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Aquarium aerator for AeroGarden? Brent-r 1 week 6 days ago view

we have had a few aquariums and larger hydro pots and I think it is safe to say that there is an inverse relationship between the investment one makes in the  pump and the noise they emit.   Another case of getting what you pay for .... or in the case of the noise ... not getting what you pay for.    We run the aerators intermittently, like we do the pumps

Lettuce LED experiment Ginger 1 week 6 days ago view

Taste test: Yum. :)

Picture attached, still following same order (AG, CFL, Sansi, AG spotlight).

Basically, the Aerogarden and CFL lettuce were pretty similar in texture. The brighter Sansi and AG spotlight grew a tougher leaf, and a more vibrant red. The Aerogarden and Sansi had the best flavor.

All in all, I highly recommend the Sansi LED lamp. Grows lettuce well, has the intensity to grow more demanding plants, no need for a reflector, and at 15W, draws the least power of these options.

Cheap CFLs also work great, but I'd upgrade to 23W.

I reserve judgment on the Aerogarden spotlight. I think it would be good, for a different application. Which makes it less flexible.

The prettiest light is also the Sansi.
 

Lettuce LED experiment Ginger 1 week 6 days ago view

These portraits are at 3.5 weeks - almost harvest size.

The leftmost Aerogarden lettuces are the same varieties, planted the same time, as the ones in the spotlight splashers. Green is Nevada summercrisp, red is Cherokee summercrisp.

All growing in GH MaxiGro and rainwater.

Among the splashers, that's 6500W CFL on the left, Sansi LED in the middle, triband Aerogarden spotlight on the right, and the close-ups are in order.

Lettuce LED experiment Ginger 1 week 6 days ago view

Discussion:

Well, the new LED lamps grow fine now. We knew that. I still wanted a head-to-head acceptance test.

The Aerogarden grew bigger lettuce plants by the this point. No surprise there – the reservoir is better aerated and has less algae. Its red lettuce (the entire back row) is not very red.

The key here was the the 3-way between the CFL and LED spotlights. All 3 treatments did a competent job – they grew lettuce.

But there's a noticeable difference.

The red lettuce under the CFL is murky. It could have benefited from a 23W bulb instead of 18W to get that glorious color. This is why I used a red lettuce, as a light meter of sorts. That said, those are the 2nd biggest plants after the Aerogarden. The light bulb cost me $5, and I could 4 splashers under that one bulb.

The Sansi LED did a great job, and has a nice brightly-lit footprint, with no need for the reflector hood I used on the CFL bulb. That too could light 4 splashers instead of 1. The red lettuce has good color and the leaves are sturdy. This lamp cost me $20. It is the lowest wattage of the 3, and the light is more than intense enough. So I think it would do a great job on a pepper or tomato as well.

The Aerogrow LED grew the smallest plants and has an extremely narrow footprint – like even this tiny tub won't fit in the lit area if I put the lamp too close. It's just too intense for growing lettuce, but could make a good dome light over a small tomato or pepper. This lamp cost me $25.

Hm. I need a taste test. :)

 

Flavorless Tomatoes Brent-r 2 weeks 5 days ago view

thanks for the idea Ginger we'll try to track that down.

Flavorless Tomatoes Ginger 2 weeks 5 days ago view

Oh, I missed the spinach part. You're not alone. My problem was getting its root to go through the sponge.  And then the pH will be too low. And then... Yeah, it isn't a good way to grow spinach. I did see one person (ever) who managed it.

Flavorless Tomatoes Ginger 2 weeks 5 days ago view

I've managed some delicious Sweet Baby Girl cherry tomatoes. Used extra side-lights, plus urban farm fertilizers Texas Tomato Food nutes, dumped and refilled the reservoir every week... Park's Better Bush tomatoes, too, but that took more futzing, and the plant is really too big to bonsai into an Aerogarden. So is Sweet Baby Girl, but it's a floppy vine that slumps OK.

I've never tried the Aerogrow tomato kits.

Water in Bounty Reservoir Tank is too warm Brent-r 2 weeks 5 days ago view

You may try a custom run time.  We like to run our on 5 minutes and off for 10 to 20 minutes.  The pump does make a little heat and this may help

Transplanting to indoor pots Ginger 4 weeks 1 day ago view

I've seen people do it successfully. I haven't tried.

Newbie to this forum Renee Hawk 1 month 1 week ago view

Thanks for the ideas Ginger.  I will keep my eye out for your updated book. and get rid of the mold.

Newbie to this forum Ginger 1 month 1 week ago view

Welcome, Renee!

I need to update that book. (Like, I plan to do so for release next month - it's been 5 years.) My EC meter died, and I got tired of screwing with pH and stuff. These days once a tomato is budding size, I use Urban Farmer Texas Tomato Food, and cut down on the futzing. It's a one-part organic nute, dead simple, works great.

I can so relate to the crunchy water. I don't need calcium supplements, right? :) I think you'll see a big difference replacing the water each time. Tomatoes really foul their water.

Sorry, I've never grown Culantro. Grey mold, however, is Not Good.

One thing you can try (assuming you don't want to toss the offending pod), is mix a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide with maybe a cup of water. Dab that with a Q-tip to remove any of the furry bits, hopefully not soaking the seed with the H2O2 solution. You can dump the leftover solution into the reservoir to cut down on microbes and oxygenate the water a little more.


 

Aerogarden model 100745 "Low Water" blue flashing light will not turn off Ginger 1 month 1 week ago view

Sometimes the float sensor malfunctions, springs a leak, or whatever. You can contact Aerogrow technical support and talk it through.

Hi! Ginger 2 months 6 days ago view

Welcome, feucht!

I'm not a fan of hot peppers, myself. But the jalapeno kit is AG-standard, and I've seen others grow chilies. From what I've seen around, they're not especially different from growing sweet peppers. But peppers in general take a long, long time. Like 18-20 weeks.

Maybe someone who knows hot peppers will chime in. Mostly I just wanted to say hi!

Wilted roots, dying sprouts Ginger 3 months 1 week ago view

I think that's called damping off.

It's basically a microbial disease that killed your sprouts.

So something isn't sterile. It could be the Aerogarden (wash with dilute bleach), or the water (you could try using distilled for seedlings...), or the sponges.

Washing the sponges is a little tricky. Soak them in hydrogen peroxide solution, maybe a tablespoon H2O2 per cup of water. Take any seeds out first of course. And then soak off the peroxide from the sponge with very clean water (like the distilled).

Yet even with all that, it can still happen that the microbes are in your air.

Anyway, that's the extreme treatment. Hope it gives you a few ideas.

Y'all have a great rest of your life. Ginger 3 months 2 weeks ago view

 Nifty, OFG. :)

BTW, there are things you can do to train the light, bouncing it back inside onto the plants. My 3-hole AG's always wore visors cut from one of those mirrored emergency heat blankets. My 7-holers often have a surround. Even a tri-fold presentation board is better than nothing, to keep the light bounced back at the plants and out of my eyes.