Today is the last day to check on our hydroponic garden. I noticed that the radish leaves are wilting a bit and some are browning around the edges, so I checked the pH level and it turned out to be high. I put some pH dropper in the water and will continue to check throughout class if the pH is at a safe level.
Today was our first day back from the Memorial Day weekend break. Our radish’s really grew over the weekend. I’ll post pictures of the container as well as the roots which are growing to be several inches long already. I also toped off the water supply again.
Today we checked the progress of our radish plants in our hydroponic garden. All three of the plants have made progress over the weekend. Two of the three have made significant progress and are already about an inch tall. We ended the day by toping off the water supply in our pond and checking the PH level of the water. Here is a photo of the growing radish plants!
Today we filled our container with nutrient rich water and placed the germinating seeds into the Dixie cups. We then placed the Dixie cups in the Styrofoam lid and placed that on top of the container. All that was left was to turn the air pump on and set the completed hydroponic garden under the metal halide grow lamps. Here is a picture of our completed hydroponic garden system.
Day two was spent readying the seeds for germination and constructing the DWC system. We chose radish seeds because of their quick germination period (4 to 7 days) and their quick harvesting period (28 days). Using the nutrient mixes supplied, we created our nutrient rich water that will provide our radishes with the food they need to grow. Using three Rockwool blocks as our growing medium, we stuck two radish seeds in each of our blocks. We then soaked the Rockwool with the nutrient rich water that we had prepared. The next step was to construct a “greenhouse like” container for the seeds to germinate in. The greenhouse is made of a simple disposable cake pan with lid, this helps to keep the temperature high and moisture in. After the greenhouse was complete we constructed our DWC. We used a cheap plastic container purchased from Walmart as our “pond” and a Styrofoam block with three holes in for our lid. We cut three large holes in the Styrofoam and placed three Dixie cups with the bottoms removed in the holes. One more small hole was cut in the Styrofoam for our air pump tube. We spray painted everything but the lid black in order to prevent the growth of algae which is detrimental to our plants.
Today we researched hydroponic systems. We found many different types of systems but in the end decided to go with a Deep Water Culture (DWC). In the DWC system the plants sit on the top of a pool of water that is stimulated by an air pump located in the bottom of the pool. This design was a very simple and cheap way to create a hydroponic garden. Pictures will be posted when construction is complete.