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PostPosted: May 16th, '10, 08:46 
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The overflow problem continues. I drilled a bazillion holes in that T till it occurred to me to run the pump without the T connected. At the 4 minute mark it started to go over the top:
Attachment:
Still overflowing.jpg
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Dennis thinks if we make the pipe coming out of the FT bigger that would do it (or redo the SLO drain with a larger pipe).

On the plus side, I'm up to 3 GBs in the middle row & am hoping for 2 or 3 more done this week.
Attachment:
May 15, 2010.jpg
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Still watering (with fishwater) by hand but it does drain back into the ST. Still not sure how I'll support the tomatoes. I think some combo of rebar & PVC.

The non-AP garden in the hoop house is going great. Argulua & broccoli raab are starting to flower though. The rest of the (dirt) garden needs my attention.

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PostPosted: May 18th, '10, 09:49 
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The overflow problem is fixed.
Attachment:
Overflow fixed.jpg
Overflow fixed.jpg [ 50.79 KiB | Viewed 2318 times ]

We bumped up the SLO drain to 1 1/2" & that solved it. Still flooding above the media (coco peat) but since there is no sign of algae & the plants look happy I'll leave it alone.

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PostPosted: May 19th, '10, 23:18 
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A couple of posts back I marveled at how dark the coco peat had got and that the flooding hadn't caused any algae to grow. Er...
Attachment:
Algae.jpg
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It doesn't seem to be effecting the plants. I guess my 2 options are to run the pump less or add a layer of gravel which would drain quicker than the coco peat.

1 week comparison, 3 weeks after transplanting:
Attachment:
Screen shot 2010-05-19 at 10.58.25 AM.png
Screen shot 2010-05-19 at 10.58.25 AM.png [ 519.55 KiB | Viewed 2234 times ]

The growth looks great but no better than the lettuce in the bed next it. There are a few weeds in the dirt one, but not too many because the spacing doesn't allow it and it's been mulched with pine bark. I'll have to try to compare something else when this round of lettuce is done. The bok choy looks better than the dirt ones but I'll need a base line pic to compare.

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PostPosted: May 22nd, '10, 09:32 
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Let the record show that today I lost my bet with my husband. The outside temp was 79, temp in the hoop house 120 :shock: (probably not really that high) and temp in the FT 80. I'm sure the goldfish don't mind but clearly too hot for trout.

Not sure if I'm ready to start a 3rd system because I need to move into high gear to get the dirt garden in & the rest of the AP beds. I have 10 days till the official last frost but everyone is jumping the gun because it looks fine 5 days out.

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PostPosted: May 25th, '10, 00:01 
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Mid day break from the garden.

Transferred 2 fish from inside to the outside system for a total of 10. The inside system had a reading of 20 nitrates while the outside one had 0.

Got another GB going and added drip irrigation to the first existing ones.
Attachment:
Drip irrigation.jpg
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Some of the beds will be flood & drain but I haven't worked out the details. The drip irrigation was going to be a temporary stop gap but now I'm not sure about the coco peat. I would doubt I'd get root rot, only the top inch or so is coco peat. I think these beds will drain better than the 1st that has a little algae but we'll see.

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PostPosted: May 26th, '10, 23:04 
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Outside nitrates @ 0, inside up to 80! Time for the kids to catch more goldfish for the outside FT.

Late afternoon yesterday the water in the outside FT was 86! Apparently the goldfish can stand it up to 100 so I'm trying not to worry but it is going to be hotter today.

I think we'll have our first AP salad this week. Maybe eat this bed ASAP so I can remove the coco peat.
Attachment:
May 26, 2010a.jpg
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My dirt bed comparison:
Attachment:
May 26, 2010b.jpg
May 26, 2010b.jpg [ 76.34 KiB | Viewed 2097 times ]

And finally:
Attachment:
May 26, 2010c.jpg
May 26, 2010c.jpg [ 84.69 KiB | Viewed 2096 times ]

The 8 GBs are in and draining is set up. After the irrigation is set up I will contemplate my next move. My GB:FT will be almost 4:1 when they are planted so I'm contemplating putting in another 55 gal blue drum on the right side of the HH.

