SQWIB
Greener Thumb
Posts: 889
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:21 pm
Location: Zone 7A - Philadelphia, PA

"SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2020"

"SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2020"




January 15th, 2020


Intro,
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.

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I planted a mix of lettuces using Nature's Care Organic Potting Mix, Vermiculite and Perlite, I just eyeballed the mix.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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First signs of germination was 48 hours, these pics are at 72 hours.

Bok Choy 3 days in.

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Misc. Lettuce mix and a few radishes, also have a few cantaloupes seeds planted as a germination test. 3 days in.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The Kohlrabi in the mini raised bed are hanging on. not sure if I'll get a worthy harvest from these guys.

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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.

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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.

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16 Days.

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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.

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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


17 days.

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As part of my succession planting, I planted some Purple Lady Bok Choy.

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...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.

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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.

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February 3rd am, 2020

Testing Germination rate on my saved cantaloupe seeds, germination was 100% after less than 3 days.

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I finally got my fan hooked up. This runs the entire time the lights are on.

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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.

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February 5th, 2020


My Hugelkultur herb garden is looking dismal.

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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.

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4 days

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21 days

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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.

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SQWIB
Greener Thumb
Posts: 889
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:21 pm
Location: Zone 7A - Philadelphia, PA

Re: "SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2020"


February 7th, 2020


My new planter came in and I am quite pleased, I took out the metal planter and base and sealed with some Danish Oil. This will go in front of the Koi Pond and probably have a flower some Shallots and lettuce or kale planted.

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Cost Plus World Market




February 8th, 2020


The Kellog Raised Bed and Potting mix test was aborted. I just couldn't see wasting any more time with this horrid mix. I will be using the Kellog Mix with my compost alternating between kitchen scraps and the Kellog Mix.



Went through my Sweet Potatoes that I harvested this season for some runts to plant.

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24 days. I'm hoping the lettuce is ready by Friday (31 days).

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SQWIB
Greener Thumb
Posts: 889
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:21 pm
Location: Zone 7A - Philadelphia, PA

Re: "SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2020"

February 12th, 2020

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I have been accumulating some garden supplies over the winter, I plan on working all the beds this year.

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The insert for the planter is supposed to be galvanized and it appears to be powder coated. I was a bit concerned about a few of the corners that were pressed together (no weld) so I siliconed the corners. I'm not sure how the metal will react with soil and fertilizer so I'll check it at the end of the season.

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And since I almost broke my neck the other day climbing up into the upper garden, I put in some grit tape on the step, scared the sheet out of me!

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The reason the leeks look weird in the first photo is because these seeds were originally in the Kellog Mix, since the mix sucks, I scraped the top 1/2" off and placed it on top of the Nature's Care Mix, the label is just to show these are my saved seeds (unknown variety).

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February 15th-16th, 2020

Built my raised bed planter for the trellis.

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Started my Hots, Jalapeno, Chocolate Habanero and Aji Pineapple, also started some Italian Flat Leaf parsley, Extra Triple Curled Parsley and another pot of Zebrune Shallots. Trying vermiculite to cover the seedlings. Heat mat is set to 80°F.

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I wasn't happy with my fan configuration so I decided to run the fans from the ceiling. Fans cycle on for an hour, three times a day.

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My three Honeyberry plants have budded and are starting to open.

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SQWIB
Greener Thumb
Posts: 889
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:21 pm
Location: Zone 7A - Philadelphia, PA

Re: "SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2020"


February 22nd, 2020


I started my,
  • Broccoli, Sun King Hybrid, Waltham and Calabrese Green Sprouting
  • Eggplants, Rosa Bianca, Black Beauty and Rosita.
  • Sweet peppers, Spanish Mammoth, Emerald Giant, Lipstick and Jimmy Nardello
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I needed to make room on my seedling table so I moved my greens to the other shelf.

