"SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2020"
January 15th, 2020
Welcome to my SUGA 2020 page.
I am back for another year of gardening.
That's it, no long intro's, no long winded posts about what worked, what didn't, no upcoming strategies or goals, just gardening for fun with lots of pictures!
I'm officially calling this the start of my 2020 gardening year, I still have some lettuces, Bok Choy, Parsley and Kohlrabi hanging in there.
I decided not to set up the grow tent this year but will be planting some greens on the grow table.
First thing I did was remove the Viparspectra 450's from the grow table and install the Viparspectra 700's, overkill? Maybe, but I can always set them at 50% or 75% output.
I knew power could be a potential problem tripping the circuit and I was correct, so I ran an extension cord from the outlet that I installed for the grow tent last winter and we will see what happens, I have the lights on continuously for the test.
I planted a mix of lettuces using Nature's Care Organic Potting Mix, Vermiculite and Perlite, I just eyeballed the mix.
Same with the Bok Choy, Nature's Care Organic Potting Mix, Vermiculite and Perlite. I have the heater in the basement set very low, I'm guessing around 55°F - 60°F.
The actual color of the output of these lights are much more white than the pictures show, not sure why the camera leans more towards a violet color.
January 18th, 2020
After a few days the lights seemed fine, they didn't trip any breakers. I put the lights on a timer 6 hours on 18 off.
Trying another way to eat my sweet potatoes.
First signs of germination was 48 hours, these pics are at 72 hours.
Bok Choy 3 days in.
Misc. Lettuce mix and a few radishes, also have a few cantaloupes seeds planted as a germination test. 3 days in.
I was a little disappointed in myself this weekend, I found scale on my Lime Bush and had no clue it was there for months.
I kept seeing sticky stuff on the floor and leaves, the stuff on the leaves would dry and look like it had a waxy film on it.
I figured it was from my daily water spraying of the leaves, my logic was that the spray bottle may have had some residual Neem oil or something still in the bottle, so I washed the spray bottle real good and, washed the floor and a week or so later it was all over the floor again.
Anyhow it turns out to be a scale infestation.
I soaked the plant and started wiping off the scale by hand.
I trimmed off one small branch then mixed up a batch of Neem Oil, Dr. Bronner's soap and some water and soaked the leaves, stem and soil on the 18th, 19th and 20th
I ordered some Horticultural oil and mixed up a batch of that and heavily sprayed the 21st.
January 21, 2020
6 Days in, Bok Choy and lettuces are coming along, I increased the lights to 8 hours on, 16 off, garage is about 60°F.
January 24th, 2020
9 Days. Since every Bok Choy seed germinated, I transplanted 6 of the Bok Choy seedlings into a 6 pack cell. The 6 containers to the left are for my next succession planting of Purple Lady Bok Choy.
January 30th, 2020
I stopped at Home Depot to pick up some supplies, grabbed a 3 cu ft bag of peat moss and a plant hanger and saw Kellogg's Raised Bed and potting mix on sale so I picked up a bag.
I got a few bags last year for a quick fill on a new bed and had no luck with it, not sure if it was me or the mix, I figured I would try another bag and start seedlings as a test this weekend.
Many bad reviews for this product, maybe that's why they are on clearance.
While at Home Depot, I struggled to get past the seed section, because I really need to see what I have at home before buying more seeds, and as usual, I was very unimpressed with any of their seed starting supplies.
I got the scale under control on the Lemon and Lime tree but must have overdid it with the Horticultural oil because I had quite a few leaves drop.
OK, Lets take a look and see what is going on outside.
Got down to close to 20°F last night into this morning.
99% of my cover crop has died back in the hugelkultur beds but the raised beds on the hill still show a good amount of green, mainly the crimson clover.
The Kohlrabi in the mini raised bed are hanging on. not sure if I'll get a worthy harvest from these guys.
The lettuce and Perpetual Spinach have been hit hard by the cold and I'm surprised they haven't died back completely. The parsley is going strong.
Temps have been crazy, lowest in the 10 day is 31°F Saturday then Friday's predicted weather is 58°F.
January 31st am, 2020
Lemon and lime plants have lost quite a bit of leaves but still look good, they have been indoors for 3 months, I am pretty sure I have the scale under control.
I went through all of my seeds and organized them and made a list with dates so I don't overbuy or get a surprise when I go to plant and there are no seeds. I also started making reusable seed packets to save seeds.
February 1st, 2020
Today I started using a fertilizer om my Bok Choy and Lettuce mix.
For my Fertilizer (Nutes) I used my Kratky (Hydroponic} mix.
N P K
Nute Mix per 5 gallons for Kratky Lettuce (20 - 18 - 38)
10 grams Calcium Nitrate Fertilizer 15.5-0-0
10 grams Hydroponic Tomato Fertilizer 4-18-38
5 grams epsom salts Magnesium Sulphate
As part of my succession planting, I planted some Purple Lady Bok Choy.
...and leeks. I planted American Flag and Carentan leeks, plus I had a packet of saved seeds that I am testing.
I am testing the Kellog Raised Bed And Potting Soil Mix against my mix which is Natures Care Potting Mix, Perlite, Vermiculite and a bit of 10-10-10.
I also planted a few Purple Lady Bok Choy in the Kellog mix.
February 2nd, 2020
I planted another pot of leeks in my potting mix just in case the Kellog Mix fails..
Monitoring the position of the sun each week.
February 3rd am, 2020
Testing Germination rate on my saved cantaloupe seeds, germination was 100% after less than 3 days.
I finally got my fan hooked up. This runs the entire time the lights are on.
Use a fan!
Thigmomorphogenesis is the response by plants to mechanical sensation (touch) by altering their growth patterns. In the wild, these patterns can be evinced by wind, raindrops, and rubbing by passing animals.
Wind (I use a fan here) is a Morphogenic Stimulus and strengthens stalks by resistance as well as increasing transpiration of the plants by dehydrating the leaf surface.
The transpiration causes rapid mineral and water uptake increasing the thickness of the stem.
Using a fan also helps keep the surface of the soil dry to prevent mold, fungus Gnats and damping off.
February 3rd pm, 2020
My Shallot seeds came in from Baker Creek so I planted them in a pot. I noticed the potting mix was fairly dry on the seedlings and had to adjust the timer on the fan due to the potting mix drying out too quickly. It is set for half an hour 4 times a day while the lights are on.
February 5th, 2020
My Hugelkultur herb garden is looking dismal.
The lemon and lime tree are no longer showing any signs of scale and have stopped loosing leaves.
My yard lights were off and I went to inspect them, I had to rip out the extension cord and when I fiddled with the female end that the timer is plugged into, sparks shot out. So basically my photo cell timer was fried as well as the extension cord so I had to stop at home depot to pick up a female connector to fix the cord. I also ordered another photocell timer, fun times.
Yes I had to grab some seeds.
I guess the reviews about the Kellog Raised Bed Soil and Potting Mix about being crap were true, this stuff is pure crap, it retains water like sand and gets hard and shrinks, it will not wick water at all. You have to pour water through the top then it's dry the next day. I compared it to my go to potting mix, actually I have 2, one is the Miracle Grow Natures Care Organic Potting Mix or the Miracle Grow Moisture Control Potting Mix. I do add some Perlite, Vermiculite and a scoop or two of 10-10-10 but it's not needed.