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My second system


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  #1  
Old 07-06-2011, 08:37 PM
fintuckyfarms fintuckyfarms is offline
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Default My second system

Finally..... I got it going today. Only the outside plants are in it right now cuz it is way too hot to move them out there.

I still have a few things to do like add the air stones and hog panel that I'm gonna use as a trellis. I plan on wrapping both the resiviour and the tubes to help keep them cool. This is only a temp location until the green house gets built but it will do for now. The system gets early morning and mid day sun till about 3ish then it is shadded from the really hot part of the day. It is also protected from the winds we get here on the east side of the house.

I used 10' thin will pipe and now wish I would have just spent the extra $$ and went with regular PVC as this tends to bow. It makes it harder to get the water level correct. When I build the system GPSfrontier designed for me I will get regular pvc. I did not glue the joints and only have a very small leak at one of the joints thus far. The first two tubes have holes at 8" on center and the last two at 12" as I plan to grow larger plants like tomatos and peppers back there.

The system is continous flow using a 290 gpm pump I bought on-line for $9 plus free shipping. I regulate the water level by twisting the end cap that has the black tube to get the desired level. That way if the pump fails or the power goes out, there is still about 2.5"s of water in the tubes. I still need to wrap both the intake tube (it is clear) and the output tube to keep them cool and algee free. (See, I am learning lots from this site)

I am using a 50 gal rubermaid container as the resiviour right now. Not sure if this is a permenent thing as just yet as I can only put about 35 gal's in it before the sides start bulging out. But the larger volume really does help keep the temp more regulated. It is about 95 outside right now and the water is still cool to the touch.

I am not going to be able to move the squash plant into this system so I am already thinking on a ebb and flow system out of plastic 55 gal barrels that I picked up. I will probably end up moving the cantalope there also. I think I just need another pump and some more hydrodron.

Anyway, what do ya think?

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  #2  
Old 07-07-2011, 01:16 PM
fintuckyfarms fintuckyfarms is offline
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So I got the plants put into the system last night around 9:30 after it cooled down to about 82 degrees. I added some twine for the plants to crawl up and wrapped the tubes to the system with some foam. I got the air stones in and going and so far (fingers crossed) they look good this am. One of the tomato plants might be in some shock but i will watch it till I have to go to work this afternoon. I put the lettuce in the system even though I don't think it will make it. Most of them are still laying over but they are growing. I just want to see what happens, but I think it will be too hot for them anyway. Thinking I might need some shade cloth, IDK. I ended up with lettuce, tomatos, peppers, zuchinni, beans, mini carrots and cantalope. Anyway second system done, up and going and now I'm thinking about the next one
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Last edited by fintuckyfarms; 08-07-2011 at 08:18 PM.
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  #3  
Old 07-09-2011, 05:52 PM
fintuckyfarms fintuckyfarms is offline
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So ALL the flowers on both the squash and the cantalope are all male flowers, several of them. Is this normal? It has been about a week since they first flowered. I thought I would have at least one female by now.
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  #4  
Old 07-13-2011, 09:03 PM
fintuckyfarms fintuckyfarms is offline
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So I am suffering from a sever lack of foresight. The cantalope have grown so much they are already clogging the pipes! So I'm gonna have to hurry and get system 3 up and running. I am going with a ebb and flow system using 1/2 55 gal barrels.
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  #5  
Old 07-13-2011, 11:59 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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What do you mean clogging up the pipes? Are you talking about the water inlet line? Overflow line? or 4 inch pipe? The roots will always try to get into the inlet line, and overflow. But if you designed the system with maintenance in mind, that should be easy to take care of. But after rereading your original post I'm assuming the system is a NFT system because of the statement about it being a continues flow system. In which case I can see the roots of such a large plant for sure getting large enough to dam up the water flow, and can be a problem if so. I have grown 6 foot tall plants in 4 inch tubing, but as a flood and drain system. It shouldn't be to difficult to convert that NFT system into a flood and drain. Just adjusting the water inlet, and overflow lines, then add a timer. Possibly larger reservoir. A 10 foot section of 4 inch tubing can hold about 5 gallons of water when flooded. So 4 of them would likely take about 20 gallons to flood the system without running the pump dry.

Then taking into account how much water the plants drink daily. Not to mention the size (when full grown), and amount of plants in the system. A general rule of thumb is small plants like lettuce should have a minimum of 1/2 gallons of nutrient solution per plant. Medium size plants should have a minimum of 1 to 1 1/2 gallons of nutrient solution per plant. And for large plants like tomato or melon plants should have a minimum of 2 1/2 gallons of nutrient solution per plant. So adding up all the plants as well as minimum requirements for them all should give you a starting point of the reservoir size you'll want/need.

