Fear of Clowns

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
- H. L. Mencken

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Chili pepper resurection 

I didn't set this seedling deep enough to get water,

Twelve hours later,

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Monday, January 05, 2009

Hydroponic herb garden, Winter 2008/2009 

All plants other than the new sprouts and pepper cuttings were started in peat pellets and established in a flood and drain system with 500 PPM Supernatural GrowAqua solution under 16 hours light/day from 4 x 54W T5 bulbs. The pepper cuttings were put in the hydro system at the same time as the herbs. After about two weeks the solution was changed out and upped to 850 PPM, significantly higher than I intended but everyone seems to be doing OK despite the recently conquered spider mite infestation.

Italian basil, today and on December 3rd, pinched back once two weeks ago at 10 - 12 leaves, maybe a little late,

italian basil

italian basil seedling

Sage today and a month ago. This it the first time I've grown sage, but it seemed to respond violently to pinching back - went from six or 8 to all these leaves in two weeks,


sage seedling

Parsley today and a month ago,


parsley seedling

Bhut jolokia pepper cutting, today and a month ago which was about six weeks after taking the cutting,

bhut jolokia cutting

jolokia cutting

Chocolate habanero cutting, today and a month ago - new growth starting at top and base after losing all its leaves to a spider mite infestation,

chocolate habanero cutting

chocolate habanero


mystery lettuce


French rosemary,

french rosemary

french rosemary sprout

Spearmint, started last week,

spearmint sprouts

Tomato, started a few days ago,

tomato sprout

Peas, started a few days ago,

pea sprout

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Chili pepper update 

My hot lemon pepper a few weeks ago - came back from having no leaves due to neglect in a flood and drain system - after 1 week in the deep water culture system:

rejuvenating hot lemon pepper

Two weeks:

rejuvenating hot lemon pepper

Three weeks:

great progress - hot lemon pepper

From seeds purchased on eBay, "Punjab small hot". This pepper seems to be low growing and bushy, unlike most hot peppers. At two weeks in DWC:

Three weeks:

Punjab small hot

Naga jolokia, in DWC since seedling stage, a week ago:

Today - dozens and dozens of flowers:

Naga jolokia in hydro

All eight of my hot chilis in hydroponic deep water culture today. I added some bloom nutrients as most are budding now:

hydroponic hot peppers

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Lux = 50 x fnumber² / (exposure time in seconds x ISO film speed) 

To measure Lux with a camera's light meter, use the equation above. Taken from this page.

Here are conversion factors from Lux to Photosynthetic Photon Flux for varius light sources.

Sunrise or sunset on a clear day - 400 Lux
Sunlight on a cloudy day - 5,000 Lux
Sunlight on an average day - 32,000 - 100,000 Lux

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Gardening at night 

gardening at night

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Hot chilis started 

Today, I began soaking some chili pepper seeds in 6.0 pHed 100 ppm gibberillan R/O water. Generally from hottest to mildest,

They will soak for a day after which I'll place them on paper towels in plastic containers. Hot chili peppers can take a lot longer than bell peppers to germinate. Out of the 12 tepin seeds I placed in paper towels 25 days ago, only two have sprouted.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Seed check-in 

For my "just soak them in giberillin solution and wait," I've moved four seeds of each species into rockwool cubes, two cubes/two seeds. Nothing sprouting other than ones I had to mark "??" as I didn't label them and I don't recognize them. They could be roma tomato all puffed up, but I believe more than the two would have sprouted by now.

The string beans got mushy.

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Tiny sprouts 

Here are sinicuichi and kratom sprouts from even tinier seeds,

sinicuichi sprouts

kratom sprouts

The basil sprouted in just three days,

basil sprouts

The tomatoes and melons are running wild,

basil sprouts

Here's that first cucumber,

hydroponic cucumber

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Herb planting day! 

Today my Christmas present to myself came - new and exciting seeds.

This evening, I seeded in rockwool cubes "Greek" oregano, "pesto" basil, rosemary, sage, intoxicating mint, kanna, and sinicuichi. Half of the cubes were soaked in plain reverse osmosis water, half in r/o water with 70 ppm B'cuzz root and 40 ppm gibberellin and pHed to 5.0. The sinicuichi seeds are as small as large specs of dust - I sprinkled these on a 1" thick slice of a large rockwool cube and tried to push some of the specks into the wool with a fork. I can't imagine such small seeds could grow to seedlings on such a minuscule endosperm, so I just used the weak B'cuzz/gibberellin nutrient solution.

I also started some larger non-herbaceous plants - wild dagga and kratom - again experimenting between plain reverse osmosis water and the weak nutrient solution pHed to 5.0. The kratom seeds are as large as the smallest wood sliver you could get under your skin.

The seeds with hard coats - the intoxicating mint and kanna - were soaked in near-boiling water for 2-3 minutes.

Kanna seeds naturally contain a germination inhibitor which gives the species the advantage of a generation of seeds germinating over time. The germination inhibitor can be overcome with gibberellin at a higher dose than I used this time, but as the plant's natural germination inhibitor is water soluble I'm soaking 15 seeds in r/o water. The high concentration of gibberellin required to overcome the germination inhibitor would possibly have unwanted side effects - such as elongation of roots and stems.

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

DIY R-DWC hydroponic garden 

Here's my recirculating deep water culture hydroponic garden. It's called "deep water culture" because the roots are completely submerged in water and it's called "recirculating" because water constantly flows through each bucket (as opposed to aerating water in individual unconnected buckets). I spent $150 - 175 on the parts, less than half what one would pay for an equivalent pre-made system.

To emphasize that the system will grow garden-fresh winter produce I chose to "set out" my seedlings on Thanksgiving Day - our culture's harvest celebration.

  1. lava rocks for root support

    Rinsing landscape "lava rock". This will support the roots.


  2. buckets

    Assembled buckets, tubes, pipes and grommets from Home Depot, Menard's and a hydroponic specialty store. Water comes in through 1/4" pipe, exits through a 1" grommet on the opposite side.


  3. reservoir

    The reservoir. A submersible pump pushes water out to buckets, gravity returns water to reservoir.


  4. air wands

    Air wands from aquarium shop in the reservoir. The water must have a lot of dissolved oxygen in it it or the roots will drown.


  5. bubbles

    Can't have too many bubbles. The more oxygen in the water, the faster nutrients are absorbed through the roots.


  6. bubbles

    Covering the reservoir. If light hits the water algae will grow, wasting nutrients and looking scummy.


  7. bubbles

    Seedlings dropped into the contraption.


  8. bubbles

    Two weeks later.


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