS, FED EX or any postal supply place. Hope that gives you some leads, I'm not familiar with that country.

P.S. That bee has a lot of pollen on his but.


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Rember also

Just make sure you wrap it tightly around the containers, especially on the edges, as to not allow any hot air in-between the layers, and containers to get the best insulating factor.


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RE: Watermelon Dilemma - Bucket Size.

I would not insulate anything with the buckets but just leave them as they are, let them open and breathe. In fact having evaporation and heat elimination let it's "natural" course. Root temperatures in buckets filled with moist media are much more to be compared with soil culture as with water culture in this context. The whole thing and the medium NEEDS to breathe!

I've been growing for some time and actually am growing in (even smaller sized) buckets, with both, E/F and dripping systems in tropical climate and extremely hot temperatures. It would not even cross my mind to close or isolate the buckets to actually have a reverse effect and prevent heat evacuation, evaporation and elimination.

Wrapping the buckets with a white cloth or similar for light reflection and covering the media (not airtight at all) with white foam instead of having a darker outside colour (buckets and media), that's what I'd do and recommend only. There is no such insulation that could prevent heat to slowly penetrate the buckets. The only thing that would happen, is that they would cool down slower when temperatures fall during cloudy moments and in the evening.

In case of doubt, you may always measure temperatures in the root zone with both variants ;-)


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RE: Watermelon Dilemma - Bucket Size.

I cant see how the roots can breathe through the sides and bottom of a solid plastic bucket, there is no where for air to pass through. So how can it possibly keep them from breathing any more than without warping it in insulation.

As for it having a reverse effect and prevent heat evacuation, well this is true except I didn't mention that an important factor is the nutrient solution should be cool in the first place. I didn't mention that because I thought it was common knowledge. If the nutrient solution is cool, the root zone would be cool, thus no need for heat evacuation. The goal is to keep the cool temps in.

So then heat penetration would be my concern as I mentioned. And yes the roots do need air, I was not intending to say that the top portion of the buckets should be air tight. I only meant that the top and bottom edges of the side insulation should be tight, in order to not allow warm air in-between the layers that were warped around the sides of the buckets. that would cancel out the the effectiveness of the insulation in the first place. As for the top of the buckets where the growing medium is, I wouldn't want that air tight. That I would just use a loose fitting piece of Styrofoam that (preferably) rests on top of the buckets. That is the only place the buckets can breathe from, and the only place that should not be air tight.

P.S. I would also agree that you can check the temp inside the buckets to see a difference, although it would be important to mention that the zone near the sides of the buckets is the important section to check temperature. The closer to the center of the growing medium you get the less temp change you would notice. Because the growing medium itself would be acting as insulation. But for me, in buckets as small as that I would want the entire root zone to be as cool as the center is. There will be lots of roots near the sides of the buckets.


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RE: Watermelon Dilemma - Bucket Size.

Is this a matter of expressing individual and theoretical speculation, or is it about practical experience, applications and testing? Does anyone (top shelf manufacturers included) insulate the buckets, growing beds or areas or whatever part with some E/F system, Dutch bucket system or similar? Or look at other systems like NFT, is there any part of the channels or even the evacuation or return areas that is insulated against "heat penetration" in any way or the other- or is it generously open? No there is no such thing as airtightness, insulation and closed circuits, for the simple reason that it would be worthless.

I anyway don't understand what this more recent "temperature and insulation mania trend" is all about. Yes heat is a concern and it has always mattered - but all these systems were running successfully for "decades", out- or indoors with all kind of temperatures, never using any sort of insulation. Why, because good ventilation, shade cloth and/or sprinkling makes the difference. Many thoughts of such "purely theoretical temperature improvements" based on insulation are just a theoretical construction in the heads of the beholders and not based on thermodynamics, experience, testing nor empirical experiments that would indicate or prove an actual and measurable improvement.

Seriously - until proof of real and demonstrable improvement with data worth the effort, I can only qualify such argumentation as some other pastime forum TALK.


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RE: Watermelon Dilemma - Bucket Size.

"Is this a matter of expressing individual and theoretical speculation, or is it about practical experience, applications and testing? Does anyone (top shelf manufacturers included) insulate the buckets, growing beds or areas or whatever part with some E/F system, Dutch bucket system or similar? Or look at other systems like NFT, is there any part of the channels or even the evacuation or return areas that is insulated against "heat penetration" in any way or the other- or is it generously open? No there is no such thing as airtightness, insulation and closed circuits, for the simple reason that it would be worthless."