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PostPosted: Jun 4th, '10, 03:45 
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Clearing out a GB isn't quite as interesting:
Attachment:
June 3, 2010.jpg
June 3, 2010.jpg [ 65.14 KiB | Viewed 2036 times ]

I'm removing the coco peat as I pull the plants. Curious to see if I get algae on the gravel.
Next a comparison of a bok choy leaf (on left) from the dirt garden vs AP bok choy:
Attachment:
Low iron.jpg
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The new leaves on the AP bok choy look greener - perhaps because I've been adding hard well water.

Or it could just be lack of nutrients in general. Both of these peppers are AP but the darker one is from the inside system with high nitrates:
Attachment:
Indoor vs Outdoor peppers.jpg
Indoor vs Outdoor peppers.jpg [ 102.43 KiB | Viewed 2033 times ]

I've got maxicrop coming within the week!

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PostPosted: Jun 5th, '10, 00:50 
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I forgot about this:
Attachment:
Temp irrigation 1.jpg
Temp irrigation 1.jpg [ 86.91 KiB | Viewed 1998 times ]

Could I possibly get tomatoes by the 4th of July? That would beat my earliest harvest by 25 days!
Attachment:
Temp irrigation 2.jpg
Temp irrigation 2.jpg [ 94.41 KiB | Viewed 1995 times ]

My last thought on irrigation was to have the beds with coco peat & gravel use drip irrigation, and use just gravel for the rest and do flood & drain. That didn't work, at least with the pump I was using. I had to reduce the size of the Ts all the way down to 3/8 to get any water to make it to the last bed.

I've ordered another small pump to split up the job and get better pressure. In the mean time I'll finish planting those GBs (I hope - still have tomatoes to put in the dirt garden)

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PostPosted: Jun 5th, '10, 09:59 
I used coco coir in a couple of beds when I first started CJ... even with drip irrigation I found they just stayed too wet... unless only watered about once/twice a day (max) for about 15-30mins....

Coir is probably best suited to a wicking bed IMO... although those in the tropics might have more success with regular drip irrigation...


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PostPosted: Jun 5th, '10, 10:59 
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Rupert, it's the extremes of my hoop house that makes me keep trying the coco coir. It didn't seem too wet using drip irrigation.

The best way to use it may be in net pots surrounded by gravel. Time will tell.

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PostPosted: Jun 5th, '10, 11:01 
Might be worth trying a 50:50 mix of coir and vermiculite then.... just to breakup the coir a bit and allow for a bit more aeration....


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PostPosted: Jun 7th, '10, 07:49 
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The gremlins were active today!

I went to give the fish breakfast in the outside system and it was strangely quiet. The air pump was off. Something tripped the GFI that the extension cord was plugged into. We did have some massive rain but nothing seemed wet near the outlet in the hoop house.

Then in the afternoon the pump kicked on for the inside system. Something told me to take a peak and the water was roiling like mad. The hose had come off the pump.

So, no HSM but strange. There were 5 young teens hanging around yesterday & today (only 2 were mine)...

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PostPosted: Jun 7th, '10, 07:58 
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RupertofOZ wrote:
I used coco coir in a couple of beds when I first started CJ... even with drip irrigation I found they just stayed too wet... unless only watered about once/twice a day (max) for about 15-30mins....


I just reread this.

Did you use coco coir for the whole depth of the GB & how deep was it? I've got a good 4 or 5" gravel first and coco coir on the top. A few beds will just have coco coir in net pots with the plants and gravel for the rest.

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PostPosted: Jun 7th, '10, 12:55 
Used it in half blue barrels... so probably 300mm/12" deep....


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PostPosted: Jun 22nd, '10, 05:23 
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Tomato trouble:
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I was hoping to avoid this type of problem by going soiless! I wonder if the mold (if that's what it is) hitched a ride on the strawberries I transplanted?

On another thread it seems like potassium bicarb will help fight this. Any comments?

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