Post by mightyspuds on Jun 25, 2008 16:46:23 GMT -8
Weekly Hydro update..
Have 16 tomatoes,some with flowers and they are starting to bend over,thats good,have 15 bell peppers,some look great,some dont,5 squash growing great,and the lettuce is done,cauliflower bolting,hoping for seed....
A few things Ive learned.While you can plant within an inch or so and the roots are fine you must make room for the leafy parts.So with lettuce,6 inches apart allow for the space the leaves need.
The tomatoes planted 4 inches apart is plenty if you have space elsewhere for the vines to grow to. Same with squash.
Then I learned about male and female buds.With squash and cucumbers the female shows a miniature cuke or squash below the flower,the male doesnt have this,its just a flower.So if you are pollinating by hand with a brush you need a male flower FIRST to gather the pollen from,then when the female flower opens brush the powder onto the female receptors (whatever they are called). Also any squash type will pollinate another different type squash,but saved seed will not be true. ---------------------------------------------------------- extension.oregonstate.edu/news/story.php?S_No=924&storyType=garde Don't worry if the early blooms on these plants fall off before setting any fruit. Cucumbers and squash often produce many male flowers that bloom and die before the female blossoms appear.
How do you tell a male from a female squash or cucumber blossom? The female blossoms have what looks like a tiny squash or cucumber below the flower. The tiny fruit is the ovary, full of eggs not yet fertilized via pollen from male flowers. Male blossoms have long stalked stamens, each with pollen-filled anthers. Every pollen grain contains sperm nuclei, which fertilize the ovules in the female flowers.
Visiting bees and other types of insects provide the transportation - when they visit flowers to collect nectar and pollen, bees carry and spread the male pollen from male anthers to female pistils. Each pollen grain grows a long tube down through the pistil, to the egg cells. The sperm nuclei migrate down the tube to the egg, where fertilization takes place. The fertilized eggs, now the seeds, and surrounding ovary will eventually grow into a huge squash or cucumber. Inside, each seed is a tiny plant embryo, the product of the union of an egg and sperm.
Be patient with squash and cucumber plants, advised Myers. Eventually, most will produce both male and female flowers. Once blossoms of both sexes are opening, and there is still no fruit formation, there may be poor pollination.
Sometimes Mother Nature needs help, if you have a shortage of pollinators. Home gardeners can pollinate the flowers themselves. Use a small watercolor paintbrush and lightly transfer pollen from male flowers to the female flowers.
Once fruit develops keep the plants well watered. And don't let cucumbers or summer squash get too big - their quality may deteriorate.
Carol Savonen ---------------------------------------------------------------
Also,the plants,being raised in the containers makes caring for them a breeze! When I did a leaf trimming on squash and toms it was nice not having to bend over.I did this to make the stems a little thicker and the plants really responded fast,a matter of days.Also when they finally fell over the sides of the containers the stems thickened.And surprisingly they have a good grip in the growing media too,doesnt look like them pulling out will be a problem.
Post by mightyspuds on Jul 9, 2008 12:23:47 GMT -8
Tomatoes were looking a little wilted so I changed to 2 feedings a day instead of 1,10 AM and 3 PM.Toms already look happier.Its 85-90 degrees out lately.All the plants are having huge growth spurts.I spaced out the bell peppers a bit and that also has been very positive for them,they dont take to crowding nearly as well as the vining crops do,for them it isnt even an issue to their growth.
Post by mightyspuds on Jul 16, 2008 20:14:16 GMT -8
Went to Hydroponic store today.They gave me a free sample of Superleach to remove salt and such,so I went and tried it.It raised what looked like some oil sort of when I ran it thru.Then I ran fresh water thru trays X2.
Then I bought this bloom nutrient powder at 5-15-14,vegetative growth I was using 20-10-20. Mixed 1 tsp per gallon,my tank is 13 gallons so just over 4 tablespoons worth. Got 1.5 Lbs of powder for 13.95,I will probably use about 1/5th of this to finish out the season,changing water every 2 weeks.
As the water evaporates I just add water to the tank.I figure the nutrient is still being held in the coco media and since my plants are doing OK that may be so.
Post by mightyspuds on Aug 21, 2008 19:06:21 GMT -8
We are getting close to end of season here.I'd also say this is a success.Proof of concept and huge knowledge gain.Its worth expanding and buying the proper meters for nutrients next year.Learned to transplant to hydro as soon as first true leaves appear is best.Also has potential to produce quite a bit in a very small area.
My late start was a killer for total production and ripening,I lost a good month.Also transplanting larger plants gets stunted growth for too long.Smaller is waaaay better.
Post by mightyspuds on Mar 7, 2009 14:58:29 GMT -8
I wound up sticking a yellow pear tomato in a 5 gallon bucket in an unheated south facing window.Plant died in a couple weeks but the green tomatoes stayed on and the last week of FEBRUARY I harvested a couple ripe tasty maters.Somehow the dead plant in soil really allows those unripened to ripen slowly and firm,etc. Unlike a plant you pull up and it ripens quickly and its over.
"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody."