Let the Hydroponic Experiment Begin

Today I cleared out my grow room, the tomato plants I had in there have given just about all they are going to give.  For some reason, I am not sure why, the tomatoes were “mushy” for lack of a better word.  I have had them for close to 2 years and I guess it was there time to go.  This opened up a sizable area for me to set up my hydroponic DWC system.

Before I can play around with any of my hydroponic toys, I first needed to plant my seeds.  I DSCF1252am choosing to plant the Carolina Reaper Pepper, this is an extremely hot pepper.  In fact it just recently took the title of the worlds hottest pepper according to the Guinness Book of World Records.  I planted 2 the traditional way, in soil, and I planted 2 in a rockwool cube.  For the rockwool cube I let a container of water sit out over night to remove the chlorine from the water.  I tested the Ph of that water this morning and it was pretty alkaline, coming in at 8.7 on the Ph tester.  I added a touch of fresh squeezed lemon juice and the next Ph reading was good enough at 6.0.   This is the water I used to soak my rookwool cube and I used this water to water the seeds I planted in the soil.  I have them under the lights in my germination area.  Once the seeds in the rockwool cube sprout I will transfer them to the DWC system and as soon as it is warm enough I will transplant the seedlings that are planted in the soil to my garden.

DSCF1254I can not wait to see if there is a difference in size or quality.  If I had to guess I would say the plants in the DWC system will thrive now during the winter months.  Once the weather is warm enough to move the other seedlings outside I believe they will more than likely outpace the plants in the hydroponic system.  It has always been my experience that plants planted in the ground outside always do better than plants raised inside under lights.  This is going to be a fun experiment.  I can’t wait to see the results.

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6 thoughts on “Let the Hydroponic Experiment Begin

  1. You make me want to take up gardening again, after I swore off of it two years ago. We still rely on well water in our house since my mother hasn’t introduced city water yet, and with the dry summers here, the well runs the risk of drying up, and right now it’s a choice between having clean clothes/shower water or maintaining a garden… but damn am I tempted!

    • I understand. Water is not something you want to use frivolously. Gardening provides a little bit of food for my family. we have a little grow room for tomatoes, and peppers. If this hydroponic thing works we will have an indoor food supply year round. If you ever do decide to have a garden, I would love to know what you grow and how it does.

      • I can tell you what we had and what grew(mind you we have a pretty big patch of land that goes to waste and annoys my husband when he has to mow it every two weeks). We grew cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, yellow beans, peas, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, leek, garlic, parsley, carrots, celery, hot peppers known as feferoni, potatoes, eggplants, zucchini, and regular beans.

        I’ve had repeat success with cabbage and kale, those grew like crazy while cauliflower, broccoli and lettuce simply refused to grow. Carrots, parsley and celery were so small and thin that it wasn’t even funny. Potatoes were semi successful (I think I dug them out too early-they were small). Zucchini grew like crazy, so did green and yellow beans. Peas were a hit and miss. Tomatoes were a success while bell peppers were a complete miss. Eggplants were a semi success (didn’t get a lot of plants and they didn’t grow very big).

        We had the garden for 2 years. Then I declared the end since the dry summer was killing the plants and watering them every two days didn’t help them or our water supply. First year I didn’t use any fertilizer and had no problems with weeds. Second year my mother found some natural chicken fertilizer (read chicken poop) and made me use it. I couldn’t get rid of the weeds no matter what I did and I am partial to blame it on the fertilizer.

      • Wow that sounds incredible. More like a full blown farm than a garden. I don’t have land and the land I do have is shaded by huge oak, ash, and walnut trees. The trees are beautiful, but they don’t allow much sunlight through. I have an area about 15′ X 15′ that gets 10 – 12 hours of sun in the summer time. That is the area I put up my little green house.

        I have tried to grow everything you mention to varying degrees of success. For some reason peppers do extraordinarily well. This up coming season I will be growing peppers of all sorts from bell peppers to peppers that will make your eyelids fall off they are so hot. I am also going to be growing some eggplant. I love eggplant because it lends its self to barbecuing quite nicely. I will be starting to add some of my BBQ recipes to the blog this spring. Peppers and barbecue go well together and I think it will add some fun content for the blog.

        When those peppers come in I would love to share them with you and your husband, us pepper heads have to stick together 🙂

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