P.S.
I wouldn't worry about only having male flowers just yet. Myself I prefer the ADS tubing over PVC, mostly because it's easy to find, and it's lightproof (black inside). It is a little more flexible than schedule 40 PVC, but as long as the stand is built to support the weight evenly, that's not really a problem for me. But because my ground isn't exactly even/level itself, leveling the stands can take patience. But leveling the stands would need to be done for both ADS, or PVC type tubing.
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 07-14-2011 at 12:05 AM.
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  #6  
Old 07-14-2011, 12:55 AM
fintuckyfarms fintuckyfarms is offline
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They are clogging the 4" pipe and causing it to overflow. I think I have it adjusted but the roots are so large I can barely lift the pots out of the pipe. They have only been in there a week or so, I just can't believe their growth. They have taken off in the new system; they did not grow so fast weeks in the DWC system that I had, but the pumpkin is going crazy. It now has two female flowers with marble sized balls just under the flower. My son helped me cut two 55 gal plastic barrels in half today so that will give me 4 growing beds. I'm going to put the cantalope in one, cucumbers in one, gonna try corn in one and the last one Im gonna try baby carrots and maybe some green onions. I don't think my local store carries the overflow parts so I will have to try and make some myself out of pvc pipe and caps. I will also have to get another pump and timer some tubing and pea gravel. Tomorrow is Monday and it's a 12 hour day for me but I plan to get the system up by the weekend.
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  #7  
Old 07-14-2011, 01:10 AM
fintuckyfarms fintuckyfarms is offline
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Some update picts...
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:06 PM
fintuckyfarms fintuckyfarms is offline
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So I was going to start my 3rd system today, but I forgot I work and early 12 (going in early instead of staying late). So I took the small pump out of the cooler and traded it out with the larger pump and the water stopped overflowing in the pipes. It will work till I can get system 3 up and working and it's not too hot that I need the cooler on the pumpkin. The leaves have completely shadded the resoviour so it stays much cooler. Till tomorrow
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  #9  
Old 07-21-2011, 02:48 PM
fintuckyfarms fintuckyfarms is offline
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So yesterday I move the system to the driveway off the grass and moved some of the bigger plants out of the system into a new one. I had several plants die to both heat and earwigs but I'm gonna spray with some organic stuff I picked up. I moved several of the remaining lettuce plants back into the house in a DWC system and they are doing great. Probably gonna eat a salad for lunch! I want to fill the rest of the system, but I'm not sure what will grow the best as our summer is finally starting to show (it's already July but seems like May). Thank God we don't live in the middle of the country where the heat wave has been going on forever it seems like. I like the cooler overcast days
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:04 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Living here in the desert, I've had to deal with heat a little bit. Though we are lucky this year, because of El Nino (or La Nina which ever it is this year), we are averring about 10 to 15 degrees cooler. Today is 106, and would normally be between 115 and 125 this late in July, as well as August. Night time lows are in the mid 80's to low 90's now, but normally the night time lows wouldn't fall below 100 again until late September. We haven't had one night time low temp above 100 all summer so far. For us this is a real mild summer, and I'm loving that.
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Old 07-22-2011, 12:25 AM
fintuckyfarms fintuckyfarms is offline
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I don't think I could live there; I'm a cool girl at heart and would love to move to Alaska. It is usually in the high 90's to 110 this time of the year here, so the cooler weather has been really nice. The weather man was joking today that we have a beautiful day a head of us for FALL. He thought he was terribly funny. Yesterday was 83 and breezy but I still got sunburned working outside. We had a large natural cover fire just on the other side of the mountian towards Hermiston. 800 acres burned, it was really smokey. Our wet spring has added a lot of fuel and now the dry wind is not helping matters.
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Old 07-26-2011, 07:26 PM
fintuckyfarms fintuckyfarms is offline
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Default garden update

So today I made a homemade hammock for the squash! It was really easy to do with some twine I had laying arround. I also saw my first sugar pea and I have flower buds on my tomatos. I think I might see the first pepper starting to form, so excited and I don't even like them.... I also had my first lettuce harvest a few days ago, yumo!
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Last edited by fintuckyfarms; 07-26-2011 at 11:11 PM.
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  #13  
Old 07-26-2011, 10:44 PM
Stan Stan is offline
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All of your plants are looking real good!
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  #14  
Old 07-26-2011, 11:10 PM
fintuckyfarms fintuckyfarms is offline
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Thanks! I am learning so much about them. I am still trying to find out what kind of squash that yellow thing is. My co-worker told me it's ready to pick.
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:55 PM
fintuckyfarms fintuckyfarms is offline
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So I was right, It's a pumpkin! Took a photo into my garden center and they assured me it is not a lemon squash but a pumpkin. So happy
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Old 07-28-2011, 12:28 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Interesting, I had no idea what kind of squash it was, I never saw a pumpkin forming before. Fresh pumpkin pie, yummy. You should be able to carve your own pumpkin you grew for Halloween too.
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Old 07-29-2011, 07:51 AM
fintuckyfarms fintuckyfarms is offline
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I have been studying those pict Simon took of the land at Epcot to see how to best hammock those suckers. They are growing so fast and the the roots have completly filled up the tote. I have about six that have pollinated and there are at least that many more getting ready to flower. I think I am going to have to set up some sort of float system for it to self water or just leave a hose on it dripping into it all day long; jkjk, well maybe not.
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Old 08-01-2011, 11:30 PM
fintuckyfarms fintuckyfarms is offline
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In the second system I still have lettuce, some carrots, peppers, tomatos, bush beans, snow peas and some spinish. Hear is the recent growth... and today we had our first "family" salad
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  #19  
Old 08-04-2011, 05:19 PM
fintuckyfarms fintuckyfarms is offline
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It's the end of my weekend, so I thought I would show you the new stuff!
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Old 08-07-2011, 08:11 PM
fintuckyfarms fintuckyfarms is offline
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****** alert ****** alert ***** alert ****** alert ******

Do not, repeat, do not put tomato plants in a 4" pipe!

Just a friendly mental safety alert

I think it is time to break it apart and fish me out some roots. The pipe is solid with tomato roots and overflows no matter how I adjust the system. It is going thru about 50 gals a day and I can not afford the nutes to keep replacing it everyday. However the plants are doing great, growing everyday and I have baby tomatoes and lots of flowers all all the plants. I probably should have trimmed them sooner as they are getting a little thick, but I'm learning as I go. All the other plants in the system are doing well also and they are not clogging it up. Next crop will be in the barrels or buckets or at least a 8" pipe. Crazy plants!

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