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Lettuce and Basil in Fill and Drain (Ebb and Flow System)

Posted by halfway 5a (My Page) on
Mon, Nov 8, 10 at 12:13

10 days after germination. Nutrient solution is at 1/2 strength and will move to full strength in a week. These are under 48" T8 floros at 6500k each. The lights were moved for the photo, but normally sit 3-4 inches above the plants.

The system is an ebb and flow from 2 sterilite containers.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Lettuce and Basil in Fill and Drain (Ebb and Flow System)

Where's the basil? I have 12 Genovese plants in a "soakaponics" system that are doing great so far. Started off slowly but they now seem to be growing much better. I probably need to find some nitrate to add to feed them with. But I would like to see how E&B compares, it seems to be a very productive system.

Mike


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RE: Lettuce and Basil in Fill and Drain (Ebb and Flow System)

Top left is the basil.

These are still on 1/2 nutrients for another week.

Here is the photo from today. The color of the photo is off because of the camera flash, but the lettuce is a nice green. The basil is very strong of lemmons.

Uploaded with ImageShack.us


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RE: Lettuce and Basil in Fill and Drain (Ebb and Flow System)

Would it be possible to take a picture of the whole set up? I'd like to see how it all fits together.
What medium are you using? and how deep is that sterlite tub (approximately).
Looks nice and clean!


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RE: Lettuce and Basil in Fill and Drain (Ebb and Flow System)

Grizz, I created the below blog to use as an online journal and to complement my written notes. I will try and keep it updated with interesting findings.

It has been fun to get it recorded and it has been a good way for family and friends to see the progress. The embedded vids explain it pretty well I think.

[url]http://frugalhydroponics.blogspot.com/[/url]

Thanks!


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RE: Lettuce and Basil in Fill and Drain (Ebb and Flow System)

halfway,

Thanks to you, I just used up six grow cubes to sow some Black Simpson lettuce seeds. I loved the way it turned out a couple of years ago when I grow it in a DWC system in a south-facing office window. One plant got over 3' tall and never bolted, not to mention tasted better than any lettuce I have ever ate!

I'm going to try these (if they germinate!) under two 23 watt, 5000K CFL bulbs, again in a DWC system.

I hope to come close to matching how your plants have started!

Mike


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RE: Lettuce and Basil in Fill and Drain (Ebb and Flow System)

Very cool Wiz. I think a DWC is in my future to grow additional lettuce without needing another submersible pump.

What are you using for the grow cubes and medium?


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RE: Lettuce and Basil in Fill and Drain (Ebb and Flow System)

Bio-dome inserts to start the seeds in. These things are impressive! They require daily watering, but the results so far, at least for basil and tomatoes are remarkable. They sit in a 200 cell Speedling tray. The toms I sowed have six leaves but are less than two inches tall.

I'll be using lava rocks in the net pots.

Mike


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RE: Lettuce and Basil in Fill and Drain (Ebb and Flow System)

impressive.


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RE: Lettuce and Basil in Fill and Drain (Ebb and Flow System)

I am blown away by the growth rates. These plants are 25-26 days old and on half nutrients. Lemmon basil in the upper left corner has been trimmed from 6 inches tall to encourage horizontal growth.

We will begin harvesting outer leaves on the lettuce in a week and the full plants should be done between end of month and first week of December.

Blog journal at http://frugalhydroponics.blogspot.com/ (see link below) Please feel free to leave comments.

I am leaning towards a raft/DWC for another 6 to 8 lettuce tray to insure a continuous cycle of greens.

Here is a link that might be useful: Frugal Hydroponic Blog


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RE: Lettuce and Basil in Fill and Drain (Ebb and Flow System)

The problem I see with using the 28 qt sterilite as a raft for lettuce is in changing the nutrient solution. With the size of the roots I have in the ebb and flow in under 3 weeks, I am not sure I would want to remove the entire raft to drain and clean the system. I guess I could install a spigot drain.

Any proponents / opponents of a raft over ebb and flow for lettuce/greens?


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RE: Lettuce and Basil in Fill and Drain (Ebb and Flow System)

I had lettuce in the same bucket for three months and never changed the solution. Yeah, it had massive roots!

If you are going to use DWC and a large Sterilite container, be sure to get locking lids. Otherwise, the sides will bulge.

Mike


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RE: Lettuce and Basil in Fill and Drain (Ebb and Flow System)

Wiz, how did you maintain the correct amount of nutes? Did you add nutes, or just top off with water for 3 months?


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RE: Lettuce and Basil in Fill and Drain (Ebb and Flow System)

halfway,

I added nuits in the same proportion as the original solution. Also would check the pH, though it didn't seem to vary much. Did the same thing in the GH last fall/winter, but in 5 gallon buckets. Brought a plastic garbage can in, filled it with rainwater, added nuits, adjusted the pH and stuck an aerator in it. When a station would need more solution, I used a pitcher to pour it in. Never did have any problems and the toms grew great - until the sun disappeared for nearly two months!

Mike

Mike


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RE: Lettuce and Basil in Fill and Drain (Ebb and Flow System)

Seperate container with nutrients and an airstone. Great idea! My next question was nutrient buildup, but it sounds like it was not an issue.


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RE: Lettuce and Basil in Fill and Drain (Ebb and Flow System)

halfway
The way I grew lettuce was in in a 41 quart sterilite containers (as a water culture system). The container has the dimensions of 16 inches wide, 34 inches long and 6 inches tall. Basically it's short and wide. I evenly placed 8 holes (2 rows of 4) in the lid approximately 5-6 inches apart. The holes fit 3 inch baskets for the plants. Much like the pictures of your system. The water level in the containers was just high enough to submerge about the bottom 1/2 inch of the baskets (using coco chips as growing medium), and held about 6 gallons of nutrient solution.