Is this a failed attempted at a joke? I am going by personal "practical experience". From the attempts I have done, I know that insulating the root zone helps keep cool temps in the root zone. I also have tried different materials, and although there are more expensive solutions, I'm not rich. For me rolled foam insulation works best (in my price range) when warped around to a thickness of 1/2 inch thick or more. I'm also considering other materials but have not tried them yet.

One is a specific type of carpet foam underlayment that runs about $.88 a square foot, it would only really be worth it if it only needed one layer (it's about 1/4 inch thick, but it's much denser). I also know "from experience", that by insulating the containers it goes a long way to help keeping the nutrient solution cool in the first place, because it's not subjected to the constant intense heat penetration.

Need a test, take a five gallon bucket and stick it outside in the high heat for an hour or so. Then take a gallon or so of some cool tap water (take note of the exact temp), then pour it into the hot bucket. let it sit for about 5 min, now take note of the temp again. Is it the same temp? That's only 5 minutes time, now multiply the difference by all day long every day. When I have done it I never measured the temperature change, but it was noticeable to the touch. I do it every time I need more water, simply because the buckets are usually outside in the heat (105-110 F), not even in the sun.

Manufacturers build there systems for indoor applications for the most part, and are not subjected to 120 degree heat. They are generally used in ideal temperature controlled greenhouses, why would they consider insulating them? That is up to the grower to use there own common sense to do what they need. If the manufacturers insulated them then it just would cost much more money, and it's not needed for most applications (like in greenhouses, or in season crops).

"I anyway don't understand what this more recent "temperature and insulation mania trend" is all about."

You know, they say you cant teach old dogs new tricks, try it some time you may learn a new trick or two. What would you possibly have to loose (except your old beliefs).

"Yes heat is a concern and it has always mattered - but all these systems were running successfully for "decades", out- or indoors with all kind of temperatures, never using any sort of insulation."

Does successfully mean that there is no room for improvement? Plants have been growing in soil for millions of years successfully. Why bother with hydroponics then? That has only been around for less than 100 years. Why bother to improve on growing plants in soil like nature has been doing for so long?

"Many thoughts of such "purely theoretical temperature improvements" based on insulation are just a theoretical construction in the heads of the beholders and not based on thermodynamics, experience, testing nor empirical experiments that would indicate or prove an actual and measurable improvement."

This is a typical statement from someone who has never tried it. Talking about purely theoretical Ok, so where is your data that proves that there is absolutely no improvements possible when keeping the root zone temps down (to 65-75) degrees. It's only "theoretical construction" to you because you have never done it. You never learn a new trick if you don't try. You never learn to improve on something if you are happy with it as is, and simply never try.

If people who built houses beveled that insulation was all just a bunch of "theoretical construction" there would be a whole lot of houses that had no insulation. If insulation was not worth anything why do you think they do it? To increase the price of the homes? It is to keep the cool temps in during summer, and heat in during winter. If your nutrient solution was cool you would be keeping in the cool. If it's not, it should be.

"Seriously - until proof of real and demonstrable improvement with data worth the effort, I can only qualify such argumentation as some other pastime forum TALK."

Again where is your proof that root temps don't mater. And where is your proof that insulation does not keep cool temps in. Ever herd of something called an "R" value, look into it;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R-value_insulation

It's a rating given to different forms of insulation that explains how effective it is. Do enough reading you will come to understand that the trapped air pockets are what make all the diffraction in insulation. That's why it needs to be a closed cell material to be effective. A open cell product does not trap the air, it allows air to pass through it.


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typo

trapped air pockets are what make all the difference not "diffraction"

you cant edit a post in this forum


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RE: Watermelon Dilemma - Bucket Size.

Well homehydro, you keep them coming with your rather transparent strategy of debating stuff: you are picking my arguments up one by one, quoting them and bending and distorting them systematically with your discrediting and ironic comments not being even remotely factual nor objective. Non-selectively ignoring or distorting facts and the informational value they ever may contain. How unfair and impertinent is that actually!? Shall I go through it all, re-quote all that quoting-mess again and bend it back and unfold them to their original form and meaning, one by one?!

