One of the challenges I had was how to create a 3 lift system out of my existing two port air pump. While browsing the pet store I found a 3 port manifold and decided to give it a try and what do you know with some fiddling the thing works.
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12:54 pm in Completed Window Farms, Getting Started, International, made from scratch (without a kit), Nutrients, Nutrition, Plants, posts with pitcures!, questions, Seeking Advice, Starting Seeds by Pieter
My name is Pieter and i’m an Architect living in Antwerp Belgium.
Last year i’ve build a 2 string 8 bottle windowfarm and have been experimenting with it since than.
the system works great so i started trying to grow some plants, i’ve tried with seedlings grown on cottenwool and with full grown soil plants, but all they did was die.. I used different types of nutrients, (not specific for hydroculture, so maybe thats the problem) the timer i use is set on a quarter per 1.5 hour.
After killing a lot of plants finaly ONE tomato plant didnt die, and grow quiet big.. but thats before the winter, now its dead as well..
now the wetter is getting better i want to make a fresh start and could use some help with my farm!
what are the tips on good nutrition, which plants go well with one and other, what frequency do i need to put the timer on, etc etc
can someone here help me with that?
I had lots of trouble with seedlings, and especially the part where you don’t kill them. I tried some (not all) of the rituals involving paper towels, rock wool, sand, coconut hair, etc. The seedlings need attention about twice every day, just to check the humidity. If the soil/medium dries out for a couple of hours, the seedlings die. Given the fact that i’m often away for a day or so, this caused a lot of infant plant mortality.
Then one day i had some unoccupied pots in the farm and some of the seed packages come with LOTS (hundreds?) of seeds, so i just threw a couple of seeds in the farm directly. What did i have to lose, right?
We’ve been told to give the little plants pure water without nutrients (or they’ll “burn” – anybody else ever thought that sounded strange?), they need some structure to attach to etcetera. Turns out we’ve been lied to (or i/my plants have been very lucky)! ;->
I had basil, chives and hemp (not the smokey kind), grow like weed (eh…) by planting them directly in the clay pellets in the window farm. Granted the chives didn’t live very long, but neither did the ones i sprouted in my “seedling school” and transplanted later. I just filled the cups with clay pellets, up to 1 cm under the upper edge, threw in some seeds and then fill the last cm with clay pellets.
Perhaps there’s stuff i’m not taking into account (one of the reasons for me to report here), but i do think it brings these advantages:
- no growplugs needed,
- no growplugs, soil or dirt in the farm (which started looking really gross/muhsy after a while)
- no extra attention required for the seedlings, the windowfarm will auto-water
- no painfull transplantation (even being very carefull when moving little plants into the farm, i’m sure they hate being moved!)
- speculating here, but i think the plants adjust to hydro quicker when they ‘grow up’ in hydro.
10:03 am in Being a good member of this community, Completed Window Farms, Education, energy consumption, environmental impact, Featured Post, made from scratch (without a kit), Nutrients, Plants, posts with pitcures!, Windowfarms Project News by Jeremy
Here’s a pic of week 5. I use my phone’s camera so I couldn’t capture everything. I bought a new air pump with four outlets because I plan to build another grow container and put it on the other side of my windowsill. Making sure to have it elevated higher than the reservoir this time because my last pump had backlogged. I’d like to use all glass if I can…but most likely I’d have to get it cut the way I need it. Any suggestions? I’m thinking of a small glass fish tank for the reservoir. Adding another 15 watt solar panel to my Goal Zero Escape 150 will help with the addition to capture more battery power. Questions? Comments?
If you’d like to power your window farm via solar I suggest going with Goal Zero. Their kits are affordable and definitely work.
I got a new reservoir so I can repaint and clean the first one. First time trying New Zealand spinach. I also changed my illustration so it has a right angle air tube connector.
I started my windowfarm three weeks ago with four strawberry plants. I transplanted them (had to cut the roots) and for two weeks three of them grew very well (one flower even blossomed). By the third week, however, one of the plants became very week and the other two stopped growing (the third is just as stuck in its growth as when I planted it three weeks ago).
For the other pots I started seedlings. I transplanted a few to see how they would react and although they are alive (cherry tomatoes and zucchini) they have also stopped growing. The seedlings that I kept in soil continue growing.
The plants receive water every hour for 15 minutes. I change the water every week and add 6mL of nutrients (picture of components below) which is the suggested dosage (it says to double the dosage for plants that are need more). The plants don’t receive much sunshine (it’s almost always cloudy in Paris, but when they do it comes from the west for a couple of hours each day). Temperature is around 22 degrees C.
