Saturday (09-November-2019) — New Jersey

Autumn Indoor Nature in New Jersey

The Asian Lady Beetle is still on the Zinnia flower. My first indoor Marigold flower opened.

Asian Lady Beetle on a Pink Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Fuji X-T3 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 160, 80 mm, f/11, 1/60 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Asian Lady Beetle on a Pink Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Fuji X-T3 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 160, 80 mm, f/11, 1/60 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Asian Lady Beetle on a Pink Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Fuji X-T3 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 160, 80 mm, f/11, 1/250 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Asian Lady Beetle on a Pink Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Fuji X-T3 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 160, 80 mm, f/11, 1/250 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
First Indoor Hydroponic Marigold Flower. Image taken with a Fuji X-T3 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 160, 80 mm, f/5.6, 1/60 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
First Indoor Hydroponic Marigold Flower. Image taken with a Fuji X-T3 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 160, 80 mm, f/5.6, 1/60 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)

Daily Electric Energy Used (75.5 kWh) from Sense and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (31.8 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Sun and clouds, but cold outside. Overall a net deficit of 43.7 kWh. I’ve run out of credits for the excess electric energy produced this summer, so will be paying an electric bill this month.

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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

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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Saturday (02-November-2019) — New Jersey

Indoor Hydroponic AeroGarden Farm 08, Farm 09, Farm 10. Week Two (14 days).

Beginning with this set of AeroGarden Hydroponic Farms, rather just adding the “recommended” amount of plant food every other week I am going to make the additions based on the target pH (5.5 to 6.5) and TDS (500-800 ppm).

Farm 08 Left (Day 14). Positions F08L01 – F08L12 Bok Choi (AeroGarden). Two of the Bok Choy plants are growing robustly. The others have all sprouted, but are developing more slowly. I measured the pH (5.65) and TDS (373 ppm). Added 8 mL of the Miracle Grow/AeroGarden (4-3-6) plant food. Afterwards, the resulting pH (5.44) and TDS (575 ppm).

Farm 08 Left (14 days). Positions F08L01 - F08L12 Bok Choi (AeroGarden). 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)
Farm 08 Left (14 days). Positions F08L01 – F08L12 Bok Choi (AeroGarden). 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)

Farm 08 Right (Day 14). Edible Flowers (AeroGarden). F08R01, F08R02 Dianthus; F08R03, F08R05 Purple Snapdragon; F08R04, F08R06, F08R07, F08R08 Snapdragon; F0809, F08R12 Durango Marigold; F08R11, F08R11 Calendula.  Everything but one of the Snapdragon plants have sprouted. The Calendula and Durango Marigold plants are doing the best. I measured the pH (5.30) and TDS (445 ppm). Added 8 mL of the Miracle Grow/AeroGarden (4-3-6) plant food and 100 uL of Buffer. Afterwards, the resulting pH (5.35) and TDS (675 ppm).

Farm 08 Right (14 days). Edible Flowers (AeroGarden). F08R01, F08R02 Dianthus; F08R03, F08R05 Purple Snapdragon; F08R04, F08R06, F08R07, F08R08 Snapdragon; F0809, F08R12 Durango Marigold; F08R11, F08R11 Calandula. Image taken with a Leica TL-2 camera and 35 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 400, 35 mm, f/8, 1/80 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Farm 08 Right (14 days). Edible Flowers (AeroGarden). F08R01, F08R02 Dianthus; F08R03, F08R05 Purple Snapdragon; F08R04, F08R06, F08R07, F08R08 Snapdragon; F0809, F08R12 Durango Marigold; F08R11, F08R11 Calandula. Image taken with a Leica TL-2 camera and 35 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 400, 35 mm, f/8, 1/80 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)

Farm 09 Left (Day 14.). Positions F09L01 – F09L06 Broccoli (Botanical Interests); Positions F09L07 – F09L12 Cauliflower (Botanical Interests). All but one of the Broccoli plants sprouted and 2 were growing robustly. All of the Cauliflower plants sprouted and 2 were growing robustly. I measured the pH (5.65) and TDS (423 ppm). Added 8 mL of the Miracle Grow/AeroGarden (4-3-6) plant food. Afterwards, the resulting pH (5.60) and TDS (650 ppm).