Let me just quote and reply to two of your most jerry-built examples (plus a bonus) instead:

>>Need a test, take a five gallon bucket and stick it outside in the high heat for an hour or so. Then take a gallon or so of some cool tap water (take note of the exact temp), then pour it into the hot bucket. let it sit for about 5 min, now take note of the temp again. Is it the same temp? That's only 5 minutes time, now multiply the difference by all day long every day. When I have done it I never measured the temperature change, but it was noticeable to the touch. I do it every time I need more water, simply because the buckets are usually outside in the heat (105-110 F), not even in the sun.<<

Here you are actually creating and describing a SELECTIVE test that actually demonstrates the validity of something completely different to your claim! It doesn't work like that! What you have made-up here is not even remotely analogue to your claim, not conform to a typical application, nor close to the actual case we are debating (E/F buckets filled with media). It's a classical fallacy, where the experiment is intentionally set up or selected to fit the expected curve! As long as you are falling for such self fulfilling prophecies in reasoning, you'll never end up being factual nor objective, neither with others nor with yourself!

>>If people who built houses beveled that insulation was all just a bunch of "theoretical construction" there would be a whole lot of houses that had no insulation. If insulation was not worth anything why do you think they do it? To increase the price of the homes? It is to keep the cool temps in during summer, and heat in during winter. If your nutrient solution was cool you would be keeping in the cool. If it's not, it should be.<<

Do you really need to compare oranges with apples, to actually end up in a badly constructed argument and point here? It's even more constructed than the previous. It merely is a classical BAD analogy by the book. And yet, house/home insulation is in fact only working in combination with AC and rather hermetical conditions, closed doors and windows, etc. Otherwise and with prolonged heat/cold, a reverse effect will occur here as well: External and internal temps will equalise and sooner or later accumulation of heat or cold is an inevitable fact. Means insulation of houses only works under certain circumstances and may end up with a reverse effect as well, if these conditions are not fulfilled or maintained. With medium heat, (over shorter periods) the insulation will indeed be effective by itself and in fact "not even let the heat in" for some time - but when it really matters, with extreme and prolonged temperatures (humidity also) the insulation will in fact keep the house from cooling down at night or during cooler moments, rain falls, etc. This reverse effect is actually very well known by experts and affected people alike! And after all, house insulation is commonly used and has PROVEN to be effective under SPECIFIC conditions - while bucket insulation has NOT yet!

In fact some similar negative effect would obviously happen with a E/F bucket, when despite the insulation it will heat up over time. And in fact even if actually effective with lower and interrupted heat cycles, the negative reverse effect will happen in prolonged and extreme heat where the expected positive effect should actually matter and make the difference.

YES, you could theoretically make "bucket insulation" become effective by using all available means like artificial cooling of- and sufficient nutrient volume (nutrient reservoir insulation for instance) and a bit of testing and adjusting parameters including cycles. But here, with such (in fact) sub-optimal system as discussed, a crop with not exactly high market value, - the venture reaches exactly the point where some nerd's burning ambition becomes kinda nympholeptic. Because then it would indeed result in heavy over-engineering with such set-up and turn it into actual absurdity on all levels. Well at least for anyone who hasn't completely lost connection with common sense in this very context. ;-)
Do I need to add, that such painfully achieved (even not exactly known) lower root zone temperatures aren't exactly synonymous with an actual improvement in quality, health or similarly important aspects of plants, with SPECIFIC SETUPS, any SPECIFIC CROPS and under any SPECIFIC other CIRCUMSTANCES.

However, if ever testing the real thing - you have to be objective and your goal would be to put the actual and verifiable improvement to the test. The real thing means any crop related quality at the end of the equation. Any decent test is about testing what is actually helpful and of common interest- not to prove your- or to disprove anyone's claims... LOL

>>Again where is your proof that root temps don't mater. And where is your proof that insulation does not keep cool temps in.<<

That is indeed a perfect example where you demonstrate how you systematically and deliberately distort or even imagine that others are saying, and turn it into a fallacious rhetoric argument. I never ever said that root temperatures don't matter - in fact I have explicitly expressed the contrary, - that they have always mattered and still matter! You only need to actually read- to see it confirmed in the previous post. Also, I have never ever said that insulation isn't keeping temperatures cool under some specific conditions. What I was saying is that with an E/F bucket based system of the kind we are discussing here, an insulation doesn't actually matter and will not improve this kind of setup because temperatures will equalise anyway ( I may add and specify here again: especially with prolonged exposure- which means when it would really matter).

