Too Big?

Our plants have gotten so big that we had to raise the light on the system because the tops of the plants started to get wrinkled and burned.  Also one of the plants started to just randomly die. A picture of it is below. The roots of the plant have hit the water and the emitter for that plant is still working so we know that it has plenty of water. All of the other plants look healthier than ever. So we have not been able to determine what is wrong with the plant.

Growing Well

Maybe we didn’t notice it on Monday, but some of the smaller plants have grown pretty tall in a very short amount of time. The pH today was at 6.1, which is a great area for it to be in. We still have one more week of growth left. We are a little disappointed we won’t get to see the full grown peppers, but maybe we’ll continue to grow them outside of class.

A Lot of Buds

Today we walked in to class and found that our plant had a lot of buds all over it. This made us really excited and hopefully we at least get to see the beginnings of some peppers. We also found out that our pH was really low at a 5.8 so we added some pH up and brought it up to a 6.3. Since our jalapeño plants started budding we decided it was time to start pollinating the plants so we took a brush and brushed all of the plants with it and then we just blew air over the plants to simulate some wind.Our roots are also looking very healthy. Below you will find a picture of one of the buds and the root structure.

Getting Big

We went in this week and found that after changing the nutrient solution our plants are growing pretty fast. There is still the one cup that does not have anything growing at all in it, but you can’t win them all. All of the plants that are growing look very healthy and have great root structures. Below you’ll see a picture of them.

Growing Pretty Quickly

We walked in today and found that all of the plants have grown a considerable amount over the weekend and are a very dark green and looking healthy. However, it will be close as to whether or not we might see some peppers start blooming by the end of the semester so we just have to keep our fingers crossed. The root structure looks very good, but it looked a little brown. We are thinking that this is just because the nutrient water is brown, but it may be time for a complete change in water. For now we just added a fresh gallon of nutrient water to the reservoir. The pH was set around 6.3 when we left so we left it alone and will adjust it on Wednesday if it needs to be.

More Life!

So this week we went in on Monday and found that some of the emitters in our system had stopped dripping, but this was easily fixed and they are working just fine now and it doesn’t seem to have effected any of the plant growth. This week we also found 2 more plants growing in 2 of the 3 cups that hadn’t had anything growing in them. The third cup is the 1 where a plant had started growing in it and then appeared to have died so we decided to pull that plant out and place a new seed in it. This week the pH was kinda high at 7.3, so we brought that down to a better 6.0. Below are some pictures of the new members of our jalapeño family and the progress of the other ones.

Looking Pretty Good

So we were not in the class last Wednesday because we were on a field trip to a waste water treatment plant, but we came in today and found that the plants that had started growing before are even bigger and look pretty good. We were relieved to find that our system had remained dripping throughout the entire week without any signs of slowing down. We also checked underneath the plants and found that the roots of the plants growing looked pretty healthy. The one plant mentioned last post that looked like it had started to grow and died looked like it was a little greener so there still may be a chance of it growing. We also found that one of the cups that hadn’t grown anythings is starting to grow a very small amount and the last up still has nothing growing so unless there are signs of life soon we might have to try replanting new seeds. The pictures below are of the overall system and the root structure that is starting to take shape.

We Have Some Life….Sort Of

So today after spring break we found that 3 of the 6 cups have pretty healthy plants growing in them. Another one of the cups has a plant that looked like it started growing but is dying. The last two cups have absolutely nothing in them. Finally we found that our system was no longer dripping. We checked and discovered it was only the drip emitters that got clogged (with what appeared like algae), but we got it working again. Some of the emitters leaking out of the hole in the hose we reinforced them with tape to fill up the hole better. Also our system was no longer leaking at all so the trash bags are doing their jobs

. Hopefully the emitters will hold up from now on otherwise we may have to replace them, which is fine because I bought them in a pack of 10.

Small Problem

Today we went in to class and found that our system had a small amount of water underneath. Not enough to create a problem short term, but since we are going to be gone for a week we want to try and limit the amount that is lost. So we dumped all of the water out of our reservoir and decide to replace the 3 thin school trash bags with 4 heavy duty black bags to hopefully eliminate the leak. If this does not work our next step will be to scrap the liner idea to hold the water and place a smaller container in side of the pot to hold the water.

Other than that the system was running very smoothly. The drip emitters will still working excellently and the rockwool cubes looked like they were staying plenty moist. Hopefully when we return from break we will see some plants for our efforts.

Up and Running

Hello everyone. J.D. and I have finally gotten our hydroponics system up and running. We have decided to use a drip system to attempt to grow jalapeño peppers. So far there are no huge problems we see happening with the system in the near future other than one of the emitters may have issues staying within the cup.

Just a little background on our system. For our growing medium we have decided to place our seeds in rockwool surrounded by expanded clay. All of this is inside of plastic cups with holes in the bottom to allow the water to continue cycling and to allow our roots to grow. For our nutrient solution we decided to use liquid nutrients instead of solid nutrients to prevent our hoses from clogging. Currently solution is at a pH of 6.5. We are hoping to keep it between 6.2 and 6.5 for the remainder of semester.

We hope to start seeing sprouts within the next 10-14 days. Below are some pictures of the system. Sorry for the poor quality from now on we will use a digital camera instead of a phone.