Friday (08-November-2019) — New Jersey

Indoor Hydroponic Strawberry Gardens Update.

The strawberry plants in the Hydroponic Tubs appear to be doing better than the ones in the AeroGarden Farm (compare with yesterday’s post). In addition to adding more plant food based on the TDS, I am also titrating the addition of buffer to adjust the pH. I will watch the plants carefully, and my dilute with more water to bring the TDS between 500-800 ppm.

Hydroponic Tub 01 (Left) Day 45 and Tub 02 (Right) Day 28. Tub 01 has six strawberry plant runners from the outside Grow Towers. Tub 02 Sweet Charlie Strawberry Plugs (ISONS). Tub 01 (pH 5.28, 807 ppm); Tube 02 (pH 6.93, 477 ppm). The plants in Tub 02 are getting bigger. During the last two weeks added rain water a couple of times. Not sure if this is due to evaporation or respiration. Tub 01 added 1.0 mL buffer, 5 mL Root Farm Base (4-0-1), and 5 mL Root Farm Bloom (1-4-7). Tub 02 added 10 mL Root Farm Base (4-0-1), and 10 mL Root Farm Bloom (1-4-7). Post addition Tub 01 (pH 6.20, TDS 1080 ppm); Tub 01 (pH 6.24, 1010 ppm).

Hydroponic Tub 01 (Left) Tub 02 (Right). Day 28 L01-L06 Strawberry Runners from outside Grow Towers; R01-R06 Sweet Charlie Strawberry Plugs (ISONS). Image taken with a Leica TL-2 camera and 35 mm f/1/4 lens (ISO 250, 35 mm, f/8, 1/50 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Hydroponic Tub 01 (Left) Day 45 Tub 02 (Right) Day 28. L01-L06 Strawberry Runners from outside Grow Towers; R01-R06 Sweet Charlie Strawberry Plugs (ISONS). Image taken with a Leica TL-2 camera and 35 mm f/1/4 lens (ISO 250, 35 mm, f/8, 1/50 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)

Hydroponic Tub 03 (Left) and Tub 04 (Right) Day 02. Both Tubs have Sweet Charlie Strawberry plants with washed roots (ISONS). Tub 03 (pH 4.34, 649 ppm); Tube 04 (pH 4.39, 703 ppm). The plants in both tubs are getting bigger. During the last two weeks added rain water a couple of times. Not sure if this is due to evaporation or respiration. Tub 03 added 2.0 mL buffer, 5 mL Root Farm Base (4-0-1), and 5 mL Root Farm Bloom (1-4-7). Tub 04 added 2.0 mL buffer, 5 mL Root Farm Base (4-0-1), and 5 mL Root Farm Bloom (1-4-7). Post addition Tub 03 (pH 6.34, TDS 887 ppm); Tub 04 (pH 6.38, 951 ppm).

Hydroponic Tub 03 (Left) Tub 04 (Right) Day 28. L01-L06 Sweet Charlie Strawberry free roots (ISONS) ; R01-R06 Sweet Charlie Strawberry free roots (ISONS) . Image taken with a Leica TL-2 camera and 35 mm f/1/4 lens (ISO 500, 35 mm, f/8, 1/50 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Hydroponic Tub 03 (Left) Day 28 Tub 04 (Right) Day 28. L01-L06 Sweet Charlie Strawberry free roots (ISONS) ; R01-R06 Sweet Charlie Strawberry free roots (ISONS). Image taken with a Leica TL-2 camera and 35 mm f/1/4 lens (ISO 500, 35 mm, f/8, 1/50 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)

Hydroponic Tub 05 (Left) Day 45 and Tub 06 (Right) Day 28. Tub 05 has six strawberry plant runners from the outside Grow Towers. Tub 06 Chandler Strawberry Plugs (ISONS). Tub 05 (pH 6.06, 1208 ppm); Tube 06 (pH 5.07, 781 ppm). The plants in Tub 06 are getting bigger. During the last two weeks added rain water a couple of times. Not sure if this is due to evaporation or respiration. Tub 05 no additions. Tub 06 added 1.0 mL buffer, 5 mL Root Farm Base (4-0-1), and 5 mL Root Farm Bloom (1-4-7). Post addition Tub 05 (pH 5.86, TDS 1220 ppm); Tub 06 (pH 6.18, 1041 ppm).

