Lettuce – Lolla Rossa

lollaLolla Rossa is a frilly, loose-leaf green/red lettuce variety.

Jun 18 = Day 0.  Plants started from seed (Botanical Interests).  Seeds sowed in 1.5-inch rockwool cube in 2-inch net-pot. Moistened with Seedling Blend, a dilute blend of fertilizers.  N-P-K (in ppm): 22-12-13.

Jun 22 = Day 4.  The plant has germinated, and was placed directly under a fluorescent light (2 ft. T8 bulb, 17W, 6500k) for 16 hours per day.

Jul 1 = Day 13.  Installed plant into 3.5-gallon buckets using the MasterBlend-based Regular-Strength Blend.  N-P-K (in ppm): 103-41-168.  Plant moved to indoor grow room, receiving 9 hours LED grow light per day.

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Jul 1 = Day 13
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Jul 25 = Day 37
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Aug 11 = Day 54.  The front side of the plant (left) gets direct sunlight, and the leaves have turned reddish.  The back of the plant (right) gets light mostly from the LED grow bulb, and these leaves are more greenish.

Aug 12 = Day 55.  Began harvesting lower leaves for use in salads.  Plant is getting too tall and top-heavy, so it was tied to a pole to keep it upright.  Also, grow room is very hot (above 80 °F during the day), so the use of the LED grow light was discontinued.  Plant is now receiving 3-4 hours of direct sunlight per day.

Sep 2 = Day 76.  All lower leaves have been harvested, and the plant has bolted, so the remaining upper leaves taste bitter.  This plant has grown to be almost 4 feet tall!  Plant was discarded at this time.  Total fluid used = 2.8 gallons.  Final pH = 5.0.

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Sep 2 = Day 76
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Pepper – Snapper

52574-pk-p1Jun 6, 2016 = Day 0.  Plant started from seed (Park Seed Co.).  Seeds sowed in 1.5-inch rockwool cube in 2-inch net-pot.  Moistened with dilute fertilizer solution: 1.2 mL (1/4 tsp) Dyna-Gro Liquid Grow, 0.8 mL pH Down per gallon of tap water.  N-P-K (in ppm): 22-12-13.

Jun 14 = Day 8.  Plant germinated, placed directly under a fluorescent light (2 ft. T8 bulb, 17W, 6500k) for 16 hours per day.

Jun 25 = Day 19.  Installed plant into 11 cup plastic container.   Hydroponic solution is composed of 11 cups (0.69 gal, 2.6 L) tap water, 1.38 g MasterBlend 4-18-38, 1.38 g calcium nitrate, 0.69 g magnesium sulfate, 0.14 mL Dyna-Gro Pro-TeKt, 0.7 mL pH Down.  N-P-K (in ppm): 103-41-168.

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Jun 26 = Day 20

Jul 2 = Day 26.  Starting to let this plant have a few hours of outdoor exposure, to toughen up the plant.

Jul 8 = Day 32.  Plant is now outside all of the time, receiving 4-5 hours sunlight per day.

Jul 17 = Day 41.  Plant installed in 32-gallon bucket.  Hydroponic solution composed of 32 gal (121 L) tap water, 64 g MasterBlend 4-18-38, 64 g calcium nitrate, 32 g magnesium sulfate, 6.4 mL Dyna-Gro Pro-TeKt, 35.2 mL pH Down.   N-P-K (in ppm): 103-41-168.

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Jul 17 = Day 41
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Aug 11 = Day 66
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Aug 11 = Day 66.  Snapper peppers are beginning to develop.

Aug 11 = Day 66.  Lower leaves are developing powdery mildew.  Spraying leaves with diluted horticultural oil (1 tbsp oil diluted into 1 quart water in a spray bottle).

Aug 13 = Day 68.  Some hornworms (very small) are found on the plant.  Entire plant is sprayed with a solution of BT, diluted in water (5 mL BT per liter).