Do any of you have suggestions as to what may be going on and how I can revitalise the plants? Any suggestions about what plants would grow well?
Hello you beautiful people,
This is an update to my first post found here:
I have had lots of success with my first set of crops off of my window farm, and lots of “oppurtunities for growth” (ha!).
The vast majority of luck I have had has actually been with my pepper plants! I have taken a first harvest off my cayenne pepper, which was so bountiful that all of the peppers I could not manage to use for cooking I am now drying so I can grind them into my own homemade cayenne pepper spice.
Also, I was pleasantly surprised when my first pepper plant (whose seeds came from a mixed bell pepper grab bag) turned out to be purple! Huzzah!
The thing I am really enjoying about my pepper plants is that even though they are usually very difficult to grow in Canada because of the limited growing season, an indoor garden growing season is limitless, so you can give them as much time as they need. Also, they are productive yet compact, which is means they don’t over take other plants in my system. I am having the opposite of the experience with my tomatoes. They have managed to take over the entirety of the window and the productivity to space ratio just really is not cutting it! I planted mainly small tomato varieties, since I was nervous about how much weight my system could hold. For my next round of small tomatos I will have to do some more pruning. I did sucker all of my current tomato plants, but I really plan to discourage them from getting so tall next time.
Another issue I am wondering if anyone else is experiencing, is that a lot of my tomatoes have succumb to blossom rot (black spots on the bottom of the tomatoes). I ripped out a gigantic yellow pear tomato plant because all of the 20 tomatoes it was growing developed black spots on the bottom! Does anyone else have any experience with this issue?
I have finally gotten around to upgrading my air lift system to a t-valve setup, which I have been really enjoying. I now only have to fill up my reservoirs every 4 or 5 days, as opposed to every day and a half. Which is great that I don’t have to worry about my plants when I head up to the mountains for a long weekend!
My other crops which have been moderately successful have been beans and peas. However, both of these plants only produced a small serving of fruit each, which was great for a snack, but not terribly effective as a serving of vegetables with a meal. Even so I have planted more of both peas and green beans, since they are so quick to grow. Also, the snap peas in particular are incredibly tasty.
I am learning that for the most part, my window farm is an awesome project that I really enjoy, but only very specific crops actually yield a really useable harvest. Which is totally fine, as long as you look at your project as an awesome hobby, not a substitute for grocery shopping.
My new crops that I am currently sprouting include dwarf kale, brandywine tomatoes, black beauty eggplants and edamame beans! I am extremely excited about the eggplant, since they are genetically similar to peppers, I am hoping that they will behave in a similar manner to the peppers in the system. Also, I am hoping the brandywine tomatoes will give me a little more bang for my buck with growing space, because they are supposed to be huge! The packet says 12 to 20 oz., so fingers crossed!
Also, if any one is wondering if power bills have been effected at all by my aquarium pump and three grow lights, it has not! My power bill still ranges between $65 and $70 dollars a month, and I think it is alot more dependent on how much I use my clothes dryer, than keeping my grow lights on.
I would love to hear any input about the blossom rot issues, tomato pruning tips, and what varieties of plants others are having lots of success with!
Happy Urban Gardening
11:47 am in Being a good member of this community, Completed Window Farms, Curriculum Proposals, Education, electronic components, energy consumption, environmental impact, Featured Post, Getting Started, Help the project by testing this, How-Tos, International, made from scratch (without a kit), Materials and Resources, Nutrients, Plants, posts with pitcures!, Seeking Advice, Starting Seeds, Windowfarms Project News by Jeremy
It’s been almost a year since I lasted posted on here. Now I’m back with a little video update below. I bought a new air pump because my last one back siphoned due to the fact I didn’t have it elevated higher than my reservoir…oops! The new one has four air outlets, so I’m thinking of setting up a horizontal system on the other side of my window sill.
I’m open to any advice or comments! Here’s the video update link…
The windowfarm is coming along, but now I’m stuck on which fertilizer to choose, I found these two
for the blooming period:
for the growing period:
It says in the description that they are general hydroponic fertilizers, sounded good to me but i just wanted to run it past you guys.
Do you think these are any good? and what about amounts? I’m building 4 columns of 4 plants.
Many thanks in advance!
The pictures in the gallery are my pride and joy. After one year of working with lighting specific for the window gardens - here is the result.
You can see more on my kickstarter campaign - http://kck.st/VvSZD2