Saturday (09-April-2022) — New Jersey

Springtime Nature in New Jersey.

Birds of the day viewed in the backyard: Mourning Dove, Turkey Vulture, Downy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, European Starling, House Finch, Chipping Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Brown-headed Cowbird, Northern Cardinal.


Birds of the day. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Indoor hydroponic flowers of the day. Pink and white California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica). Pink and white Corn Poppy (Papaver rhoeas). Yellow white, and orange Iceland Poppy (Papaver nudicaule). Red Turkish Tulip Poppy about to open (Papaver glaucum). Some yellow Pot Marigold (Calendula) and Snapdragons.


Indoor hydroponic flowers of the day. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Weekly indoor hydroponics updates for the four AeroGarden Bounty and eleven AeroGarden Farm hydroponic systems. Several of the systems have mature plants that are flowering and/or are ready to be harvested. The systems with mature plants are consuming lots of water, and need to be fertilized every other day. The systems where the plants are being harvested will converted to seed starting mode. I continue to learn from mistakes. Several of the system have plants that are too crowded. I need to more brutal with thinning. In some cases less than 9 or 12 plants/tray. Also, I would probably be better with only one type of plant per tray.

Bounty-01: Bok Choi harvested (chopped and frozen). Ready for planting Swiss Chard and Arugula. Bounty-02: Various Lettuce and Basil harvested. Basil processed with olive oil and frozen as cubes. Ready for planting Swiss Chard and Arugula. With this next crop in Bounty-01 and Bounty-02, I will be testing DI vs well water. My well water is softened with Potassium Chloride (~ 275 ppm). Bounty-03: Parsley, Basil harvested. Used for dinner. Converted to seed starting top. Ready for planting Red Roselle, Nasturtium, Hollyhock, Foxglove, and Calendula (Pot Marigold). Bounty-04: Various Basil harvested. Processed with olive oil and frozen as cubes. Converted to seed starting top. Ready for planting Red Roselle, Nasturtium, Hollyhock, Foxglove, and Calendula (Pot Marigold). With this next seed starting crop in Bounty-03 and Bounty-04 I will be testing AeroGarden vs an alternative sponge for starting the seeds.

Farm-01 Left (Day 82). (A1, B1, C1, D1): California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica). Several white, pink-white, and yellow flowers blooming). I’ve pushed several plants to the side, and will soon remove to allow the other poppies in the tray to get light. (A2, B2, C2, D2): Oriental Poppy (Papaver orientale). Not doing well, crowded and blocked by the California Poppies. (A3, B3, C3, D3): Lauren’s Grape Poppy (papaver somniferum). Not doing well, crowded and blocked by the California Poppies. Farm-01 Right (Day 82). (A1, B1, C1, D1): Hungarian Bread Seed Poppy (papaver somniferum). Not doing well, crowded and blocked by the Corn Poppies. (A2, B2, C2, D2): Corn Poppy (Papaver rhoeas). Several pink flowers with yellow pollen. (A3, B3, C3, D3) Turkish Tulip Poppy (Papaver glaucum). Several dark red flowers with black spots and dark green pollen.

Farm-02 Left (Day 82). (A1, B1, C1, D1) Somniferum Blend Poppy (papaver somniferum). Not doing well, crowded and blocked by the Corn Poppies. (A2, B2, C2, D2): Red (Corn) Poppy (Papaver rhoeas). Several pink flowers with yellow pollen. (A3, B3, C3, D3) Red Poppy Mix (Papaver rhoeas). Farm-02 Right (Day 82). (A1, B1): Oriental Poppy (Papaver orientale). Not doing well, crowded by other plants; (C1, D1): Hungarian Breadseed Poppy (papaver somniferum). Not doing well, crowded and blocked by other plants. (A2, B2): Turkish Tulip Poppy (Papaver glaucum). Not doing well, crowded and blocked by other plants; (C2) Corn (Red) Poppy (Papaver rhoeas). Several pink flowers with yellow pollen. (A3, B3, C3): Somniferum Blend Poppy (papaver somniferum). Not doing well, crowded and blocked by other plants.