Hydroponic Tub 05 (Left) Tub 06 (Right) Day 28. L01-L06 Strawberry Runners from outside Grow Towers; R01-R06 Chandler Strawberry Plugs (ISONS) . Image taken with a Leica TL-2 camera and 35 mm f/1/4 lens (ISO 250, 35 mm, f/8, 1/50 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Hydroponic Tub 05 (Left) Tub 06 (Right) Day 28. L01-L06 Strawberry Runners from outside Grow Towers; R01-R06 Chandler Strawberry Plugs (ISONS) . Image taken with a Leica TL-2 camera and 35 mm f/1/4 lens (ISO 250, 35 mm, f/8, 1/50 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)

Hydroponic Tub 07 (Left) Day 14 and Tub 08 (Right) Day 14. Tub 05 has six strawberry plant runners from the outside Grow Towers. Tub 06 Chandler Strawberry Plugs (ISONS). Tub 07 (pH 4.34, 1191 ppm); Tube 08 (pH 4.02, 1240 ppm). The plants in both tubs are getting bigger. During the last two weeks added rain water a couple of times. Not sure if this is due to evaporation or respiration. Tub 07 added 2.0 mL buffer. Tub 08 added 2.0 mL buffer. Post addition Tub 07 (pH 6.20, TDS 1194 ppm); Tub 08 (pH 5.40, 1220 ppm).

Hydroponic Tub 07 (Left) Tub 08 (Right) Day 28. L01-L06 Chandler Strawberry free roots (ISONS) ; R01-R06 Chandler Strawberry free roots (ISONS) . Image taken with a Leica TL-2 camera and 35 mm f/1/4 lens (ISO 320, 35 mm, f/11, 1/50 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Hydroponic Tub 07 (Left) Tub 08 (Right) Day 28. L01-L06 Chandler Strawberry free roots (ISONS) ; R01-R06 Chandler Strawberry free roots (ISONS) . Image taken with a Leica TL-2 camera and 35 mm f/1/4 lens (ISO 320, 35 mm, f/11, 1/50 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)

Daily Electric Energy Used (66.3 kWh) from Sense and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (33.19 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Sunny most of the day. Overall a net deficit of 33.1 kWh.

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Thursday (07-November-2019) — New Jersey

Indoor Hydroponic Strawberry Gardens Update.

AeroGarden Farm 05, Left Tray, Day 28. Chandler Strawberry Plants (from ISONS). Even though I replaced the buffer solution two weeks ago, the plants seem worse and/or have died. The roots are brown with very few if any new white roots. I checked the pH (4.54) and TDS (520 ppm).

AeroGarden Farm 05 Left Tray at day 28. R01-R12 Chandler Strawberry Plants (ISONS). Image taken with a Leica TL-2 camera and 35 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 800, 35 mm, f/8, 1/80 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
AeroGarden Farm 05 Left Tray at day 28. R01-R12 Chandler Strawberry Plants (ISONS). Image taken with a Leica TL-2 camera and 35 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 800, 35 mm, f/8, 1/80 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)

AeroGarden Farm 05, Right Tray, Day 28. Sweet Charlie Strawberry Plants (from ISONS). Even though I replaced the buffer solution two weeks ago, the plants seem worse and/or have died. The roots are brown with very few if any new white roots. I checked the pH (4.19) and TDS (553 ppm).

AeroGarden Farm 05 Right Tray at day 28. R01-R12 Sweet Charlie Strawberry Plants (ISONS). Image taken with a Leica TL-2 camera and 35 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 500, 35 mm, f/8, 1/80 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
AeroGarden Farm 05 Right Tray at day 28. R01-R12 Sweet Charlie Strawberry Plants (ISONS). Image taken with a Leica TL-2 camera and 35 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 500, 35 mm, f/8, 1/80 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)

AeroGarden Farm 07, Left Tray, Day 28. Sweet Charlie Strawberry Plants (from ISONS). Even though I replaced the buffer solution two weeks ago, some plants seem worse and/or have died, although some have new white roots. I checked the pH (5.07) and TDS (714 ppm).

AeroGarden Farm 07 Left Tray at day 28. R01-R12 Sweet Charlie Strawberry Plants (ISONS). Image taken with a Leica TL-2 camera and 35 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 640, 35 mm, f/8, 1/80 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
AeroGarden Farm 07 Left Tray at day 28. R01-R12 Sweet Charlie Strawberry Plants (ISONS). Image taken with a Leica TL-2 camera and 35 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 640, 35 mm, f/8, 1/80 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)

AeroGarden Farm 07, Right Tray, Day 28. Chandler Strawberry Plants (from ISONS). Even though I replaced the buffer solution two weeks ago, some plants seem worse and/or have died, although many have new white roots. I checked the pH (5.09) and TDS (720 ppm).