Aug 25 = Day 80.  Lower leaves continue to show some signs of powdery mildew, so spraying as needed with diluted horticultural oil (1 tbsp oil diluted into 1 quart water in a spray bottle).

Sep 12 = Day 98.  Plant is battling some powdery mildew and is losing some lower leaves as a result.  This plant is still developing several peppers.

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Sep 12 = Day 98
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Sep 12 = Day 98.  Several large Snapper peppers are almost ready for harvest.
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Sep 13 = Day 99.  Harvested 1 pepper.

Sep 21 = Day 107.  This Snapper pepper plant is looking poor, lots of leaves are falling off due to powdery mildew.  Even though the peppers are not fully ripe yet (have not changed color), I chose to harvest all of the remaining peppers (6) at this time.  These Snapper peppers, combined with my Orange Bell and Lipstick peppers, will be used to make one large batch of Stuffed Peppers.

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Sep 21 = Day 107.  Harvested peppers:  6 Snapper (left), 8 Lipstick (middle), 6 Orange Bell (right)

Stuffed Peppers recipe:  Cut peppers in half, remove seeds.  Blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes, then set upside down on paper towels to drain.  To make the filling,  brown 1 lb ground beef, drain the fat, add sauteed onion and garlic.  Add herbs and spices, such as oregano, basil, salt, and black pepper.  Add 1 cup tomato sauce and 2 cups cooked white rice, mix it all together.  Load the filling into the pepper halves.  Cook at 375F for 15 minutes, then top with cheese and put back into oven until cheese melts.

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Stuffed Peppers

Sep 22 = Day 108.  Plant was discarded at this time.

Total fluid used = 13 gallons.  Final pH of fluid = 6.5.

Pepper – Orange Bell

pepper-orange-bell-img_0238Jun 6, 2016 = Day 0.  Plant started from seed (Baker Creek).  Seeds sowed in 1.5-inch rockwool cube in 2-inch net-pot.  Moistened with dilute fertilizer solution: 1.2 mL (1/4 tsp) Dyna-Gro Liquid Grow, 0.8 mL pH Down per gallon of tap water.   N-P-K (in ppm): 22-12-13.

Jun 13 = Day 7.  Plant germinated, placed directly under a fluorescent light (2 ft. T8 bulb, 17W, 6500k) for 16 hours per day.

Jun 25 = Day 19.   Installed plant into 11 cup plastic container.   Hydroponic solution is composed of 11 cups (0.69 gal, 2.6 L) tap water, 1.38 g MasterBlend 4-18-38, 1.38 g calcium nitrate, 0.69 g magnesium sulfate, 0.14 mL Dyna-Gro Pro-TeKt, 0.7 mL pH Down.  N-P-K (in ppm): 103-41-168.

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Jun 26 = Day 20

Jul 2 = Day 26.  Starting to let this plant have a few hours of outdoor exposure, to toughen up the plant.

Jul 8 = Day 32.  Plant is now outside all of the time, receiving 4-5 hours sunlight per day.

Jul 17 = Day 41.  Plant installed in 32-gallon bucket.  Hydroponic solution composed of 32 gal (121 L) tap water, 64 g MasterBlend 4-18-38, 64 g calcium nitrate, 32 g magnesium sulfate, 6.4 mL Dyna-Gro Pro-TeKt, 35.2 mL pH Down.  N-P-K (in ppm): 103-41-168.

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Jul 17 = Day 41
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Aug 11 = Day 66

Aug 11 = Day 66.  Plant is flowering, but some of the early blooms were falling off the plant due to lack of pollination.  I began using a cotton swab to pollinate the flowers by hand, and now the fruits are setting properly.  Also, the lower leaves are developing powdery mildew, so I am spraying leaves with diluted horticultural oil (1 tbsp oil diluted into 1 quart water in a spray bottle).

Aug 13 = Day 68.  Some hornworms (very small) are found on the plant.  Entire plant is sprayed with a solution of BT, diluted in water (5 mL BT per liter).