For the record: The one who is claiming that insulation OF BUCKETS in an E/F system will bring an improvement is in fact bringing up a controversial claim compared to what is commonly text book and in use. Hence THEY have the burden of proof. The one who refers to what is commonly accepted, used and done, confirmed with more than sufficient proof, doesn't need to prove the obvious, do they? Why shall I proof what I have never claimed anyway, and why shall I attempt to prove what has already been proven and was largely demonstrated by many others and since decades!?

And to make it clear, this is my last post with this topic - regardless of the distortion factor you may use next, the calibre of the fallacies - or how far you may stretch your next arguments anywayy. I truly have bigger fish to fry, not arrogantly meant-, but just intended as an appeal to reason and for the sakes of us all. LOL


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RE: Watermelon Dilemma - Bucket Size.

"Here you are actually creating and describing a SELECTIVE test that actually demonstrates the validity of something completely different to your claim!"

That is so funny, it's not different in any way. Just keeping the buckets in the shade does not protect them from air temp. The buckets still absorb heat, that heat radiates inside the buckets. Like it or not. You will never be able to prove otherwise.

"What you have made-up here is not even remotely analogue to your claim, not conform to a typical application, nor close to the actual case we are debating (E/F buckets filled with media). It's a classical fallacy, where the experiment is intentionally set up or selected to fit the expected curve! As long as you are falling for such self fulfilling prophecies in reasoning, you'll never end up being factual nor objective, neither with others nor with yourself! "

According to your theory then if the buckets have growing media in it them the temp will automatically remain 65-75 degrees F, no mater what the air temp is. Where is your proof, as you so often demand from others. I'm demanding it from you. Good luck with that, because it does not exist. And none of your "fulfilling prophecies" mater.

"Do you really need to compare oranges with apples, to actually end up in a badly constructed argument and point here? It's even more constructed than the previous. It merely is a classical BAD analogy by the book. And yet, house/home insulation is in fact only working in combination with AC and rather hermetical conditions,"

You are still so blind. The insulation is to keep the cool temps in, and keep the warm temps out (R value). The cool nutrient solution is the "AC" for the inside of the buckets. You don't believe that nutrient solution temp maters, so naturally it would never work for you. The inside of the buckets will never be lower than the water temp.

"External and internal temps will equalise and sooner or later accumulation of heat or cold is an inevitable fact. "

Re-read the above statement!!! KEEP THE NUTRIENT SOLUTION COOL, something you have never herd of (sorry don't believe in).

"In fact some similar negative effect would obviously happen with a E/F bucket, when despite the insulation it will heat up over time."

Re-read the above statements!!! KEEP THE NUTRIENT SOLUTION COOL.

"This reverse effect is actually very well known by experts and affected people alike! And after all, house insulation is commonly used and has PROVEN to be effective under SPECIFIC conditions - while bucket insulation has NOT yet!

Name one expert that says if you keep the inside temp cool (Of any object) there is no need for any insulation, and it wont do any good because it will simply stay cool without it.

"In fact some similar negative effect would obviously happen with a E/F bucket, when despite the insulation it will heat up over time. And in fact even if actually effective with lower and interrupted heat cycles, the negative reverse effect will happen in prolonged and extreme heat where the expected positive effect should actually matter and make the difference."

Of coarse in your systems, you have not learned to KEEP THE NUTRIENT SOLUTION COOL The insulation also helps KEEP THE NUTRIENT SOLUTION COOL.

"Do I need to add, that such painfully achieved (even not exactly known) lower root zone temperatures aren't exactly synonymous with an actual improvement in quality, health or similarly important aspects of plants, with SPECIFIC SETUPS, any SPECIFIC CROPS and under any SPECIFIC other CIRCUMSTANCES."

All I can say is that you read the wrong books. That is such a inaccurate statement. You have not proven that anything I have said is inaccurate, you just claim so, and just because you don't agree with something, you just dismiss it as selective observance, when in fact that is all you are expressing.

"However, if ever testing the real thing - you have to be objective and your goal would be to put the actual and verifiable improvement to the test. The real thing means any crop related quality at the end of the equation. Any decent test is about testing what is actually helpful and of common interest- not to prove your- or to disprove anyone's claims... LOL"

LOL indeed,
you just make claims, you have not proven or dis-proven one thing. You have not tested one thing. You have not provided any study's that dis-prove anything that I have said either, in any way shape or form. Just because you are too cheep to take a few bucks and try something new, does not mean it wont work.

