OUR PLANTS ARE HEALTHY AND HAVE GROWN!
When we went to check on our plants today after the weekend, to our surprise, the plants were healthier and bigger than ever! The first and third plants have grown and the third plant had grown a white flower. Once the flowers begin to bud on the strawberry plants that mean that the plants are ready to be pollinated and then the strawberries will the begin growing. If we were to have another month or so left to work on this project, we would have potentially had some strawberries.
For our final pH recording, the pH read at 5.9 and we decided to leave it at that pH.
We think that it is safe to say that the second cup is officially dead. After dropping the second plant there was really no bringing it back to life no matter how hard we tried by adjusting the light, the pH and the nutrients; the leaves were too damaged to even try and rejuvenate them.
As for the first and third cup, they were beginning to brown so we decided to turn the light down to 6 hours to hopefully make the plants green and healthy again. However, we did not adjust the pH because it was at 5.9 and that is in the ideal range for hydroponic strawberries.
By today, we noticed that the third plants are no longer growing and even the healthiest plant is starting to brown a little. We had to adjust the pH from 5.8 and bring it up to 6.6 by adding a quarter of a teaspoon of pH up liquid to the water.
We had made an observation and think we found the possible problem with our plants. The air stones in our tank are directly under the first and second plant. These two plants are the weakest and show the least amount of growth. The third plant is not near the air stones and is the healthiest. We came to the conclusion that the air stones directly under the plants cause them to poorly grow. However, we did not fix this problem or adjust the air stones, because we are fearful that if we tamper with them now, our healthiest plant may die.
Sad to say, but our plants are slowly dying. The second plant is just about completely dead due to being dropped and we have not be able to save it. The first plant is slowly starting to wilt, and the third plant is still the strongest and has not shown signs of dying just yet. We are hoping that the third plant will hold on a little longer until harvest day.
The pH of the plants was at 5.9 and we did not need to adjust it. We had also turned down the amount of light given to the plants to six hours in hopes that the first and second plant might be able to start growing again with this adjustment.
WE REMAIN HOPEFUL!