Aug 25 = Day 80.  Lower leaves continue to show some signs of powdery mildew, so spraying as needed with diluted horticultural oil (1 tbsp oil diluted into 1 quart water in a spray bottle).

Sep 12 = Day 98.  Plant is battling some powdery mildew and is losing some lower leaves as a result.  This plant is still developing several peppers.

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Sep 12 = Day 98
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Sep 12 = Day 98.  Orange Bell peppers are still developing.

Sep 21 = Day 107.  This Orange Bell pepper plant is looking poor, lots of leaves are falling off due to powdery mildew.  Even though the peppers are not fully ripe yet (have not changed color), I chose to harvest all of the remaining peppers (6) at this time.  These Orange Bell peppers, combined with my Snapper and Lipstick peppers, will be used to make one large batch of Stuffed Peppers.

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Sep 21 = Day 107.  Harvested peppers:  6 Snapper (left), 8 Lipstick (middle), 6 Orange Bell (right)

Stuffed Peppers recipe:  Cut peppers in half, remove seeds.  Blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes, then set upside down on paper towels to drain.  To make the filling,  brown 1 lb ground beef, drain the fat, add sauteed onion and garlic.  Add herbs and spices, such as oregano, basil, salt, and black pepper.  Add 1 cup tomato sauce and 2 cups cooked white rice, mix it all together.  Load the filling into the pepper halves.  Cook at 375F for 15 minutes, then top with cheese and put back into oven until cheese melts.

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Stuffed Peppers

Sep 22 = Day 108.  Plant was discarded at this time.

Total fluid used = 12.5 gallons.  Final pH of fluid = 6.5.

Pepper – Lipstick

lipstick-pepper-webJun 6, 2016 = Day 0.  Plant started from seed (Baker Creek).  Seeds sowed in 1.5-inch rockwool cube in 2-inch net-pot.  Moistened with dilute fertilizer solution: 1.2 mL (1/4 tsp) Dyna-Gro Liquid Grow, 0.8 mL pH Down per gallon of tap water.   N-P-K (in ppm): 22-12-13.

Jun 15 = Day 0.  Started 3 new seeds, since the first 2 seeds did not germinate.  Based on the fact that I started with a packet of 35 seeds, and the first 2 seeds did not germinate, the maximum viability of the seeds is 27/35, or 77%.  Learn more about calculating seed viability on the Seed Storage page.

Jun 25 = Day 10.  1 seed has germinated, placed directly under a fluorescent light (2 ft. T8 bulb, 17W, 6500k) for 16 hours per day.

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Jul 5 = Day 20

Jul 13 = Day 28.  Starting to let this plant have a few hours of outdoor exposure, to toughen up the plant.

Jul 15 = Day 30.  Plant is now outside all of the time, receiving 4-5 hours sunlight per day.

Jul 17 = Day 32.  Installed plant into a 5-gallon bucket.  Hydroponic solution composed of 5 gal (18.9 L) tap water, 10 g MasterBlend 4-18-38, 10 g calcium nitrate, 5 g magnesium sulfate, 1 mL Dyna-Gro Pro-TeKt, 5 mL pH Down.   N-P-K (in ppm): 103-41-168.

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Jul 17 = Day 32
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Aug 11 = Day 57

Aug 13 = Day 59.  Some hornworms (very small) are found on the plant.  Entire plant is sprayed with a solution of BT, diluted in water (5 mL BT per liter).

Aug 25 = Day 71.  Lower leaves showing some signs of powdery mildew, so spraying as needed with diluted horticultural oil (1 tbsp oil diluted into 1 quart water in a spray bottle).

Sep 4 = Day 81.  Container was getting light, so I added 1 gallon of fresh hydroponic fluid.

Sep 11 = Day 88.  Added 1.25 gallon of fresh hydroponic fluid.

Sep 12 = Day 89.  Plant is battling some powdery mildew and is losing some lower leaves as a result.  This plant is still developing several peppers.