Farm-03 Left and Farm-03 Right (Day 82). Kale, Collard Greens, and Spinach harvested. The remaining Mustard Greens about to be harvested. These were all robust growers, but in the future should only have one type of plant per tray. The large Collard Green leaves were blocking the other plants. Maybe four plants per tray. The farms will be converted to seed starters. Farm-03 Left and Farm-03 Right will be converted to seed starting mode.

Farm-04 Left and Farm-04 Right (Day 82). Oregano, Rosemary, Tarragon, Thyme, and Sage. The Tarragon and Sage have been doing very well. They need to be harvested, cut back, and or pruned on a regular basis or block out the other herbs. Oregano and Thyme are doing OK. The Rosemary, not so well. I will keep these going in order to provide fresh herbs for cooking.

Farm-05 Left (Day 48). (A1, A2, A3): Dark Opal Basil. The plants are slower growing and blocked by other plants. (B1, B2, B3): Cinnamon Basil. Fast growing, upper leaves are dark with some purple. Aromatic. I clipped the flower buds. (C1, C2, C3): Genovese Basil. Fast growing with large leaves. I clipped the flower buds. (D1, D2, D3): Holy Basil. Slower growing, blocked by other plants. Farm-05 Right (Day 48). (A1, A2, A3): Italian Large Leaf Basil. Slower growing, blocked by other plants. (B1, B2, B3): Lemmon Basil. Yellowish leaves, smells like lemon. I clipped the flower buds. (C1, C2, C3): Lime Basil. Leaves smell of citrus. I clipped the flower buds. (D1, D2, D3): Sweet Basil. Slower growing, blocked by other plants. In the future should probably only have one type of Basil per tray. Harvested enough leaves (~ 2 cups) from all of the plants to make a mixed Basil pesto for dinner.

Farm-06 Left (Day 66). (A1): Snapdragon. (A2, A3) Chrysanthemum. (B1, B2) Iceland Poppy. One of the plants has a stunted white flower. (B3) Sweet William. (C1, C2, C3) Columbine. Dark, slow growing leaves. (D1, D2): Osteospermum. Died. (D3) Blue Daisy. Died. Viable plants will be transplanted outside to soft pots. Farm-06 Right (Day 48). Various types of lettuce (Red Sails, Deer Tongue, Black Seeded Simpson, Rouge d’Hiver, Paris Island. Now that the plants are relatively mature, they are too close together. In the future, would be better with fewer plants so air can circulate and keep the leaves dry. The plants will be harvested, and both trays converted to seed starting.

Farm-07 Left Dat 48/60). Golden Harvest Tomatoes. A few of the plants have flowers, which I am trying to manually pollinate. The plants are too close together, so I will need to cull several of the smaller plants. This variety of tomato is does not grow very high (determinant). Farm-07 Right (Day 60). Heirloom Red Tomatoes. Several of the plants have flowers, which I am trying to manually pollinate. Some have set tomatoes. Need to thin the number of plants down to 4 per tray. This variety of tomato is does not grow very high (determinant). I remember the last time I grew these tomatoes, the leaves were so dense that air didn’t circulate, and mold was growing in the center of the tray.

Farm-08 Left and Farm-08 Right (Day 75): Various Calendula (Pot Marigold), Osteospermum (African Daisy), Sweet William, and Snapdragon plants. The Calendula and Osteospermum have been blooming. One of the Snapdragon plants started blooming, but the flower stalk was too high for the LED lights. All of the plants are growing, and are too big for a 24 inch high Farm. Drinking lots of water, and fertilizer. Will shut both trays down, and convert to a seed starting system.