"That is indeed a perfect example where you demonstrate how you systematically and deliberately distort or even imagine that others are saying, and turn it into a fallacious rhetoric argument. I never ever said that root temperatures don't matter - in fact I have explicitly expressed the contrary, - that they have always mattered and still matter! You only need to actually read- to see it confirmed in the previous post. Also, I have never ever said that insulation isn't keeping temperatures cool under some specific conditions. What I was saying is that with an E/F bucket based system of the kind we are discussing here, an insulation doesn't actually matter and will not improve this kind of setup because temperatures will equalise anyway ( I may add and specify here again: especially with prolonged exposure- which means when it would really matter)"

You are not reading what I have said.
KEEP THE NUTRIENT SOLUTION COOL OR IT WONT WORK,
KEEP THE NUTRIENT SOLUTION COOL OR IT WONT WORK,
KEEP THE NUTRIENT SOLUTION COOL OR IT WONT WORK,
KEEP THE NUTRIENT SOLUTION COOL OR IT WONT WORK
KEEP THE NUTRIENT SOLUTION COOL OR IT WONT WORK,
KEEP THE NUTRIENT SOLUTION COOL OR IT WONT WORK,

"For the record: The one who is claiming that insulation OF BUCKETS in an E/F system will bring an improvement is in fact bringing up a controversial claim compared to what is commonly text book and in use. Hence THEY have the burden of proof."

This is such a load of bull. I can say anything I say is in
books and shift the burden to you, but does that make it true? Fact is I am not claiming that there is anything written at all about it either way. But I do know what I have done and what works for me. That is what you want to dispute. It's up to you to prove that it doesn't work for me, you are the one making that claim.

"The one who refers to what is commonly accepted, used and done, confirmed with more than sufficient proof, doesn't need to prove the obvious, do they?"

Then why do you keep demanding that I do?

"Why shall I proof what I have never claimed anyway, and why shall I attempt to prove what has already been proven and was largely demonstrated by many others and since decades!?"

You are calming all over the place that insulating the containers does absolutely no good, don't hand that line of junk out unless you can do it without making me fall off the chair luffing.

I know for a fact that insulating the containers does make a difference. I have not done it for decades, but why should I need to prove what already been proven as well. I could care less about what "many others" have only been doing for decades simply because they are too old to learn something new. That's there problem (but it's just a claim, with no proof). I guess what you are saying in the long run is that I'm just smarter than anyone everyone else, after all I have had good results and they haven't. So I must just be smarter. Again They grow in climate controlled greenhouses, I don't.

I'm not claiming that I have done extensive controlled research, and can say that plants grown in insulated containers (in my heat) are significantly better. I am simply saying I have been able to keep the root zone temps, as well as nutrient solution temp lower because of insulating them. You are the one claiming that doesn't work, or matter.



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RE: Watermelon Dilemma - Bucket Size.

Look at those watermelons bbrush! Oh so nice!


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RE: Watermelon Dilemma - Bucket Size.

I believe you, homehydro, and lucas are arguing different points. (at least from what I've read)
Lucas is not saying that insulation will not impact heat diffusion between two different materials. That does, however, seem to be the argument you're contending. Maybe I'm wrong. Honestly I tired of reading your re-quoted posts as the initial retort to Lucas' comments was about whether insulation worked or not and not really about what Lucas' was saying. Lucas' was simply saying he didn't think nutrient solution needed to be kept cool. And as much as Lucas' and I disagree on some things, I tend to agree with him here. I never insulate my reservoir or media tables or NFT troughs and haven't had any problems with the plants growth. And where I live, we had a stretch in June where the temperatures topped 90 for, I believe, 12 of 14 days. Just last week we cracked triple digits twice.
Don't take this to imply I believe roots like or thrive in high temperature nutrient. And obviously in areas where the temperature daily exceed 100 there may be some validity to cooling the nutrient. I can't speak to that as I don't live in those areas. But also remember that likely less than 10% of the US population lives in those conditions as well.
In short, you think insulation is needed. Lucas does not believe insulation is needed. not needed and doesn't work are two entirely different statements. Arguing them against each other is . . . ludicrous.


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RE: Watermelon Dilemma - Bucket Size.

I don't know, I guess from a oxygen point of view if a large part of the root system is out of the water then it is fine, but don't nasty pathogens also like warm water?

Anyway I put them on a "bloom" fertilizer or whatever low nitrogen and higher potassium is called not sure if this caused the vines themselves to stop growing, they have just run there course or the buckets are to small. The main thing is the fruit continue to grow and they are getting very thirsty.

