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 Post subject: Re: Rairdog's AP venture
PostPosted: Jul 26th, '13, 08:38 
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I am starting to loose the bug to keep the AP going. It just doesn't compare to a dirt garden when you have fertile soil and plenty of water cheap. I haven't even watered my garden this year except for transplanting seedlings. I understand if you live in a dessert climate or water is expensive why it is a good choice. A large system seems to produce better and I just don't have the room or resources. Honestly, I can catch the amount of fish in my system in a couple hours and harvest the veggies in a week from dirt what my system can produce all year.

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 Post subject: Re: Rairdog's AP venture
PostPosted: Jul 26th, '13, 21:07 
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is this your system's first year? i'd still consider that a "new" system, and it will perform better as time goes on

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 Post subject: Re: Rairdog's AP venture
PostPosted: Jul 27th, '13, 01:29 
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Last year for me was kind of a letdown, especially when I compared it to my parent's dirt garden, this year is totally different! Healthier plants, fewer pests, lots of produce collected daily. Keep it going through next year. That will be easier than taking it down.

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 Post subject: Re: Rairdog's AP venture
PostPosted: Jul 27th, '13, 04:53 
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These guys are right you are going to see a much better output the second year. But if you have perfect soil water and weather it can be hard to beat.

If you have perfect water correct ratios of Fish tank and grow beds and number of fish you should be able to get great amounts of produce out of your system. Fish should grow well in the perfect system.

Many of our members have tried doing tests by putting the same plants in both kinds of gardens and seeing which ones do the best. Some plants don't like the water and some love it. You will have to decide which plants to do in your system. Also you can do some plants in summer and winter that you could not do other wise. For example you can keep Tomatoes all year around if you don't let them freeze. Some people have tomatoes that are several years old and still producing.

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 Post subject: Re: Rairdog's AP venture
PostPosted: Jul 27th, '13, 07:46 
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I am still trying to figure out how to keep it going through winter. Looking at building a greenhouse but it would be hard to keep it from freezing. I could bring GB inside but lights seem only good for greens and I would still need some heat in walkout basement..

Does shutting it down prolong the maturing process? I could just keep fish and gravel going.

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 Post subject: Re: Rairdog's AP venture
PostPosted: Jul 27th, '13, 07:49 
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Had a helper today at the top of the ladder. Almost put my hand on him. Took him home and put him in GB.
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 Post subject: Re: Rairdog's AP venture
PostPosted: Jul 27th, '13, 10:17 
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My friend here calls them assassin bugs because of the pointy thing on its back.

I guess IN is Indiana so yeah you will need a Green House. You don't have to do a lot just keep the fish tank and the growbeds above freezing. I don't believe in heating the water, I think that the best Idea is to isolate the fish tank from the ground and heat the air around the system. Even a slight freeze will let you grow cabbage and other cruciforms veges. I have experienced about 20 degrees outside and my hoop house stayed above freezing. It is a double layer system with an air blower in between to use air space for insulation. It was surprising how well the winter veges grew in the cold.

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 Post subject: Re: Rairdog's AP venture
PostPosted: Jul 27th, '13, 23:12 
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Hey RD, your setup is pretty nice. Most systems I've seen are monstrosities with respect to their appearance. The framed in barrels actually look pretty nice. Where is your fish tank relative to the deck?


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 Post subject: Re: Rairdog's AP venture
PostPosted: Jul 28th, '13, 00:10 
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Most of us here must have those monstrosities...

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 Post subject: Re: Rairdog's AP venture
PostPosted: Jul 28th, '13, 00:14 
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I, too, fall into the eyesore system category. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Rairdog's AP venture
PostPosted: Jul 28th, '13, 02:01 
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HairSnake wrote:
Hey RD, your setup is pretty nice. Most systems I've seen are monstrosities with respect to their appearance. The framed in barrels actually look pretty nice. Where is your fish tank relative to the deck?


Thanks HS. It is in the walk out basement. 7 ft head.

keith wrote:
is this your system's first year? i'd still consider that a "new" system, and it will perform better as time goes on


Started end of May.

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 Post subject: Re: Rairdog's AP venture
PostPosted: Aug 9th, '13, 08:41 
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Update...Cucs are doing pretty good. There is some thyme under the cucs that is growing well. Pole beans are struggling. What I thought was iron deficiency seems to be rust and a little mozaic virus which has affected my dirt garden beans. Image
Image
I put some sage and oregano in raised beds for dryer feet and it seems to work well.
Image
I took out the big toms. Little ones seem to grow better. These were labeled hybrid snack and 1oz fruits. The are like a baby roma.
Image

Still having problems with bell peppers. I give up on lettuce. It is bitter no matter where or when I grow it. I have tried picking it early on cool mornings, putting in fridge for a day and it didn't help. Might have to try some chard.

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 Post subject: Re: Rairdog's AP venture
PostPosted: Aug 11th, '13, 05:50 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Kale and Broccoli do well in the cold. Do pay attention to sun angles for winter, if the system/greenhouse will get shaded by your house or a neighbor's house badly in winter you may struggle with winter growing but if you have a location that will get really good winter sun, then a greenhouse will be more effective.

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 Post subject: Re: Rairdog's AP venture
PostPosted: Aug 21st, '13, 20:26 
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TCLynx wrote:
Kale and Broccoli do well in the cold. Do pay attention to sun angles for winter, if the system/greenhouse will get shaded by your house or a neighbor's house badly in winter you may struggle with winter growing but if you have a location that will get really good winter sun, then a greenhouse will be more effective.



The deck with proposed lean-to greenhouse would face SE so it should work out fine. It actually gets more sun in the winter due to angle of sun and is up high enough to eliminate shady spots until almost sunset. I am just not sure if it is economically feasible to add a patio door and heat it from the house. With a twinwall polycarb GH I might even gain some heat on sunny mild winter days.

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 Post subject: Re: Rairdog's AP venture
PostPosted: Aug 28th, '13, 08:05 
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My ph is still not dropping from 8.2. All other parameters are in check. I bought some HCL but am wondering if it will help. What I thought was a nutrient deficiency could just be mozaic virus. Toms and herbs seem to be doing good and no signs of leaf damage. My cucs were kicking butt and just started withering out. Pole beans are showing signs of mozaic and/or rust.

I am still try to be patient and let it mature without adding chemicals. I have only added Maxicrop +iron once a week.

Cucumber leaves. All of them not just old growth. I picked some nice ones a couple weeks ago and now the new ones are shriveling up.
Image

Pole bean leaves. Most all but very new growth. Just starting to produce beans.
Image
Image


This seems to happen to my dirt garden every year when it turns dry and hot. Aphid herders are rampant in my dirt gardens. I don't see many in the GB's but they are below in the beans growing up the deck. As long as my dirt gardens grow rapidly and get the proper amount of rain the crops seem to stay ahead of it.

1) Should I pull the beans and cucs?
2) Try the HCL treatment to lower ph and see if it helps?

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