AeroGarden Farm 07 Right Tray at day 28. R01-R12 Chandler Strawberry Plants (ISONS). Image taken with a Leica TL-2 camera and 35 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 640, 35 mm, f/8, 1/80 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
AeroGarden Farm 07 Right Tray at day 28. R01-R12 Chandler Strawberry Plants (ISONS). Image taken with a Leica TL-2 camera and 35 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 640, 35 mm, f/8, 1/80 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)

I ended up culling the dead plants in all of the above gardens. Those that had new white roots were all moved to Farm 07 Left Tray and Farm 07 Right Tray. The dead leaves were trimmed. The hydroponic bath solution was replaced with 8.0 L rain water plus 15 mL Root Farm Base (4-0-1) and 15 mL Root Farm Bloom (1-4-7). Farm 07 Left pH (6.5) TDS (750); Farm 07 Right pH (6.27) TDS (726). Will check back in one and two weeks to see if these plants continue to grow.

AeroGarden Farm 05, Left Tray. Cleaned and filled with 8.0 L rain water with 16 mL of MiracleGro/AeroGarden plant food (4-3-6); pH (6.45) TDS (424 ppm). The tray was then planted with L01-L03 Cucumber (Burpee); L04-L06 Kale (Burpee); L07-L09 Broccoli Raab (Burpee); L10-L12 Bunching Onions (Botanical Interests).

AeroGarden Farm 05, Right Tray. Cleaned and filled with 8.0 L rain water with 16 mL of MiracleGro/AeroGarden plant food (4-3-6); pH (6.45) TDS (432 ppm). The tray was then planted with R01-R03 Zucchini (Botanical Interest); R04-R06 Swiss Chard (Botanical Interest); R07-R09 Broccoli Raab (Burpee); R10-R12 Bunching Onions (Burpee).

Daily Electric Energy Used (71.6 kWh) from Sense and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (14.1 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Cloudy all day plus rain. Overall a net deficit of 57.5 kWh.

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Wednesday (06-November-2019) — New Jersey

Backyard Autumn Nature in New Jersey.

Rain, and much colder predicted for the next few days. Trying to catch up on some winter preparations. The rain barrels and outdoor hoses needed to emptied before it freezes. I am continuing to cut down the remaining wildflowers and clearing the walkway around the house. I am going to miss not having the rainwater for the hydroponic systems. For the winter I will need to filter the well water (ZeroWater) to remove the sodium chloride added from the water softener. Some of the work was recorded as time-lapse video with a Garmin VIRB-360 camera.

Daily Electric Energy Used (70.3 kWh) from Sense and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (31.6 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. More clouds than yesterday. At this time of the year the sun is lower, and the Sycamore tree leaves shadow the solar panels part of the day. Overall a net deficit of 38.7 kWh.

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Wednesday (06-November-2019) – New Jersey

Indoor Hydroponic Updates.

AeroGarden Farm 04 – Left Unit at 42 Days. F04L01 Plug; F04L02 Cosmos Dwarf; F04L03 Cosmos Early Dwarf; F04L04 Pug; F04L05 Zinnia Thumbelina; F04L06 Zinnia Lilliput; F04L07 Blue Cornflower; F04L08 Plug; F04L09 Plug; F04L10 Marigold; F04L11 Marigold; F04L12 Plains Coreopsis. The plants in this tray were moved from another garden two weeks ago. The Cornflower continues to grow very fast, but has not bloomed. The two Cosmos plants have not grown much. The Thumbelina Zinnia has one small flower beginning to open, and two more buds about to open. The Lilliput Zinnia is almost completely open, and has two more buds about to open. The Marigold is small, and has one small flower open, and two buds about to open. The Plains Coreopsis is growing, and seems to have a rouge Coreopsis plant that has a couple of buds?  I tested the pH (4.89) and TDS (121 ppm). The rapidly growing plants need more food. I should also note that I have been adding more than a liter of water into the bath every day. Added 10 mL of Root Farm Base (4-0-1) and 10 mL Root Farm Bloom (1-4-7). After one hour tested the pH (5.24) and TDS (621 ppm).  I hope this helps to get the Cornflower to bloom, and the Coreopsis plants to grow faster. I will test the pH and TDS on a weekly basis going forward.

