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PostPosted: Jun 6th, '19, 06:51 
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Ok, that's all I can take, for now. I hope someone gets something from these!


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PostPosted: Jul 9th, '19, 23:59 
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My garden continues to grow.

I've been dosing calcium carbonate, wood ash, Seaweed concentrate, and Hummonia. I noticed my raspberries and other plants showing low iron, so I whipped up a (hopefully) anaerobic iron-chelating denitrifying bio reactor. Whew, what a mouthful. Basically, it's a small barrel with layers of sand, charcoal, and iron, with minimal water flow through the vessel. This forms an anaerobic zone where anaerobic bacteria can convert nitrate into a gas. In the process, if Fe2+ iron is present, it will be converted to Fe3+, or something, which makes it plant available. It's been running for about 1.5 weeks, and I'm starting to see some recovery in the raspberry leaf I've been watching.

There's lots of iron scrap in this world, and using it, instead of buying chelated iron, is definitely the better option.

I'm not worried about losing all my nitrates, because the drain from only one growbed feeds this bioreactor with water, with most of that spilling off the top, not percolating down through.

Plants are all responding well to the start/mid of summer. Lots of growth. Kiwis and strawberries are exploding. Marshmallow plant is 10ft tall. Lots of bush beans. Lots of tomato plants with small green toms, etc.

Also, I switched the system from 24/7 continuous flow, to alternating 1-hour periods of on or off. Most of the growbeds have a small hole drilled low on the drain standpipe, so the bed drains slowly during the "off" period. From my observations, I conclude that the plants prefer having a drain period where the roots are damp but not submerged.

One of my radial flow filters was leaking, right before I went camping for a week. So I took it out of service, reduced flow through the system, and replaced the filter barrel a week after I returned from camping. With the return to good levels of flow, the plants all perked up again, but they were sad, for a little while.

I posted a video below.




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