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The white stuff on the leaves is because stupid me sprayed the leaves with water then decided to use the table saw to build that mini planter the other day.

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I use no dig no till practices but for my Sweet Potato bed I did incorporate some materials using a digging fork. My other beds are just top dressed and mixed around with a hand spade. This is the last year adding bulk perlite, vermiculite or peat to the beds.

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Harvested my radishes and some lettuce for dinner and lunches.

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Lettuce was cut and soaked in ice water with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Further research shows that just plain ice water for 30 minutes will crisp up the lettuce just the same without the use of vinegar, I will try that next time. Laura was happy with some E. coli free lettuce, she has had food poisoning twice from contaminated lettuce, one time ending up in the ER.

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I'm a bit concerned about the buds on the Celeste fig, most look dead with the exception of this one.

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This is another project I am working on. The top of the fence was capped with 2" x 8"s, I'll post more on this project later.

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Started to make some Bio-char but lost interest after a few beers!

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SQWIB
Greener Thumb
Posts: 889
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:21 pm
Location: Zone 7A - Philadelphia, PA

Re: "SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2020"


February 24th, 2020


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February 25th, 2020

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February 26th, 2020

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February 26th, 2020


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Still harvesting lettuce.

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February 28th - 29th, 2020

This weekend I planted, Caraway, cinnamon basil, Dark Purple Opal Basil, Genovese Basil, Dill, Blue Curled Scotch Kale, Cilantro and a boatload of Marigolds. I have had germination issues with a few of my hots so I planted some more Aji pineapple, and more chocolate Habanero.

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Harvested some Bok Choy for a Vegetable Lo-Mein, Going to try and regrow the cut Choy.

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Mixed up some fertilizer and Terro Liquid Ant Baits.

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Laura made some Butternut Squash Bisque from our Sweet Potatoes and Butternut Squash

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SQWIB
Greener Thumb
Posts: 889
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:21 pm
Location: Zone 7A - Philadelphia, PA

Re: "SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2020"

March 3rd, 2020

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March 6th - 9th 2020


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Installed my 36' Horizontal Squash Trellis

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I also planted 50 Gladiolus bulbs all over the place





And Canned some Hot Dogs, made Some cheese and started my Sauerkraut.

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imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11118
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: "SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2020"

You are pretty handy with the chores. Looks like you are off and running.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

SQWIB
Greener Thumb
Posts: 889
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:21 pm
Location: Zone 7A - Philadelphia, PA

Re: "SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2020"

March 9th, pm 2020

The weather was really nice so I stopped at Home depot and picked up some peat moss, Black Kow, 10-10-10 and some marigold seeds. UI started work on the ponds, redoing the electrical cords and turning on the pumps, I have a bad pump that needs replacing. Sprinkled a tiny bit of 10-10-10 around the shrubs, trees and flowers.


Got 4 of my Planters/Raised beds ready for planting.

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March 10th, pm 2020

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March 11th, 2020

Ran out during work and picked up some Black Kow and Pine Bark Fines from lowes for my Grow Bags and Planters. After work, I installed the new pond pump and fixed the LED tape lights, have you ever tried to solder LED tape Lights, what a nightmare.

Planted a couple of my Bok Choy "Cut and Regrow" plants, a Purple Bok Choy, and a few Shanghai Bok Choy in the Koi Pond planter. Planted some Waltham Broccoli in the new "Root Bed", this bed was originally built for Radish and Beets, I have had no luck with Beets.

Sowed some Scarlet Runner Beans and De grace Snow Peas along the trellis in the Hugelkultur beds. Dumped the rest of my Aji Pineapple seeds into the seed trays, germination rate has been horrible. I also found some old Datil Seeds from 2016 or 2017 that I am trying to grow out for seeds.

I had extremely poor germination rate on my old (2017) Marigold seeds but pulled a dead plant from the hill and planted those seeds last week and had quite a few sprout.



I took the Suzhou Baby Bok Choy outside.