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Sep 12 = Day 89
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Sep 12 = Day 89.  Lipstick peppers developing.

Sep 21 = Day 98.  This Lipstick pepper plant is looking poor, lots of leaves are falling off due to powdery mildew.  Even though the peppers are not fully ripe yet (have not changed color), I chose to harvest all of the remaining peppers (8) at this time.  These Lipstick peppers, combined with my Snapper and Orange Bell peppers, will be used to make one large batch of Stuffed Peppers.

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Sep 21 = Day 98.  Harvested peppers:  6 Snapper (left), 8 Lipstick (middle), 6 Orange Bell (right)

Stuffed Peppers recipe:  Cut peppers in half, remove seeds.  Blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes, then set upside down on paper towels to drain.  To make the filling,  brown 1 lb ground beef, drain the fat, add sauteed onion and garlic.  Add herbs and spices, such as oregano, basil, salt, and black pepper.  Add 1 cup tomato sauce and 2 cups cooked white rice, mix it all together.  Load the filling into the pepper halves.  Cook at 375F for 15 minutes, then top with cheese and put back into oven until cheese melts.

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Stuffed peppers.  The Lipstick peppers were a bit small, so some of the peppers were cut up and thrown into the filling, while the rest were stuffed (small baking dish on the left).

Sep 22 = Day 108.  Plant was discarded at this time.  Total fluid used = 5.25 gallons.

Swiss Chard – Flamingo Pink

swiss-chard-flamingo-pink-dsc02548Swiss chard seems to do very well in the Bucket Hydroponics system.  This variety of chard is characterized by beautiful pink stalks.

May 28, 2016 = Day 0.  Plants started from seed (Baker Creek).  Seeds sowed in 1.5-inch rockwool cube in 2-inch net-pot.  Moistened with Seedling Blend, a dilute blend of fertilizers.  N-P-K (in ppm): 22-12-13.

May 30 = Day 2.  Plant germinated, placed directly under a fluorescent light (2 ft. T8 bulb, 17W, 6500k) for 16 hours per day.

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Jun 6 = Day 9

Jun 15 = Day 18.  Installed plant into a 2-gallon bucket using Jungle Juice Blend, a regular-strength fertilizer blend.  N-P-K (in ppm): 113-35-122.  Plant moved to indoor grow room, receiving 9 hours LED grow light per day.

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Jun 16 = Day 19
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Jul 6 = Day 39
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Jul 25 = Day 58

Aug 4 = Day 68.  Container was almost empty, so I added 0.75 gallon of fresh fluid, this time using the MasterBlend-based Regular-Strength Blend.  N-P-K (in ppm): 103-41-168.

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Aug 11 = Day 75

Aug 13 = Day 77.  Harvested entire plant.  Total fluid used = 2.5 gallons.

Mustard – Deep Purple

87006Mustard is one of the most flavorful greens that I have grown.  Young leaves have a mild flavor, but as the leaves get older they seem to develop a very strong flavor, reminiscent of horseradish.  This intense flavor is due to the presence of allyl isothiocyanate, a compound which also is also found in horseradish and wasabi.  Interestingly, the isothiocyanate is not always present in the leaves, but is produced by enzymes that are released upon maceration (such as due to chewing of the raw leaves).  In the wild, this serves as a defense mechanism for the plant.

May 28, 2016 = Day 0.  Plants started from seed (Park Seed Co.).  Seeds sowed in 1.5-inch rockwool cube in 2-inch net-pot.  Moistened with Seedling Blend, a dilute blend of fertilizers.  N-P-K (in ppm): 22-12-13.

May 30 = Day 2.  Plant germinated, placed directly under a fluorescent light (2 ft. T8 bulb, 17W, 6500k) for 16 hours per day.

