2012 Growing Underway

Pittsburgh, PA(Zone 6a)

The indoor setup is up and running. I started the plants with the 4 foot fluorescents for about 2 weeks and just switched over to the 400W metal hallide. Things are doing well. I have some organic fert that I gave some of the plants forgetting how small the broccoli was compared to the tomatoes and the little broccoli leaves burned up. Whoops!

here are some pics of the setup.

Everson, WA(Zone 8a)

Such clarity what range lense do you use lol

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

I'm loving the color saturation. lol

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

They look a little pale to me. LOL

Pittsburgh, PA(Zone 6a)

lol. not sure why they are not uploading. is there a limit on file size maybe?

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

I don't think there's a limit to file size, but the larger they are, the longer they will take to upload. I always reduce COPIES of my photos to upload.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Did you use the day or night vision setting?

Pittsburgh, PA(Zone 6a)

Let's try again.

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Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Oh that's better. I thought you drew a blank!

Hutto, TX(Zone 8b)

Those are happy looking seedlings. (You know everyone was teasing in good fun, right? Sometimes our teasing tone doesn't come through clearly.)

David

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Yes, definately teasing, most of us have had the same issue.

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

urbanveggies412 - what's the system on the left in the orangey looking tray?

Your seedlings look very happy.

Pittsburgh, PA(Zone 6a)

The system on the left is part of a self-watering Burpee system. I lost the stand that holds the plastic pots up out of the water so I just used it like a normal system. I have a heating mat under it so that at night time when the light is off the tray stays heated to around 75F. I also have a small space heater in there under the table that comes on at night and keeps the temp around 65F. (the set up is in my basement where it gets kind of chilly). I have a large fan blowing across the plants and onto the light to keep things cool during the day and I have an exhaust fan at the top which comes on every 2 hours for 2 hours. My next step is to bring in air from outside but I have to make a hole at the top of my door and run some piping over to the grow tent. I hope to do that this weekend.

Anyone have any experience running a system like this that can share their experience?

Thanks,
Jake

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Thanks for the info, Jake. I've seen those systems in Burpees catalogue.

Pittsburgh, PA(Zone 6a)

They work really well but I just didn't want to shell out another $20.

Pittsburgh, PA(Zone 6a)

Something wrong with this pepper? I can't recall which one this is but it is either Poblano or Hungarian Wax I believe. Started turning purple a few days back. I did transplant recently from the plastic pots into the biodegradable pots using organic seed starting soil...

As for the larger broccoli pictured, it hasn't really grown much since I bought it 3 weeks ago. Maybe it just wants to be planted outside. These are the only plants I bought from the store this year.

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Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

One thing I see with your set-up:

Tomatoes and peppers like to be kept warm.

Broccoli likes to be kept cool (even cold.)

I think your broccoli needs to be transplanted to the garden.

I don't know why your pepper is turning purple, as I've never experienced this.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Some types of peppers have that color foliage. You may check the Hungarian Wax. A lot of my pepper plants have leaves that are that color.

Bee is right tho. all your plants look great but they require different growing temps. Broc cold, peppers hot and tomatoes somewhere inbetween. Keeping them together isn't making any of them happy.

Be sure to ripe the bottoms off of those pots when you plant out, the roots can't do it on their own, even if it says they can.

Pittsburgh, PA(Zone 6a)

Hi all. Things seem to be growing a bit slow. I have a 400W Metal Halide light on them and I would expect things to be growing much faster. I wonder if I just don't have the proper air circulation going on. I have one small fan up high that runs constantly through the day and blows hot air out from the top of the tent. I have a larger fan that you can see hanging in the pictures that comes on for 1 hour every other hour. This brings in some air from the vents at the bottom of the tent and also is used to help strengthen the stems. It has been about two weeks now since I transplanted from the small plastic trays to the larger cow pots. I have been running around 75F during the day and 65-70f at night. Based on the feedback from some members I planted the broccoli and most of the lettuce outside.

I have lost some good size leaves on the bottom of the tomato plants. They turned yellow and dried a bit. I wonder if I initially gave them too much BioThrive Organic Fert after the transplant. There were no bugs on them I can say for sure. Somehow I have managed to keep all insects out of the tent this year.

Also, a large % of my peppers are still showing purple leaves. I expect the lack of green leaf material that is soaking up the light is causing slow growth there.

My thai basil is showing a lot of leaves turning purple as well. Has anyone grown Queen of Siam Thai basil from seed? I did last year but I don't recall them turning purple early in their life.

So much to learn, so little time. I will post some more pictures later to see what everyone thinks about the growth since the last picture.

Jake

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Jake,
LIke 1Lisac said, some foliage is just purple.

However, some seedlings turning purple are like babies that turn blue because they're too cold. With seedlings, generally, it's because they are too damp and too cold, at the same time. Check your moisture levels, and make sure there's no draft blowing on damp trays.

Is a 400W Metal Halide lamp HOT? Check the temps being thrown off by your light.

Pittsburgh, PA(Zone 6a)

I figured the purple might have something to do with the cold night temps. I didn't think mid sixties was cold though but maybe for pepper seedlings it is. As far as moisture, I have backed off on the watering and am hoping to see some recovery.

The 400W light does put off a good amount of heat. The temp directly under the light (light is about 18" above the plants) without the fan blowing is probably 85 or so.

