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Sustained yield


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Old 11-21-2013, 01:11 PM
pengyou pengyou is offline
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Default Sustained yield

I am just getting my feet wet in hydroponics (pun intended) by growing wheat grass in water. My next step is to grow kale and other green leafy vegetables, followed by tomatoes, etc.

Has anyone looked into the feasibility or made a model of sustained yield plantings? By sustained yield I mean being able to harvest each week what I need that week. For example, if I need 10 carrots a week, I know that I need to plant 10 carrot seeds a week - maybe an extra in case of failure.

If this is possible/feasible it will save lots of $$ on storing and processing food. In the typical soil based model of growing produce, veggies are planted in the spring, harvest mid summer to fall and have to be canned/frozen/dried to be able to be eaten the rest of the year. Or, in warmer climates, they have to be shipped hundreds or thousands of miles to other places so that they can be eaten "fresh", at significant increase of cost and use of more carbon to do so. If I can plant so that I can harvest every week - even every day, I maximize the nutritional content of the produce, reduce the cost of buying and operating freezers, don't need to buy as big a house/space to store them in, etc

My dream is to be able to come with up a model that will allow me to use hydroponics to grow all of the veggies for a family of 4 in a room x' by y'. I am not sure what these dimensions are yet but I think with proper shelving and lighting, 10'x10' might be possible.

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Old 11-22-2013, 11:28 PM
mj2 mj2 is offline
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I have an NFT system that I started with basil and bibb lettuce... the el-cheapo lowes lettuce seed bolted pretty easily (compared with a bolt tolerant variety), and I've just recently experimented with kale and swiss chard.

I have about 10-12 kale and 15 swiss chard plants right now (in an NFT system with 60 sites, but spacing will allow about 45 to be filled at once).
I can't use the chard quick enough - it grows much faster than the kale, and it regrows when the plant is completely hacked down to 1" or so of the base.
The kale will make huge (big as a piece of paper!) leaves, but it does take 4-6 weeks once in the NFT channels (they spend 2 weeks in germination/sprouting, 1-2 weeks in a nursery/low-nute flood channel first).
If I wanted to have fresh kale and chard for eating (we use it for juicing in the morning) for 2 consistently (using it 3-4 meals a week), I think 15-18 kale plants and 8-10 chard would do. Maybe even less on the chard - it grows like crazy.

Total floor space is about 9' x 7' in my basement.

Just started a new system for tomatoes.. can't help ya there - just planted last week.

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