If you came to this page from the future and the images are broken you will find them in the photo section of my horribly unkempt hydroponic site


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RE: Watermelon Dilemma - Bucket Size.

grizzman
There's a whole LOT more to it than that. I wont bother to try and state it all again. I have always understood that nutrient temps are not much of concern to Lucas. But does that mean everyone else simply needs to agree? What I find ludicrous is that he demands that I/others summit study's to prove an opinion simply because he disagrees, then he refuses to provide the study's to prove the opposite.

The reason he doesn't, is not because he wasn't arguing a different point, it was because he knew my point, and was grasping at straws. He also knew that if it didn't provide the requested info, I would say it doesn't. And that would just lead to a whole lot more because I don't just go away because he says so (like he's so used to). He knows my point, and I know his better than he thinks (trust me).

I understand that not everyone deals with the same conditions no mater what part of the world they live. But the fact is, it doesn't matter where one lives, the principals of insulation is still a fact. It will also be effective if done right. Even in cold temps to keep roots warm, and even in freezing conditions (something that I found out last winter).

Just to let you know, Texas, Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico all have temps that are constantly above 100 degrees (and in the 110-120 range) all summer long. And the rest of the 11 western states (that equals about 1/3 of the US) have regular temps that are in the low 100's. Texas is not even considered part of the 11 western states, and other than Alaska is the largest state in the US. I only mention this because I simply cant consider all these states as 10% of the US. I have traveled all these states myself, I drove a truck through all of them personally (as well as some eastern states).

Although I do agree when someone refers to HOT temps, I simply relate to what I know, and sorry grizzman 90 degrees in mid summer is not what I think of as hot. It was 119 degrees today, and it's 1am right now and 98 degrees. If it were 90 degrees during the day it would be down right cold for here (for this time of year).

As for the point about nutrient temps, well I have one system right now that was never meant to let go this long in that system. That system is not insulated at all (reservoir or growing chambers). Just for ***** and giggles I took the temp of the reservoir today when it was 119, the reservoir temp was 105 degrees. The plants aren't dead, and are continuing to grow. Does that mean that they grow just fine in that temp, it depends on who you talk to apparently. But from what I have seen they are not healthy in the slightest. So where is the cutoff from healthy and not healthy 104, 103, 102, 90, 89, etc.. It's just a call the grower makes, If they are satisfied, then there healthy.

Also If you notice form the temps above (119 and 105), there is a 14 degree difference. From my experience the size of the reservoir, as well as the night time lows make a big difference in daytime nutrient temps. The larger the reservoir, the longer it takes to warm up from the night time lows. It also takes longer to cool down at night as well the larger it is. If your daytime temp is 90 degrees it's likely that the nutrient temp is about 80 degrees. Assuming that the reservoir is not in a position that absorbs a lot of excess heat, like on a cement patio or a lot of direct sunlight. One thing that Lucas did get right is that insulation can have a reverse effect at night, IF NUTRIENT TEMPS ARE NOT KEPT UNDER CONTROL, witch I stated over and over.

The optimum root temps for any plant are between 65 and 75 degrees. That does not mean that the plants wont grow if the root zone temps are outside that range, I never meant to imply otherwise. Only that if you can give your plants better conditions they will do better. Why is that so difficult to believe or consider?

bbrush
It looks like those melons are growing. Mine (cantaloupe), took me by surprise as how fast they started to grow once they formed. I believe you said you were not sure what type (of watermelon) they were, but do you know how large they can get? Mine drink about 5-7 gallons water per day. Also, yes higher nutrient temps will allow unwanted organisms to breed faster.


 o
RE: Watermelon Dilemma - Bucket Size.

Like georgeiii, I am also having a battle with pests and diseases, I have been a bit busy with other stuff that I didn't pay much attention to the garden and yesterday I noticed my watermelon leaves were really sick and dying, looking on the underside of the leaves revealed what I have since found out are spidermites, billions of the little &*^%ers.

I did notice a week ago or so ago that the leaves were looking a bit speakly, lots of little light green dots and since I have never delt with spider mites before I thought it was a nute deficiency so I just did a change.

Someone at the garden clinic section believes this is caused by a mosaic virus?

I am not to sure, I have battled mosaic virus before but this started out as loads of little pin sizes pale green/yellow spots throughout the leave which I believe is mite damage and that picture above looks to my non-expert eye as if a fungus has gotten hold of a sick and dying leaf? thoughts?

Now the watermelons do seem to have stopped growing and I am now not sure if is the bucket size or the pests / diseases.


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