Farm-09 Left (Day 61). Iceland Poppy and Chrysanthemum. Note only the Iceland Poppies are thriving and blooming producing many white, yellow, and orange flowers. These Iceland Poppies are much larger than the ones I planted outside in the past. The tray will be moved to Farm-10L, with a 36 inch rather than 24 inch height. Farm-09 Right. The Poppy seedlings were transplanted to outdoor soft pots. Note that I had a problem that several of the seed sponges did not completely hydrate. As such the germination rates were not that high. California Poppy (0/8); Oriental Poppy (4/10); Laurin’s Poppy (1/11), Hungarian Bread Seed Poppy (4/10); Red Poppy (3/8); Turkish Tulip Poppy (3/10), Somniferum Blend Poppy (6/11); Red Poppy (3/9); Red Mixed Poppy (1/8).

Farm-10 Left (Day 82). (A1, B1, C1, D1): California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica). Several white, yellow, and orange flowers were produced. The California Poppy plants were removed to make space for the other poppies in the tray to get light. (A2, B2, C2, D2): Oriental Poppy (Papaver orientale). Not doing well, crowded and blocked by the California Poppies. (A3, B3, C3, D3): Lauren’s Grape Poppy (papaver somniferum). Not doing well, crowded and blocked by the California Poppies. The Oriental Poppy plants were moved to outdoor soft pots. The bright-red flowering Celosia plant was also moved to an outdoor soft pot. This makes space available for tray from Farm-09L with the blooming Iceland Poppies. Farm-10 Right (Day 82). (A1, B1, C1, D1): Hungarian Bread Seed Poppy (papaver somniferum). Not doing well, crowded and blocked by the Corn Poppy leaves. (A2, B2, C2, D2): Red (Corn) Poppy (Papaver rhoeas). Several pink flowers with yellow pollen. (A3, B3, C3, D3) Turkish Tulip Poppy (Papaver glaucum). Several dark red flowers with black spots and dark green pollen.


Indoor AeroGarden Bounty and Farm Hydroponic Systems. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Now that it is starting to get a bit warmer (not freezing at night), I started setting up the Grow Towers on the back patio. This year I am not disassembling and reassembling the Garden Towers with fresh potting soil. Rather, I am topping off the potting soil with additional slow release fertilizer. The center composting columns were charged with fresh worms.

Grow Tower 01. Row A: Kohlrabi (4x Belle Mead Coop, 1 wk), Parsley (seed, 1 wk). Row B: Thyme (last year). Row C: Spinach (seed, 1 wk)). Row D: Cabbage (4x, Belle Mead Coop), Basil (seed, 1 wk). Row E: Spinach (seed, 1 wk). Row F: Clover. Row G: Clover. Row H: Clover.

Grow Tower 02. Row A: Brussel Sprouts (4x Belle Mead Coop, 1 wk), Parsley (seed, 1 wk). Row B: Clover. Row C: Arugula (4x Belle Mead Coop, 1 wk), Basil (seed, 1 wk)). Row D: Red Cabbage (4x, Belle Mead Coop), Basil (seed, 1 wk). Row E: Clover. Row F: Clover. Row G: Clover. Row H: Clover.

Grow Tower 03. Row A: Broccoli (4x Belle Mead Coop, 1 wk), Parsley (seed, 1 wk). Row B: Clover. Row C: Kale (4x Belle Mead Coop, 1 wk), Basil (seed, 1 wk)). Row D: Bravo Cabbage (4x, Belle Mead Coop), Basil (seed, 1 wk). Row E: Clover. Row F: Clover. Row G: Clover. Row H: Clover.

Grow Tower 04. Row A: Parsley, Bok Choi, Purple Basil (all transplanted from Bounty-03 and Bounty-04), Bunching Onion (seed, 1 wk). Row B: Clover. Row C: Spinach (seed, 1 wk)). Row D: Spinach (seed, 1 wk). Row E: Clover. Row F: Clover. Row G: Clover. Row H: Clover.

Grow Tower 05. Row A: Garlic (last year), Bunching Onion (seed, 1 wk). Row B: Thyme (last year, dead), Strawberry (5B8, last year). Row C: Clover. Row D: Clover. Row E: Clover. Row F: Clover. Row G: Clover. Row H: Clover.