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March 12th, 2020


Started up the back pond. Pulled out my grow bags and decided which to use, I forget I had this many. I'll probably use the 10 gallon bag for eggplant and a Zucchini and maybe a couple 7 gallon pots for some peppers, 2 in each pot.

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SQWIB
Greener Thumb
Posts: 889
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:21 pm
Location: Zone 7A - Philadelphia, PA

Re: "SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2020"

March 19th, 2020

Got some staining done this weekend, Sam and her boyfriend helped out a lot.
Gave up on my Citrus trees and put them outside.
Still harvesting a good bit of lettuce.

Had some issues with the Koi Pond leaking, after several days I found the leak in the lower veggie filter, so I had to drain it a bit and let it dry out then cleaned it up and reapplied some silicone.
I decided to completely redo the two veggie filters.
I changed the upper veggie filter to an up-flow, similar to the lower veggie filter, I will be adding some Bio-Balls and MORE Matala filter pads in an effort to increase biological filtration.

I'm having issues with my hose that feeds the irrigation, I can hear the water running when the hose is charged and the irrigation is off, there must be a leak somewhere in the hose. The hose is buried underground and inspecting it would be impossible. I have an above ground line that I will be using.

Working on my Back Pond pump/filters for easier access to cleaning. I installed a clean-out hose to each of the filters with a "Y" adapter, this will be used to clean the filters and the waste will be used in the gardens.

Planted 20 Chandler strawberry plants on the 18th and Romaine and Butternut Crunch Lettuce on the 14th but forgot about the seeds being in the bed when I was working on the pond and was dumping 5 gallon buckets of water right on top of them, oops!


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SQWIB
Greener Thumb
Posts: 889
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:21 pm
Location: Zone 7A - Philadelphia, PA

Re: "SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure 2020"

March 24th, 2020

I got some work done on the back hill laying pavers cleaning up and staining the retaining wall. I installed a new pressure regulator on the feed line to the beds, I went with a slightly higher PSI regulator. Swapped out the hose as the other hose is leaking.

I fertilized the potted plants with the following mix, just eyeballed the mix, oops forgot Epsom salts, I'll add that next time I fertilize.
  • Coffee grounds
  • 10-10-10
  • Garden Lime
  • Peat Moss
  • Black Kow
  • Perlite
  • Pine Bark Fines

Mixed up some potting mix for the Aquaponics Small Veggie filter.
  • Garden Lime
  • Peat Moss
  • Black Kow
  • Perlite
  • Pine Bark Fines

I Canned my sauerkraut and Laura made an awesome, Butternut Squash Pie, amazing is the only way I can describe it!

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Still working on the ponds as well.

A few years back my mom gave us a Koi that outgrew her smallish pond, he is not doing good, my daughter has been working with him every day but it don't look good.

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I had a leak in one of my feed lines that feed the main pond from the larger veggie filter and repaired that, after that had cured (24 hours), I decided to remove everything, clean out the filters, and media (scrubbie pads) and redo the filter with additional Matala filter pads for my aquaponics plants. This stuff is very rigid and works great for supporting grow bags or heavy pots.

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After I had the large veggie filter squared away, I done a 20% water change to the main pond and fertilized the pond plants (Lilies) with some Jobes spikes, I don't add fertilizer to the Irises.

The smaller upper veggie was redone also, first thing was to remove all of the rock and pea gravel then I put on a fresh coat of stain. The filter was changed to an up-flow filter design, I added the 300 bio-balls and topped with green Matala filter pads, it's much lighter now, lol.

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For the back pond I moved the filter to be a bit more accessible and plumbed the backwash lines both together with a clean-out hose using a brass "T", I'll use this water from the clean-out to water my plants.

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Still eating lettuce from the indoor grow but we are eating it quicker than we can grow it, just wish I had a little more space.

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Everything is finally budding with the exception of my grape vines.

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