Updated Flood and Drain Aerogarden 1-21-2016

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New winter Micro-green garden planted 1-5-2016 using an off the shelf LED Aerogarden with a grow bed attachment and my own pump modification for a fluid level switch to act as an overflow fail safe.  The growing substrate is shredded coconut coir fiber.  With the modifications, the Aerogarden is being used as a flood and drain hydroponic system that is currently set to flood every six hours.  I will add updated pictures as it grows.

Edit, Ginger: Fluid level switch, and planted Chef's Gourmnet Spicy Mix Meslun, below.

 
The update photo is after four days of growth.  I have cut the flood rate back to once every other day to allow the media to dry out a little more.  It is important that the roots not be starved of oxygen.
 
01-12-2016 Updated picture is almost seven days of growth.  Flood rate is still at once every two days but will adjust as needed if Coir dries out too much.  Should be able to start clipping for salads by end of next week.
 
01-17-2016 Two updated pictures at twelve days.  This can be harvested as cut and come anytime at this point.  Should be able to use to add interest to romain salads for about two more weeks.
 

01-21-2016 After a little over two weeks of growth and one nutrient recharge the clipping for salads can begin and continue for about two weeks before a replant is necessary.  The float switch worked flawlessly and prevented the unit from overflowing as it did before.  I have upped the flood frequency to once a day to account for the vigorous growth rate.

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MaryL
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This is fantastic, Randy.  I

This is fantastic, Randy.  I've always been interested in micro greens but didn't want to deal with the soil.  This is much cleaner!  How did the cut and come again nature of it work out?  Micro greens are so short that I thought maybe they wouldn't come back. 

randyg
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I would be more than willing

I would be more than willing to share my modifcations to act as a failsafe preventing overflow with anyone wishing to use a similar arrangement.

Ginger
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These look awesome, randyg! I

These look awesome, randyg! I admit I had doubts how well they'd grow, packed together like that, but the greens did great!!! yes

And congratulations on your nifty liquid level control. smiley

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randyg
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Last two pictures I posted

Last two pictures I posted are at the harvest stage.  Of course I will be treating it as a cut-and-come harvest for the next two weeks when I will take it down while I am on vacation in Fla. and restart it after I get back at the end of Feb.  Hope you enjoyed my post.

Randy

randyg
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Posted two update pictures

Posted two update pictures yesterday if you are interested.  As you can see, there is little chance of alge on the coconut coir. smiley

Ginger
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Ah! I missed the new picture

Ah! I missed the new picture up above. Wow, that's densely planted. Looking forward to seeing more of this, randyg!

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randyg
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The mesclun I am growing is

The mesclun I am growing is planted so densly and grows so fast that the media is shaded in a matter of days.  I am cutting back the floud interval more because I am concerned about allowing sufficient oxygen to the roots.

Ginger
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No worries. It's just easier

No worries. smiley It's just easier to type "nutes" than "nutrients".

What's the inspiration for doing it via flood & drain vs. just using the Aerogarden deck? I agree that coir holds moisture very well. I'm concerned this setup is going to grow a lot of algae before the lettuces are big enough to shade the coir. So I might be tempted to use some kind of plastic covering, with holes for seeding.

Perlite and growstones would grow algae too. They would look greener, being white to start.

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randyg
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Not up you the shorthand yet,

Not up you the shorthand yet, sorry.  I just am using the regular Aerogarden bulk nites for now.  They seem as good as anything for greens.  I may resort to more traditional hydroponic blends in future just to experiment.  I have changed the flood cycle to twice daily to allow the coir media to drain a little longer.  The coconut coir holds the moisture better than perlite.

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Sorry. Nutes = shorthand for

Sorry. Nutes = shorthand for nutrients. What are you feeding the plants?

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