Monday, April 28, 2014

Cloning Tomatoes

I want to show you a few pictures of some Tomatoes I have cloned from some of the ones in the greenhouse. To start out I look at the mother plant and find some suckers that have started growing between a leaf branch and the main stalk. I have identified them days earlier and have allowed them to grow to about 4 or 5 inches. Before I remove them from the plant I get the solo cup and punch some holes in the bottom so that it will drain. I then fill it with potting soil to the top. After that I get a pencil and poke a hole into the potting soil. See what I'm getting at? I am now ready to perform surgery on the mother plant. I grab me a pair of scissors and gently cut the suckers off the main plant. Right away I dip the ends into water and then into the bottle of rooting powder. I cover about an inch of the stem, place it into the soil and tamp the soil around it. Once that is done I water the soil until it starts draining out the bottom. It usually takes about a week before the roots start growing from the stems. At first you wonder if it is even working because the plant droops like it is going to die. Then one day you see that it has perked up. I have had much better success with cloning when I use a grow light and a heat mat. I usually keep them in the cup for about 4 weeks and by that time they have rooted nicely and can be transplanted into your garden. Think about it. By doing it this way you don't have to plant seeds and hope they germinate and wait as long to get a sturdy healthy plant. Also knowing the plant that you took it from was part of another healthy plant. You can do this year round.

The picture here shows the plants in red solo cups and the plants in the containers are hot peppers. I grew them from seeds and even tho they are sturdy and healthy they are slow growing. These have been in the containers about 4 weeks already and have a few more to go before I will be ready to transplant. That is if I even do that. i might just move the container to the greenhouse and let them grow there.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sunday, April 27, 2014

This Blog is the start of a project that I am new at. I started this about a month ago after talking to my neighbor in the grocery store. Her name is Beth. Thanks Beth for telling me about this. We were talking about the Hydroponic Greenhouse project I am involved with. When I decided that I was going to build the greenhouse I wanted to do something different than potted plants. After having doing some research and checking other peoples greenhouses on YouTube I decided to research Hydroponic systems. I knew I wanted to grow tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce. you know, your basic salad ingredients. But what system would I use to achieve that? That was the question and that's what I started to research. I visited lots of websites and hundreds of stories. I was confused but I did not get discouraged.At the same time I'm working a full time job and building the greenhouse...... I'll write more tonight as I have some chores to Do. I need to spread 2 yards of mulch in my plant grow beds in the front and back of the house. I will take some pictures for you.

It's about 7 pm and I have worn myself out since I last posted, been planting bulbs, Some Canna and Peony
I put all but one Peony in the front yard and it went in the back yard in front of the Greenhouse.

See all that mulch? Last Saturday I picked up 2 yards of it in my P/U and started spreading it today. I managed to spread almost all of it. That is back breaking work for sure but no big deal, a couple of Tylenol should do the trick. 

Anyway, we were talking about what kind of hydroponic system I was going to use weren't we? I decided to go with the Nutrient Film Technique NFT. I have a tab set aside on the blog that goes into detail about the system so I'm not going to cover it here. 

This is about all the time I can spare tonight so I better say goodbye and if the good lord is willing I will write another day.


Let It Be, Hydroponic Greenhouse, for Lois Lee & Rachael Marie

This is a Greenhouse made by me alone and is in memory of my Mother and Daughter. It is mainly made from 110 yr. old windows obtained from the Eastern Shores of Virginia.The Doors were obtained from down the road at a house that was being remodeled and the cinder block and mortar used for the foundation are left over from a house being built around the corner. It measures 16' x 12' and is wired for 110 volts. I particularly like the split level roof and the open concept Credit belongs to Buildeasy-Greenhouse for the basic design which I built to suite. This is a labor of love with no deadline, and as a result you will see rough but quality work. All wood is pressure treated , primed and painted prior to assembly Tools used were circular saw, zaw-zaw, chop saw, cordless drill, hammer and measuring tools. Don't forget PPE, (personal protective equipment). I'll talk about that later. I am currently in the process of building a Hydroponic growing system for growing vegetables and flowers. The first type of system will be Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) using channels constructed from UV-stabilized, recycled plastics, 6"Wide x .5"Deep. It is suitable for large, leafy plants and vine varieties, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, capsicum and zucchini, in which the recycled nutrients flow past the roots 24/7. I will learn this technique before starting a second type. (if you're wondering why there is one yellow window frame it's because that's what I visualized in my mind what it was going to look like when it was finished.