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Old 02-16-2011, 03:00 PM
gardenmark gardenmark is offline
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Smile Steep Learning Curve

Hi All,
I had a small soil garden last summer, and at the end of summer played with a tub of solution and a bubbler to grow a tomato plant, so I知 new to gardening and very new to hydroponics. To make a long story short, I ended up with four 4x8ft trays, three75 gal and one 100 gal. res., 150 four in sq cups, and 100 six in. pots w/ net bottoms, three pumps and one air pump.
So with almost no money I decided to put together a hydroponic greenhouse. I started with $30 of wood off Craig痴 list and an old metal frame, built tables and a frame and covered w/$100 GH film. Next I added an old box fan and a thermostat w/ louver vent, and a vent at the opposite end w/ auto opener, plus one additional fan for circulation. Being outdoors I added fish tank heaters and air pumps for each tank. (I may not need the air pumps being ebb and flow). I have been running the pumps for ス hr six times a day. Due to night temps going down to 42 degrees on cold nights, I added two more night cycles because the solution temp is 72 degrees and keeps the roots warm.
In the first tray I知 using half clay and half perlite and a lid w/ cutouts for 4in cups. Two more trays have 6 in pots w/ clay and perlite covered w/ panda film. The last tray is also 6in pots w/ all clay and panda. The first tray I知 growing lettuce, onions, herbs, and chard. The next two trays (only one tray growing so far) are peppers, peas, beans, cucumber, egg plant , carrots, and radishes. The last tray has 14 tomato plants. I知 now planting some more pole beans, lemon cucumber, spinach, and squash.
Except for a small light for starting, all is being grown w/o lights. I知 using Pure Blend Pro (7-10 ml/gal) and the seeds were started Jan 1st. After six weeks the first heads of lettuce are big and taste wonderful. Next will be sugar peas and radishes.
Being new I'm open to all comments.

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Last edited by gardenmark; 02-16-2011 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:29 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Hello gardenmark,
I must say that's an impressive setup, even more so for someone new to gardening and hydroponics.
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Old 02-19-2011, 05:31 PM
gardenmark gardenmark is offline
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Thanks for that, I did try to read as much as I could. The guys at the Hydo store helped a bit. I was a design engineer for computer fab equipment until I reached the age of fifty. Now I'm a retired boat builder w/o an income, so building a greenhouse on a shoestring has been a big challenge. Having the four tanks I bought the 2.5 gal of PBP grow and bloom (not using bloom yet). I adjust PH but not sure I really need other additives????
I did a search and looked at the Hydo systems that UPS has, your systems are impressive as well. I know how to use computer control but I wanted to keep things as simple as possible and still get the results of ebb and flow. Unlike me (who was given the pots and trays) you have made you systems from every day materials, if I ever expand I will look at your design very closely.
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Old 02-19-2011, 06:34 PM
gardenmark gardenmark is offline
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Unhappy Oh no aphids

Well I should have known things were going too well! Having my morning coffee in the green house, I noticed two lady bugs. My first thought was that痴 nice to see them until I started wondering what they were eating? Sure enough I looked at the mature lettuce and I had the start of an aphid infestation! At first I was devastated, six mature heads were removed to the outside compost, fourteen smaller heads were moved outside and put in trays and rinsed with the garden hose. These same lettuce plant have been outside in the rain (raining for the last three days) and have washed off all the aphids, the outside temp is around 40 F and that also has helped. The rain and cool temp has not hurt the lettuce plants.
My plan is buy/grow some flowers that the aphids really like, to attract the aphids, and then remove and kill all the aphids in a remote location. I have read that (1 cup veg. oil 2 cups water and 2 tab. Soap) sprayed on a plant will kill the aphids w/o other chemicals. I also hope to buy and release other good bugs to eat the bad bugs. The floor in the green house is rock and dirt, no screens, two weeks of 70 degree weather, and now cold and rain, has weeds growing inside around the edges of the plastic I put down, no wonder the aphids liked my lettuce. The aphids only went after the mature lettuce, no problem w/ all the other vegetables.
If anyone has any other ideas on how to combat aphids w/o chemicals please let me know!
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Old 02-20-2011, 04:56 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Sorry to hear about your aphid problem. That always sucks when your plants are doing great, then the bugs hit. Everyone's situation is different, though I see two options. Either use organic pesticides, or beneficial insects. But not both!!! Organic pesticides kill beneficial insects also, they don't discriminate. Because you are growing in a greenhouse and are dealing with aphids, I would close off any openings with screening (shade cloth, screen door screen etc.). Then introduce a swarm of ladybugs into the greenhouse. Also cut off (and get rid of) any leaves that are heavily infested.

P.S. I wouldn't do anything to attract the aphids, they wont be that easy to lure away. Trying to attract them somewhere else from the greenhouse will likely just do the opposite and attract them in from the surrounding area. Either way, if there happy in the green house, they wont be going anywhere (at least not faster than they breed) and that won't help.

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