Farm 09 Left (14 days). Positions F09L01 - F09L06 Broccoli (Botanical Interests); Positions F09L07 - F09L12 Cauliflower (Botanical Interests). 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)
Farm 09 Left (14 days). Positions F09L01 – F09L06 Broccoli (Botanical Interests); Positions F09L07 – F09L12 Cauliflower (Botanical Interests). 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)

Farm 09 Right (Day 14). Positions F09R01 – F09R03, F09R05 Swiss Chard (Botanical Interest); F09R07-F09R10, F09R12 Kale (Botanical Interest) F09R04, F09R06, F09R11 Cilantro. Note, originally planted six Swiss Chard and six Kale. Four of the Swiss Chard and five of the Kale are growing well. The two Swiss Chard, and one Kale that didn’t sprout were replaced with sprouted Cilantro from a different Farm. I measured the pH (5.07) and TDS (337 ppm). Added 8 mL of the Miracle Grow/AeroGarden (4-3-6) plant food and 200 uL of Buffer.  Afterwards, the resulting pH (5.20) and TDS (520 ppm).

Farm 09 Right (14 days). Positions F09R01 - F09R03, F09R05 Swiss Chard (Botanical Interest); F09R07-F09R10, F09R12 Kale (Botanical Interest) F09R04, F09R06, F09R11 Cilantro. 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)
Farm 09 Right (14 days). Positions F09R01 – F09R03, F09R05 Swiss Chard (Botanical Interest); F09R07-F09R10, F09R12 Kale (Botanical Interest) F09R04, F09R06, F09R11 Cilantro. 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)

Farm 10 Left (Day 14). Positions F10L01 – F10L06 Hatch NM Pepper (Trader Joe); F10L07 – F10L09 Small Red Hot Pepper (Zella Farm); F10L10 – F10L12 Szechuan Pepper (Zella Farm).  One Hatch NM pepper and three Szechuan peppers that sprouted were moved to a different Farm, and replaced with new seed pods. I measured the pH (5.40) and TDS (509 ppm). Added 8 mL of the Miracle Grow/AeroGarden (4-3-6) plant food..  Afterwards, the resulting pH (5.33) and TDS (720 ppm).

Farm 10 Left (14 days). Positions F10L01 - F10L06 Hatch NM Pepper (Trader Joe); F10L07 - F10L09 Small Red Hot Pepper (Zella Farm); F10L10 - F10L12 Szechwan Pepper (Zella Farm). 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)
Farm 10 Left (14 days). Positions F10L01 – F10L06 Hatch NM Pepper (Trader Joe); F10L07 – F10L09 Small Red Hot Pepper (Zella Farm); F10L10 – F10L12 Szechuan Pepper (Zella Farm) 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)

Farm 10 Right (Day 14). Positions F10R01 Cinnamon Basil (Tiny Greens); F10R02 Dark Opal Basil (Tiny Greens); F10R03 Genovese Basil (Tiny Greens); F10R04 Holy (Tulsi) Basil (Tiny Greens); F10R05 Basil (Tiny Greens); F10R06 Lemon Basil (Tiny Greens); F10R07 Sweet Basil (Tiny Greens); F10R08 Thai Basil (Tiny Greens); F10R09-F10R12 Arugula (Botanical Interest). All but the Sweet Basil sprouted. Three of the Arugula plants are growing robustly. I measured the pH (5.79) and TDS (407 ppm). Added 8 mL of the Miracle Grow/AeroGarden (4-3-6) plant food.  Afterwards, the resulting pH (5.74) and TDS (620 ppm).

Farm 10 Right (14 days). Positions F10R01 Cinnamon Basil (Tiny Greens); F10R02 Dark Opal Basil (Tiny Greens); F10R03 Genovese Basil (Tiny Greens); F10R04 Holy (Tulsi) Basil (Tiny Greens); F10R05 Basil (Tiny Greens); F10R06 Lemon Basil (Tiny Greens); F10R07 Sweet Basil (Tiny Greens); F10R08 Thai Basil (Tiny Greens); F10R09-F10R12 Arugula (Botanical Interest) 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)
Farm 10 Right (14 days). Positions F10R01 Cinnamon Basil (Tiny Greens); F10R02 Dark Opal Basil (Tiny Greens); F10R03 Genovese Basil (Tiny Greens); F10R04 Holy (Tulsi) Basil (Tiny Greens); F10R05 Basil (Tiny Greens); F10R06 Lemon Basil (Tiny Greens); F10R07 Sweet Basil (Tiny Greens); F10R08 Thai Basil (Tiny Greens); F10R09-F10R12 Arugula (Botanical Interest). 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)

Daily Electric Energy Used (80.1 kWh) from Sense and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (33.3 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. The sun was out, but much colder outside. Overall a net deficit of 46.8 kWh. Geothermal HVAC was on to heat the house (9.9 kWh). Monthly server backups also adding to the always on usage.

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