Grow Tower 06. Row A: Carrot (seed, 1 wk), Bunching Onion (seed, 1 wk). Row B: Sage (last year). Row C: Strawberry (Belle Mead Coop, 1 wk). Row D: Strawberry (Belle Mead Coop, 1 wk). Row E: Clover. Row F: Clover. Row G: Clover. Row H: Clover.

Grow Tower 07. Row A: Radish (seed, 1 wk). Row B: Strawberry (Ison’s last year and Belle Mead Coop, 1 wk). Row C: Strawberry (Ison’s last year and Belle Mead Coop, 1 wk). Row D: Strawberry (Ison’s last year and Belle Mead Coop, 1 wk). Row E: Strawberry (Ison’s last year and Belle Mead Coop, 1 wk). Row F: Strawberry (Ison’s last year and Belle Mead Coop, 1 wk). Row G:Strawberry (Ison’s last year and Belle Mead Coop, 1 wk). Row H:Strawberry (Ison’s last year and Belle Mead Coop, 1 wk).

Grow Tower 08. Row A: Radish (seed, 1 wk). Row B: Strawberry (Ison’s last year and Belle Mead Coop, 1 wk). Row C: Strawberry (Ison’s last year and Belle Mead Coop, 1 wk). Row D: Strawberry (Ison’s last year and Belle Mead Coop, 1 wk). Row E: Strawberry (Ison’s last year and Belle Mead Coop, 1 wk). Row F: Strawberry (Ison’s last year and Belle Mead Coop, 1 wk). Row G:Strawberry (Ison’s last year and Belle Mead Coop, 1 wk). Row H:Strawberry (Ison’s last year and Belle Mead Coop, 1 wk).

Grow Tower 09. Row A: Radish (seed, 1 wk). Row B: Strawberry (Ison’s last year and Belle Mead Coop, 1 wk). Row C: Strawberry (Ison’s last year and Belle Mead Coop, 1 wk). Row D: Strawberry (Ison’s last year and Belle Mead Coop, 1 wk). Row E: Strawberry (Ison’s last year and Belle Mead Coop, 1 wk). Row F: Strawberry (Ison’s last year and Belle Mead Coop, 1 wk). Row G:Strawberry (Ison’s last year and Belle Mead Coop, 1 wk). Row H:Strawberry (Ison’s last year and Belle Mead Coop, 1 wk).

Grow Tower 10. Row A: Radish (seed, 1 wk). Row B: Strawberry (Ison’s last year and Belle Mead Coop, 1 wk). Row C: Strawberry (Ison’s last year and Belle Mead Coop, 1 wk). Row D: Strawberry (Ison’s last year and Belle Mead Coop, 1 wk). Row E: Strawberry (Ison’s last year and Belle Mead Coop, 1 wk). Row F: Strawberry (Ison’s last year and Belle Mead Coop, 1 wk). Row G:Strawberry (Ison’s last year and Belle Mead Coop, 1 wk). Row H:Strawberry (Ison’s last year and Belle Mead Coop, 1 wk). I


Grow Towers on the back patio. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

After the rain stopped, I took some picture of rain drops on the Daffodils.


Grow Towers on the back patio. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Daily Electric Energy Used (68.9 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (46.9 kWh) from Sense. Sun, clouds, and rain. Deficit of 20.2 kWh.

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Author: David Mathre

I am a scientist by training (Eckerd College, BSc; Caltech, Ph.D.). I worked for 27 years as a Chemist in the Pharmaceutical Industry developing processes to manufacture medicines for human and animal health. I now spend my time as a photographer and world traveler. My interests include the natural world, wildlife, landscapes, sky, and seascapes, travel, and astrophotography. I look for unique ways of viewing the world and presenting my images. I have traveled to over 55 countries in six continents, often on Semester at Sea voyages. While at home in New Jersey, I spend time on home renovation and expansion of a wildflower garden/meadow.

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