Today, we checked our mesclun to see how it responded to adding addition nutrient solution last week. We went through the usual routine of check the pH and temperature and everything was right were it needed to be. We feel that our design has worked very effectively throughout the entire semester and have been very pleased with the overall progress of how or mesclun has grown. Today when we came in, the mesclun has almost doubled in size since last Wednesday. The overall growth of the mesclun for the second time comes at just the right time as we are going to be harvesting again for the final time on Wednesday. Today we just added a little more nutrient solution to help sustain the growth of the mesclun until the harvest on Wednesday. Everything is looking good!
The past week and a half have seen continued growth of our lettuce, as we continue to see results moving towards an eventual second harvest. The last week, we have continued to monitor the water levels, pH and temperature- all of which have been pretty stable throughout the entire growing process. On Monday, I mixed up some additional nutrient solution, which we needed as we were running low from the first batch we mixed up. After adding the nutrient solution, we saw a much more balanced level of pH, which was a little bit lower before adding it . Additionally, we saw a slight increase in the measured temperature of our nutrient solution/water. We figured this was due in part to the newly added nutrient solution. Today we came back and measured the temperature and pH levels, which were holding pretty stable at 72 degrees and 6.5 respectively. In addition, in just two days since adding the nutrient solution, we saw an increased growth in the lettuce. This is due in part to the new rich-nutrient solution we added. We will continue to monitor pH and temperature levels and touch base next week!
After our trimming, our lettuce’s health seemed to improve. We had a very full hydroponics system and decided it was time for our first harvest. We cut our plants down the the growing crowns so they will have plenty of time for re-growth for Harvest Day. Below is a before and after picture of our harvest.
This week the exceptional growth has continued. Sarah and I decided to cut them to improve further growth. To do this, we pruned the Mesclun just above the growing crowns, which in turn will allow them to grow new healthy spouts from where they were cut. After doing some research (http://www.reneesgarden.com/articles/tips-photos/mesclun.html) We found that the best parts to cut were upwards of 4-6 inches. The important part now is to allow the 1″-2″ leafy crowns on the Mesclun plant to allow it to photosynthesize and eventually regrow when we decide to harvest again. The pH level was stable today at 6.5, we were still a little higher in temperature directly under the light at 71.5 degrees but overall, our Mesclun is looking good. Looking forward to seeing new and continued growth by next week! Pictures to follow!
Over the weekend we had tremendous growth. It looks like we will soon need to shop for a nice Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing and some salad toppings! Our pH and the temperature seems to be remaining quite constant. I think the clay pellets are helping a lot to stabilize our pH. Right now, our biggest concern is the yellow-look or our crops. I did a little research at : http://www.northerngardening.com/NGB_articles/mesclun.htm which offered a lot of help. It looks to me like there are a few things Ryan and I should do to help improve our plants.
1. We need to move our plants out from directly under the light. Mesclun grows best around 60 degrees, and today we measured 73 degrees. The higher temperatures are ok in the early stages, but the taller the plant gets, the easier it is for it to wilt in hot temperatures. So we should move the plant, and possibly even cover it to provide some shade.
2. Trim it up. Mesclun should be cut when the leaves are between 3-6 inches. Many of our sprouts are well beyond that, so I think if we cut them just above the growing crowns we will be able to start a new harvest and improve our crisp-ness of the leaves.
We will try it out on Wednesday and see how it helps! Here a picture of our Mesclun right now.
we are very happy with our progress of our plants. It looks like we will have to do some research on how to prevent our plants from wilting. Because they are looking a little flimsy.
Upon returning from spring break, we were pleasantly surprised at the growth of our Mesclun, which had grown significantly over the last week and a half. The major change that we implemented before spring break was that we started to use the nutrient solution instead of water. The few clay pellets that we used to sustain the Mesclun over break worked to perfection and we were happy with the progress of our project. Today we checked the pH level, which again read about 6 which was perfect for the growing environment. In addition, we checked the temperature level of our solution which registered in at a tad over 73 degrees which also is optimal for the continued growth of the Mesclun. We will continue to monitor our Mesculn, but so far we are very happy with the success up until this point with our project.
Before leaving for spring break, we decided to put our plants into the nutrient solution. Our sprouts are big enough now for a change from water to nutrient solution. We also didn’t want to leave the system for a week, without being able to keep an eye on it, in fear of mold growth. So, we switched to the nutrient solution and checked the pH after doing so. Our pH read about 6, which is perfect for a weeks worth of no attendance. Also, to help stabilize our oH while we are gone, and for the rest of the project, we added a few clay pellets into our solution. Our temperature is remaining constant of around 72 degrees.
These were are two major changes that we did before leaving for break. We are excited to come back and see how much our Mesclun has grown over the week!
We are in week 2, day three of the growing process. The seeds are continuing to grow under the light and in water only. So far, the seeds have continued to sprout, so for this week and over spring break we will see how they do before switching over and incorporating the nutrient solution. We again checked the level of the pH today, which showed that it was a little high. We added some pH down solution to lower the pH to a stable level. In addition today we checked the temperature of the water within our system. The temperature was under control and stable at 72.4 degrees. The seeds have continued to sprout and we are hoping for similar progress over the spring break.
We got off to a good start with a successful germination of our seeds. All of our seeds are Mesculn and you can see some pictures of the seeds and how they are progressing:
After we got some healthy looking sprouts, we placed our seeds in our rockwool and into our ‘grow big or go home’ system:
Over the weekend, we let our seeds grow under the light. For now, we only have water in our system. We decided not to use the nutrient solution until we have a good root system growing. Here is a picture of our system with the sprouts and also a picture of us checking the pH of our water.