Jake

Pittsburgh, PA(Zone 6a)

I checked out the tomato page here http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/publications/tomatoproblemsolver/leaf/salt.html and it looks like it is our crappy water causing some issues. The first pic below is one of my tomato plants. The second picture is the "Poor water quality" image from the site. The third picture is the underside of one leaf. Perhaps that is salt buildup in the leaf? There are no bugs in the grow tent this year. *knocks on wood* I had similar issues last year and the water is definitely one of the constants. Can I use distilled water? I guess I could also filter my water. Or better yet, I can get my rain barrels set up early :) If distilled water is ok, I will probably do that until I get the rain barrel hooked back up.

From the site

"Symptoms:
Excess salt accumulates in the tomato plant in the older leaves. Leaves turn yellow, and will eventually fall off. The plant is stunted and not vigorous, but other symptoms may be lacking. Tomatoes are relatively salt tolerant.

Control:
Salt damage is rarely encountered in field situations except under very poor water quality situations. Salt damage may become a problem in pot culture or in hydroponics. Select salt tolerant varieties."

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Pittsburgh, PA(Zone 6a)

Here is another pic of one of my tomato plants

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Pittsburgh, PA(Zone 6a)

Here is the thai basil and some of the peppers showing purple. The thai basil seems to be growing pretty well ( i need to transplant them though, need more time in the day!) The peppers are stunted a bit as well. I really wish I wouldn't have mixed up the peppers. I am lost as to what some of the ones are that are not in the plastic planters that are together. I wonder if it really just is the water from the tap. It is probably all those fracking fluids ;)

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Pittsburgh, PA(Zone 6a)

So things have improved the last few days. I have been watering a bit less which might have caused some of my issues above.The day temps have been increased by not running my big fan all day and it seems the peppers are happy now to be around 82F for most of the day. I also have used distilled water with a tsp of Epsom salts and the 2tsp/gallon of BioThrive Organic Fert. It could also be that the transplanting finally completed its transition. Not sure why transplanting into larger pots with more soil without disturbing the roots on the seedlings could cause stunted growth though. Is that something that typically happens?

I made too many changes at once to really pinpoint one issue but I am pretty sure whatever I am doing now is going to work out well for the next two weeks until they are planted outside.

Thanks all! You are the best!

Jake

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Do the leaves still have that purple color? if so do you know the names of the peppers you planted. I might be able to tell what kind have the purple leaves. Why do you think the peppers were stunted? Peppers can be slow to grow at first, but once they kick in watch out.

Pittsburgh, PA(Zone 6a)

hey there. The peppers have seemed to recover. The thai basil has turned mostly green as well. I wasn't sure if the areas of purple on the leaves would just cause the leaves to die but they actually recovered and changed to green. It was pretty awesome to see this occur over a week. Again I changed a lot of things at once so not sure which one it was or if it was all of them that needed to change. Everything seems to be growing nicely and is nice and green now. :)

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Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

They look great!

Pittsburgh, PA(Zone 6a)

Updated pic from last night. Looking great. Ready to go outside. I have a 400W PlantMax MH light that they have been growing under. Do you guys think I still need to adjust them to the outdoors light a bit before planting?

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Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

urbanveggies412 - nice looking plants!

I think it would be a good idea to adjust them to the great outdoors first. Best to be safe than sorry. This year's weather has been such a see-saw, that in your zone I would be cautious about another late frost.

Pittsburgh, PA(Zone 6a)

Thanks HoneyBee. I gotta get these things outside soon as the roots have no more soil to grow into. I only have the small 4" square pots for most of them. I transplanted the large tomato plant in the front two days ago and the roots have already grown into the new soil and I can pull the entire thing out of the plastic pot without any dirt falling off. :)

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

urbanveggies412 - you can use other containers for pots. Cut off milk jugs and l arge yoghurt containers work too. Plastic Solo cups come in all different sizes - they make great pots for large seedlings.

Just poke lots of holes in the bottoms and around the lower edges.

Pittsburgh, PA(Zone 6a)

Yea the problem is the grow tent is 4'X4' and the table i have is about 4'x3' so I don't have a ton of room with the trays. By keeping them in the small 4''x4" pots I can start more plants. They will be going outside this weekend so I will maybe try to get a larger table next year to allow for more room for bigger pots.

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

urbanveggies412 - I see your dilemma.

All you can do now is tease the roots apart somewhat before placing them in their holes and hope for the best. ^_^

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

And, so it begins...a bigger table for more pots...a larger table for bigger pots...a greenhouse for the tree containers....

Pittsburgh, PA(Zone 6a)

yea i live in the city and don't have a ton of room in the backyard or else I would definitely have a greenhouse set up outside. Maybe at the next house. The next house will surely have a south facing backyard instead of my north facing one i have now.

Pittsburgh, PA(Zone 6a)

Update!

All veggies are planted in the ground now(except for the cukes and zucchini which are still in the grow tent until tomorrow).

I have tons of plants that were all started from seed. This was by far my best indoor growing I have done so far.
I planted roma tomatoes, regular tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, snow peas, herbs, edamame, green beans, black beans, zucchini, butternut squash, cukes, jalapenos, habaneros, cayennes, yellow bells, poblanos, seranos, multiple different lettuces and broccoli. I also planted some potatoes and have some sweet potato slips that are just about ready to go in the ground. I tried an experiment with a few tomato plants where I put them in between the garlic. I am hoping that goes well. Also, last year I sold a bunch of my thai basil to a local restaurant. They asked for more this year so I have about 15 plants growing!

I also attached a picture of my rain barrel that is feeding some soaker hoses that run between the plants.

Here are some pics.

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Pittsburgh, PA(Zone 6a)

For some reason i wasn't able to upload 5 pics at once. hmm. anyways, here are the rest.

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Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

I can only load 1-2 photos per message. I've heard others say the same.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Ohhhh....I'm so behind. Your garden looks great.

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