First 3 Months
Well, it's been 3 months since we started growing lettuce, tomatoes and beans. Some comments:
- Lettuce is far and away the easiest. You just stick the seed in a small rockwool container and let it soak in a
tray of water with appropriate nutrients(see any book on hydroponics), then once you have 3 leaves, take the
whole rockwool piece and stick it in a piece of Styrofoam. It just floats on the water. pH is the only thing you
really need to watch. Styrofoam is naturally acidic. Fortunately, our water is extremely alkaline, so we don't
need to adjust it. With just two trays, we're kind of getting sick of all the lettuce.
- Beans were relatively easy in rockwool. Our problem was keeping the plants from falling over which was
solved with string and tape(very high tech!) In the case of both the beans and lettuce, you could pick them and
they would regenerate. pH was the most important thing to watch here.
- Our tomatoes are just starting to flower(3 months). I don't think the room was warm enough(70 degrees). The
plants were also hard to keep up until we got into string and tape. pH was extremely important! The other hard
thing about tomatoes is their requirement for pollination.
- We're moving everything outdoors now because it seems the frosts are over (finally!) and the electricity bills
have been an extra $100 per month with a 1000 watt lamp. We didn't fully utilize it during the spring, just
sticking our toes in this process. I would suggest to everyone that if you're going to do this, you give yourself
at least a year to really understand it prior to needing it. Based on the Zeta timeline, that means get your butts
in gear by Fall-98!
Offered by John.