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PostPosted: Nov 16th, '17, 10:14 
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We ate the sweet potatoes we grew in the ground straight away, I've never heard of any need to "age" spuds of any kind, and have eaten plenty of home grown spuds straight from the ground after washing. I don't bother peeling them unless there are blemishes or greenish patches.

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PostPosted: Nov 16th, '17, 17:03 
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If you want to store them long term then they do best cured, apparently, but you don't need to do anything before eating them. Looks good!

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PostPosted: Nov 17th, '17, 01:38 
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Thanks everyone. Brian thanks for the link, good article.

Diversion for today - Is your AP system big enough for this pump system?
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4x 600 HP and one 250HP not quite visible. This happens to be a pumping station for my municipal water district.

Recent overview of the garden. It's a little thin lately. I'm starting winter crops like cauli, broccoli, sprouts, lettuce and cabbage. The water spinach blocking the path is doing quite well. I recently cut it back 50% and filled a 40 gal. trash bag that I shared with neighbors.
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PostPosted: Nov 17th, '17, 23:23 
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So I got a new fillet knife last week. My fish have been dying to meet it. I filleted 10 tilapia this week yielding 8 lbs of fillets. The new knife made it much easier. I love vacuum sealers! And sharp fillet knives.

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PostPosted: Nov 17th, '17, 23:47 
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Oh so very cool. Some seriously good looking fish too.

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PostPosted: Nov 22nd, '17, 10:09 
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What kind of tilapia is that?

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PostPosted: Nov 22nd, '17, 22:41 
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They are Mozambique Tilapia.

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PostPosted: Dec 1st, '17, 00:39 
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So I have an NFT question, but I'm not sure it deserves a new thread. Lots of people are doing NFT or similar (not NFT round pipes). I'm using round pipes filled about 30% with flowing water - strawberries doing well, lettuce bolted almost immediately, I want spinach!)

My question is how do you start seedlings for NFT? I transplant things from my raft bed to my not-NFT tubes (what did you call them Scotty?), but often by the time they have enough roots to successfully transplant they are near maturity, so why bother?

So how do you start seeds and successfully get them into your NFT system? What types of plants?

Thanks for playing!

- Dave

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PostPosted: Dec 2nd, '17, 02:15 
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SWC - shallow water culture

I prefer NOT-NFT though, which is what I'll continue to call mine, because mine aren't SWC either since they aren't holding water they are a nutrient film but not channels... so mine are NOT-NFT.

I have tried a few things for starting seeds... still not set on a way... but I have rock wool plugs, styrofoam plugs, and I've also started seeds in dirt then when they start to get root bound split the dirt off the roots as much as possible, swish it around in water to finish cleaning it off, then transplant in to my DWC or wherever I'm going...

As for holding the plugs... if I go to DWC the rockwool / styrofoam cubes are 1" so they fit in my raft holes. If I am going in to my NOT-NFT I cut holes big enough to place pool noodles in. I use small chunks of pool noodle to hold my rock wool or styrofoam cubes in them... or if there is a large root mass from starting them in dirt then I might not need to use anything, just sticking them down through the pool noodle might be enough.

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PostPosted: Dec 4th, '17, 23:15 
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Thanks Rob. Pool noodles, good idea. I have holes for 3" net pots so that is what I use. But I started a raft in my DWC with holes for 2" net pots for starting seedlings (higher density for starting seedlings). I also added some 1" holes to some rafts for starting seedlings using rockwool.

I haven't had much luck with the rockwool, it seems to stay too wet in a raft bed. Though a large part of my problem may have been seeds. I just bout some fresh seeds and they sprouted almost 100% in a few days in a ziplock bag with a wet paper towel.

I would like to move lettuce to my NOT-NFT tube, but if I start them in Rockwool or 2" pots, they don't fit. Even if I start them in 3" net pots, by the time the roots are long enough to get wet and give the plant a chance, the lettuce is halfway to harvest so there's not much point.