Farm 04 - Left (Day 42). F04L01 Plug; F04L02 Cosmos Dwarf; F04L03 Cosmos Early Dwarf; F04L04 Pug; F04L05 Zinnia Thumbelina; F04L06 Zinnia Lilliput; F04L07 Blue Cornflower; F04L08 Plug; F04L09 Plug; F04L10 Marigold; F04L11 Marigold; F04L12 Plains Coreopsis. Image taken with a Leica TL-2 camera and 35 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 640, 35 mm, f/8, 1/80 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Farm 04 – Left (Day 42). F04L01 Plug; F04L02 Cosmos Dwarf; F04L03 Cosmos Early Dwarf; F04L04 Pug; F04L05 Zinnia Thumbelina; F04L06 Zinnia Lilliput; F04L07 Blue Cornflower; F04L08 Plug; F04L09 Plug; F04L10 Marigold; F04L11 Marigold; F04L12 Plains Coreopsis. Image taken with a Leica TL-2 camera and 35 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 640, 35 mm, f/8, 1/80 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)

It has been four days since I first took a focus-stacked image of the Zinnia flower. Now there are about four levels of petals, and at least one more level to open. So as I plan for a time-lapse sequence for the opening of Zinnia flowers, it takes several days or even a week to open completely. I also noticed an Asian Lady Beetle Harmonia axyridis hiding in the flower. In the fall a number of these non-native Ladybug look alikes invade the house to hibernate. They were imported to eat aphids. I hope that doesn’t mean I have aphids invading my hydroponic gardens.

Zinnia Flower. Composite of 23 focus stacked images taken with a Fuji X-T3 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 160, 80 mm, f/5.6, 1/30 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus (DAVID J MATHRE)
Zinnia Flower. Composite of 23 focus stacked images taken with a Fuji X-T3 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 160, 80 mm, f/5.6, 1/30 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus (DAVID J MATHRE)
Asian Ladybeetle hiding in a Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Fuji X-T3 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens and popup flash (ISO 160, 80 mm, f/16, 1/30 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Asian Ladybeetle hiding in a Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Fuji X-T3 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens and popup flash (ISO 160, 80 mm, f/16, 1/30 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)

Daily Electric Energy Used (70.3 kWh) from Sense and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (31.6 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. More sun. Overall a net deficit of 38.7 kWh.

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Tuesday (05-November-2019) — New Jersey

Indoor Hydroponic Updates.

AeroGarden Bounty 01 at 42 Days. 01 Crimson Clover; 02 California Poppy; 03 Red Poppy Mix; 04 Lupine; 05 Strawberry; 06 Blanket Flower; 07 Sweet Alyssum; 08 Coreopsis Lance-leaf; 09 Strawberry. Only the Crimson Clover, Lupine, and Lemon Mint were doing OK. The others that had previously sprouted died and had mold/algae growing on the substrate. I checked the pH (5.80) and TDS (659 ppm). Additional plant food was not added. The dead plants were removed.

AeroGarden Bounty 01 at 42 days. 01 Crimson Clover; 02 California Poppy; 03 Red Poppy Mix; 04 Lupine; 05 Strawberry; 06 Blanket Flower; 07 Sweet Alyssum; 08 Coreopsis Lance-leaf; 09 Strawberry. Image taken with a Leica TL-2 camera and 35 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 250, 35 mm, f/8, 1/80 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
AeroGarden Bounty 01 at 42 days. 01 Crimson Clover; 02 California Poppy; 03 Red Poppy Mix; 04 Lupine; 05 Strawberry; 06 Blanket Flower; 07 Sweet Alyssum; 08 Coreopsis Lance-leaf; 09 Strawberry. Image taken with a Leica TL-2 camera and 35 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 250, 35 mm, f/8, 1/80 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)

AeroGarden Bounty 02 at 14 days. 01 Oriental Poppy; 02 Oriental Poppy; 03 California Poppy Mix; 04 Nasturtium; 05 Cornflower; 06 Red Poppy; 07 Red Poppy; 08 Red Poppy; 09 Red Poppy. The Oriental Poppies sprouted, the California poppy is doing well, the Nasturtium didn’t sprout, the cornflower sprouted, and 3 out of 4 of the Red Poppies sprouted. I check the pH (5.65, and TDS (629 ppm). The plants that sprouted were moved to Bounty 01, and a new set of seeds started in Bounty 02.

AeroGarden Bounty 02 at 14 days. 01 Oriental Poppy; 02 Oriental Poppy; 03 California Poppy Mix; 04 Nasturtium; 05 Cornflower; 06 Red Poppy; 07 Red Poppy; 08 Red Poppy; 09 Red Poppy. Image taken with a Leica TL-2 camera and 35 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 320, 35 mm, f/8, 1/80 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
AeroGarden Bounty 02 at 14 days. 01 Oriental Poppy; 02 Oriental Poppy; 03 California Poppy Mix; 04 Nasturtium; 05 Cornflower; 06 Red Poppy; 07 Red Poppy; 08 Red Poppy; 09 Red Poppy. Image taken with a Leica TL-2 camera and 35 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 320, 35 mm, f/8, 1/80 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)

Daily Electric Energy Used (70.6 kWh) from Sense and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (16.9 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Lots of clouds. Overall a net deficit of 41.1 kWh. Geothermal HVAC was on to heat the house (6.4 kWh).

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