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.