I found this very easy to change nutrients with. All I did was remove the lid (with the plants still in it) and place it on a empty container (I bought 10 of them), dump the old water out. Then take a soapy sponge and give it a quick wash and rinse. Then refill with the new nutrients and replaced the lid (with all the plants still in it). The whole process only took me about 10 minutes. I only cleaned the air stones about once a month, same thing just a quick wash with soap and water then rinse thoroughly. Checking pH is easy, just lift one side of the lid and test.


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RE: Lettuce and Basil in Fill and Drain (Ebb and Flow System)

Here is the latest video journal on my system. I note the root growth and talk a brief bit on the solution change.

I also took some online advice and moved the nutrient change out to 3 weeks instead of 2. That was good advice as I’m a couple days shy of the 3 weeks, and they are only now showing signs of no2 weakness. And that is only very small signs.

I am using the nutrients at half strength as they have been in the hydro system since 1 November and germinated a week or so before that.. When I change the solution, I will up it to full strength as the growth is now very heavy.

Here is the vid. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ObpoFxEPxU

The link below has the entire journal to include the videos and progress pictures. It helps me keep a record and allows me to update family and friends who are curious as to the progress (dies hard soil gardeners).

Here is a link that might be useful: Hydroponic System Lettuce and Basil Journal Blog


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RE: Lettuce and Basil in Fill and Drain (Ebb and Flow System)

Great post Homehydro....simple system with efficiency in mind. That is the way I am leaning for the additional lettuce system. Gonna work some buckets for outside growing next year as well. I cannot justify HID or expensive T5 systems for more than lettuce and herbs in the basement.

I completed the first nutrient change to the system over the past couple days and it looks like another strong growth spurt. I upped the nutrients from half strength to full strength at the 3 week mark.

I added it as a journal entry to my blog as posted above.


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RE: Lettuce and Basil in Fill and Drain (Ebb and Flow System)

Time for an update.

We have been steadily harvesting over the past few weeks and the lettuce and basil have both been excellent.

I didn't see a noticeable change with lighting above 13 hours so that is where I have kept it. The lights remain about 2-3 inches above the plants and the fan pushes the little heat generated out of the way. Without the fan it hits around 82 degrees at the top of the lettuce, but with the fan it stays around 68. Perfect for crisp, tender greens.

I delayed the nutrient change from 2 weeks to 3 weeks. The plants were not effected at all, so I will remain at 3 weeks for initial nute changes with lettuce in this system. I did notice a slight decrease in color of the basil at around 20 days, so 3 week nute changes it is.

I am building 2 DWC systems for lettuce rotations and still debating the future use of this ebb and flow. The determining factors include the size of plants as I need to keep the floros on them at a uniform spacing. Keeping the basil horizontal is a challenge!!

Here is a pic from November 27th. This is after many harvests. This would be day 27 in the system (Day 37 as of today).

My blog has the full video and pic journal.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Blog and Journal


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RE: Lettuce and Basil in Fill and Drain (Ebb and Flow System)

Here is the latest video on this system. It is a lettuce harvest with discussion on nutrient usage, lighting hardware, growth rate, and future use of ebb and flow and DWC systems. I have also posted this to the blog at http://frugalhydroponics.blogspot.com/

Happy New Year's everyone!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Hydro Update Video 31 Dec 10


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RE: Lettuce and Basil in Fill and Drain (Ebb and Flow System)

Halfway,

I've started some Swiss Chard and Simpson Elite in Oasis Horticubes that should be large enough to move in a week or so. Gonna try aeroponics under a 14 watt, all blue LED panel. I may add a couple of 23 watt CFL bulbs if it doesn't look good growing. The plan is three plants of each.

Mike


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RE: Lettuce and Basil in Fill and Drain (Ebb and Flow System)

Hello halfway,
I think your doing very well. In fact I'm a little impressed that you pay so much attention to your plants, looking for color changes in the foliage etc.. THAT'S GREAT. I'm not surprised about the basil though, mine got to be about 2 feet tall, it must be hard to contain it to be that small. Great Job...


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RE: Lettuce and Basil in Fill and Drain (Ebb and Flow System)

Thanks folks and Happy New Year! Wiz, keep us posted on the chard and especially the 14 watt LED. :)


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RE: Lettuce and Basil in Fill and Drain (Ebb and Flow System)

I finally powered down this system after a highly succesful grow of lettuce and basil. The lettuce was just about turning bitter, but the basil had plenty left in it.

Since it was a mixed grow, there was not much I could do with the basil as the lettuce was done and the system needed cleaning and prepped for the next go around.

Thanks for all the help on this board...it was highly successful and the current DWC is rocking!!

Here is a link that might be useful: My Hydroponic Indoor Grow Photo and Video Journal.


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RE: Lettuce and Basil in Fill and Drain (Ebb and Flow System)

What causes the lettuce to turn bitter? Is it the age of the leaves?
That's the issue I've had with my raft system under LED's. The plants grow like crazy albeit leggy, but they seem to be bitter if you really chew them up good.


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RE: Lettuce and Basil in Fill and Drain (Ebb and Flow System)

My guess about it turning bitter is the fact that it lasted weeks longer than the published harvest days. We harvested continuously for weeks on end and it remained fresh and crisp.

I also ran water through it for 7 days to flush the system in preparation for the shutdown. That may have triggered it as well.

It was not temperature, so I believe it had to be age.

I had some turn bitter last year because of the heat, but that is not the case for this hydro system in the basement.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Hydroponic Adventure


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