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Jun 6 = Day 9

Jun 15 = Day 18.  Thinned to 1 plant in net-pot.  Installed plant into a 3.5-gallon bucket using Jungle Juice Blend, a regular-strength fertilizer blend.  N-P-K (in ppm): 113-35-122.  Moved plant to indoor grow room, receiving 9 hours LED grow light per day.

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Jun 16 = Day 19
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Jul 6 = Day 39

Jul 20 = Day 53.  Began harvesting lower leaves for use in salads.  Leaves do not yet have that intense spicy flavor that older leaves develop.

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Jul 25 = Day 58

Aug 4 = Day 68.  Added 1 gallon of fresh fluid, this time using the MasterBlend-based Regular-Strength Blend.  N-P-K (in ppm): 103-41-168.

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Aug 11 = Day 75

Aug 13 = Day 77.  Added 1 gallon Regular-Strength Blend.  Leaves are now developing a spicy flavor.  Also, indoor grow room is very hot (> 80 °F during the day), so the use of the LED grow light was discontinued.  Plant is now receiving 3-4 hours of direct sunlight per day.

Aug 25 = Day 89.  Added 0.75 gallon Regular-Strength Blend.

Sep 3 = Day 98.  Added 0.75 gallon Regular-Strength Blend.

Sep 11 = Day 106.  Added 1 gallon Regular-Strength Blend.

Sep 19 = Day 114.  Added 1 gallon Regular-Strength Blend.

Sep 25 = Day 120.  There is about 1 gallon of fluid remaining in the bucket, so the plant has used 8 gallons of fluid so far.  At this point, the plant was transferred to a new 3.5-gallon bucket containing 2 gallons of fresh Regular-Strength Blend.

Oct 5 = Day 130.  Added 1 gallon Regular-Strength Blend.

Oct 7 = Day 132.  Plant was discarded at this time.  Total fluid used: 9.5 gallons.

Endive – Perlita

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Endive is a leafy green that is similar to lettuce, but with a slightly thicker leaf.  The leaves remind me of a Romaine type of lettuce.

May 28, 2016 = Day 0.  Plants started from seed (Park Seed Co.).  Seeds sowed in 1.5-inch rockwool cube in 2-inch net-pot.  Moistened with Seedling Blend, a dilute blend of fertilizers.  N-P-K (in ppm): 22-12-13.

May 30 = Day 2.  Plant germinated, placed directly under a fluorescent light (2 ft. T8 bulb, 17W, 6500k) for 16 hours per day.

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Jun 6 = Day 9

Jun 15 = Day 18.  Installed plant into a 2-gallon bucket using Jungle Juice Blend, a regular-strength fertilizer blend.  N-P-K (in ppm): 113-35-122.  Plant moved to indoor grow room, receiving 9 hours LED grow light per day.

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Jun 16 = Day 19
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Jul 6 = Day 39

Jul 11 = Day 44.  Began harvesting lower leaves for use in salads.

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Jul 25 = Day 58

Aug 4 = Day 68.  Container was almost empty, so I added 0.75 gallon of fresh fluid, this time using the MasterBlend-based Regular-Strength Blend.   N-P-K (in ppm): 103-41-168.

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Aug 11 = Day 75

Aug 13 = Day 77. Added 0.5 gallon Regular-Strength Blend.  Leaves are now developing a spicy flavor.  Also, indoor grow room is very hot (> 80 °F during the day), so the use of the LED grow light was discontinued.  Plant is now receiving 3-4 hours of direct sunlight per day.

Aug 25 = Day 89.  Added 0.75 gallon Regular-Strength Blend.

Sep 3 = Day 98.  Added 0.25 gallon Regular-Strength Blend.

Sep 11 = Day 106.  Added 0.75 gallon Regular-Strength Blend.

Sep 17 = Day 112.  I have been continuing to harvest the lower leaves for salads, and they have been tasting great.  Unfortunately, I recently discovered mites on a few of the leaves, so rather than deal with the mites, I will discard the plant at this time.  This plant did very well for me, providing many salads.  Total fluid used = 4 gallons.