Maybe I need to raise the water in my NOT-NFT so it is SWC and the net pots will touch the water and I can sprout seeds there, or at least transplant sooner.

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PostPosted: Dec 5th, '17, 19:02 
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My experience with the rockwool is about the same. I had very poor luck with starting seeds in rockwool. I've only had marginally better luck with starting them in the styrofoam cubes like what dasboot uses... I have not tried starting them indoors in either of those, maybe it was just getting too cool in the greenhouse by the time I started the last batch because I didn't have good luck starting in dirt at the same time but I started some in dirt inside the house after that and they are doing good. I haven't tried test sprouting any in a baggie with paper towel. My best seed starting continues to be in dirt then clean the roots off once the plants get big enough that they are starting to get root bound (roots are starting to come out of the seed cup).

They do sell 2" grow grips that might be what you need for the 2" holes. I have 1" grow grips that work great in the DWC... I have had a few things which got too big and destroyed the grow grips but really they were too big for a 1" hole in general, I need to make my own rafts with 2" holes in one raft that way I have more flexibility... right now I'm just using rafts I bought from beaver plastics which cost too much to want to modify any more than I already did (had to shave them down smaller because they are 2ftx4ft and I built my bed 2ftx12ft on the outside not the inside...)

The pool noodles is an idea I stole from someone else... they do make different size pool noodles so might be 2" and 3"... or the smaller ones might be good enough for 3" holes -- mine are a bit tight and have to be squished in to the holes and I know the ones I have are smaller than normal ones (I bought mine at the $1 store because they were cheap and I could make a dozen per noodle by cutting them in to 3-4" lengths, then I split them down one side too that way if I want to transfer stuff from the NOT-NFT to something else I can remove the plant from them easier).

Last note -- I have had very poor luck growing lettuce in the NOT-NFT. I was mostly trying a romaine / cos and a bibb lettuce in it, but they get too spindly and fall over before they have any structure. I have a bunch of different types of lettuce doing alright in the DWC, but my best looking plants are actually in gravel (granted I started them in dirt and transferred them in to the gravel).

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PostPosted: Dec 13th, '17, 00:04 
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Things are looking good as the nights get cold (and the water). I have lettuce and spinach, and several cauliflower are starting to head.
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However something REALLY likes the leaves. Two have been completely stripped and a 3rd is in work. I can't find any caterpillars or insects. I think it's rats or an opossum. Something is eating the leaves and chewing the stems to the nub at night.
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Tomatoes are setting, I guess they don't realize it's December. I doubt they will ripen but we'll see.
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Lettuce, spinach, snow peas, etc.
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IBC system 1/2015
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PostPosted: Dec 13th, '17, 06:28 
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dstjohn99 wrote:
Something is eating the leaves and chewing the stems to the nub at night.


That looks like what rats did to my red cabbages a few weeks ago, although it could be other animals in your case. Caterpillars don't generally eat stems, and there would be heaps of caterpillar poo if it was them.

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Larger 2nd system: http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=24153
Solar powered Gunagulla Organic Garden
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PostPosted: Dec 13th, '17, 06:30 
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How cold do your nights get? If tomatoes stay mid 40s they will ripen. Toss a quick PVC and plastic cover over them and it will be downright hot on sunny days. My hoop house can get up to 90 degrees in the sun when it was about 40 outside. Haven't checked it since we got snow because today was the first sunny day and I had too much going on with my son when I got home tonight, now it's dark temps drop fast in the hoop house.

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PostPosted: Dec 13th, '17, 22:44 
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Gunagulla wrote:
dstjohn99 wrote:
Something is eating the leaves and chewing the stems to the nub at night.


That looks like what rats did to my red cabbages a few weeks ago, although it could be other animals in your case. Caterpillars don't generally eat stems, and there would be heaps of caterpillar poo if it was them.


Yes, I'm pretty sure it's rats.

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