Day 13 Harvest Day!!!


Looking Great!

Today was the day to harvest our hydroponic mesclun lettuce. Our lettuce looked great! The system was still working very well and the results of the final product show how great this second planting was. We were very impressed with the final results of this second planting. What we did different from the first was, we tried to maintain a constant pH level of 6. We also cut a hole in the bottom of all the cups this second time around. We figured that this would increase the nutrient flow through the plant roots. A final difference was that we planted our seeds without germinating them and put the nutrient solution in right off the bat as well. These changes really seemed to make the difference in the results of our second planting. We were a little scared once our first planting died, however; once we planted the second time, we were overjoyed. The second planting took off right away and already had sprouts after 2 days, even without germinating the seeds.

This project was very great and it made us use the 8 Steps in the Technological Design Process to create a successful hydroponic. We encountered the problems in the first planting, but addressed them and took care of them. The second planting was a great success and we were very happy that we were able to fix the problems that we had in the first planting so that we could reach ultimate success the second time around. The system gave us no trouble the second time around and the end product just shows how well the lettuce had grown.

 


Time to eat!

This is a picture of our mesclun lettuce after we harvested it. It was very green and healthy looking. We were also able to taste test our product at the end of class, which actually tasted very good and fresh!

We enjoyed this project!

Day 12 Almost Time!!!


The Bigger the Better!

Today we checked on our system and the results shown were amazing! The lettuce just keeps expanding at a fast rate. The leafs all look very healthy and the system is still performing to the expectations. We checked our water level and it was very low. We figured the since the plants are getting bigger, that they are starting to consume more water. We filled it back up to the usual level and then checked the pH. What is really amazing is that the pH always seems to be at a constant level of 6. Were not sure why it has been this way for this planting of lettuce; however, we are very happy with it. The system has performed very well in this second planting of lettuce and we can’t wait to harvest our plants next class to see if they taste as good as they look!

Day 11 Expanding!!!


Expanding

Today we checked on our system and it has still continued to take off. The plants are growing really fast. We added more water to the system and checked the pH level and it was very balanced at a reading of about 6. We were happy with this reading because the pH of 6 what is what seems to be working for our system. The results of the plant growth fully show that the pH level of 6 is good for our lettuce. The lettuce looks very healthy and the color seems like it’s getting greener each time we look at it, which is a very good sign. We can’t wait to see what newt week brings when we can finally harvest our lettuce. Were thinking that with the rate that our lettuce is growing, that we should be ready to harvest when the time comes.

Day 10 Growing like CRAZY!!!


Full plants

Today we checked on our system and it is doing amazing! We are so impressed with the results that our lettuce has shown. The plants all look very healthy and are starting to grow into a very full bunch, which is so cool to see. They are very green and seem to be improving even more each time we check on them. The only thing we had to do was add some more water to the system because it had been a week since we had checked on it, due to our field trip last Wednesday. After adding more water to the system we checked the pH level in both PVC pipe holds. The results were perfect and dead on where we wanted the pH level to be at. The plants seem to be adapting to the system very well and were hoping to be able to harvest them shortly!

Day 9 Moving Fast


Growing Fast

Wow!!!

Today we checked on our system and we were very impressed. We had high hopes that the lettuce would be as big as our previous planting; however, it has passed that by a long shot. Our lettuce has grown so much over the weekend. The plants look very healthy and very green. The air pump was still working perfectly and the water level was still good enough, but we added more because it had dropped a little. The pH level was a little high so we lowered it again to about a pH of 6. The plants have a good cluster to them and seem to be taking off real fast. Were excited to see what next class brings!

Day 8 Going GREEN

Sprouting
Sprouting

Today we checked on our hydroponic system after redoing the whole thing from last class. To our surprise, our seeds that we had planted last class had grown. They not only sprouted, but they had grown an amazing amount, considering that we did not germinated the seeds before hand. Each cup showed great results! We were very happy with the system and the pH level seemed to have stayed at a consistent level of 6pH. We added just a little water to the system, taking into account that we would need extra for the time over the weekend. Our lettuce is looking very healthy and it seems that starting over was the right road to take. We figured that in a weeks time, the plants should be about the size that our original ones were because of the early signs of growth that we are seeing. We are very excited to see what the next couple of weeks will bring to our system.

 

Day 7 WHAT HAPPENED?


Dried Up!

Today we checked on our hydroponic system and we were very disappointed. Our plants had dried up! We didn’t know what the problem was. We had enough water in the system, we  had the nutrients, had the air pump working, and the pH level was still at a good level. We just couldn’t figure out what the problem was. We checked with Dr. Brusic and she said that our plants had dried out too much and there was no hope for them, so she said that we should start over, so that’s what we decided to do.

NEW START!!!


Starting over...

We decided to replant the mesclun lettuce seeds and start the whole process over. We got new rockwhool, planted new seeds, got new cups, new pipes for the air pump, and emptied the old water and replaced it with our nutrient mix. Were off to a fresh new start and hope to see improvements in our system as time progresses. Were going to see if we can speed up the process and improve our system this second time around!

Day 6 Holding Up!

Lettuce
Lettuce

Today we checked our hydroponic system and noticed that the air tubes were still working and there were no kinks in them. This was a plus to the system! We checked the pH level of the water and as always, it had increased. We lowered the pH level using the lowering pH solution and put it down to a level of 4-5 again. We hope that the plants will start to mature over the weekend and that there will be some great results come Monday.

 

 

Day 5 Ups and Downs…

Growing
Growing

Today we checked out our system and noticed a few problems. The plants grew a little, but still not as much as we had hoped they would have. It was a week since we last checked on them and they didn’t change much. We noticed that the water level was low so we added more. We also tested the pH level of the system and noticed that it was too high again, like usual. We lowered the pH to a level of around 4-5. We figured that we would give it a try because Scott had told us that they did the same for their system and it is clearly helping the growth of their lettuce. We also noticed that the pH seems to be always going up, so we figured that if we lowered it to a pH of about 4 it would just increase as the week progresses.

Another problem that we encountered was that the one air tubes must have been kinked, which stopped the flow of water in the one PVC tube. We noticed this because the plants in this pipe seemed to be a little dry looking compared to the others. Sure enough, we took one of the cups out of the water and the tube was not blowing any air at all. There was no water movement which didn’t help the plants in this pipe. We fixed the problem, so hopefully it will not happen again, but we’ll keep a close eye on it.

Finally, today was the day that we added our nutrient solution. We took a one gallon jug and filled it with warm water. Next, we took 3/4 tsp of the Hydro-grow nutrient solution “A” and added it to the jug of warm water. We then shook the jug to mix the solution together. We then took 3/4 tsp of the Hydro-grow nutrient solution “B” and added it to the jug. We shook the jug again and got ready to add the solution to our hydroponic system. We finally added some of the solution to our system. We are hoping that this brings out great results next time we check on our plants!

Day 4 Back From Break! GROWTH!!!

Growth
Sprout

Today we checked on our hydroponic system after being away over spring break. We noticed that our plants had sprouted! They were a nice size and mostly a green color. We checked the water level in the system and noticed that it had lowered, which we had figured it would over the time we were gone. We added more water to the system. The plants looked very healthy and colorful.

pH
pH level

Next, we checked the pH level of the water in our system. We tested and noticed that the pH was a blue color which indicated to us that it was high. In order to correct this we used the lowering pH drops and added them to our water. We kept adding drops until the pH had reached a balanced level of neutral.

Fixed pH
Fixed pH

This is a picture of the pH level we obtained after lowering the waters pH in our system.