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A September Farm Report

Updated: Sep 18

2022-09-14


Mostly what I did this week was Scantily Clad Gardening. All four of the Kratky Mason jars are sprouting tomato plants! I have visions of future salads and salsa. The red fire pepper plant has another wave of ripe peppers – some are passing orangey ripeness all the way to red. There are forty or fifty peppers on two plants – did I mention salsa? Not to mention the piri-piris, except I just did. Mention them.

Every AeroGarden Harvest Hydroponic Gardening Unit started flashing the red FMS* alarm at me. I can hardly believe it’s been a fortnight already since last FMS Day. I broke out the Liquid Plant Food and syringe and dosed all 17 gardening containers. I paid closer attention to the dosing instructions than I ever had before.

  • 2 & 3 pod models, 4 mL every two weeks (That's all six Smart Garden-3s)

  • 6 & 7 pod models, 8 mL every two weeks (That's all four AeroGarden Harvests and the iDOO Bucket [Sheba])

  • 12 pod models, 24 mL every two weeks (That's both iDOO 12-pod units, and I used 18 mL because I've never used 24 mL. Over feeding can kill plants, too.)

  • The Kratky Mason jars are single pod, and not on the guide list. I guestimate 2 mL every two weeks should do it.

So much for adding nutrients to the water. I also refilled two of the four Aerovoirs (AeroGarden Reservoirs) and topped off a third. Water gets added to everything else daily, or every other day at most. It's a routine gardening chore at this point. Next on this report is what's growing and where it's growing.

  • Harvey - Harvey hosts two very prolific Red Fire Pepper plants. Due to their size and tendancy to spread out to consume all available space, no other plants are growing in Harvey. Harvey's reservoir is Shirley. I have harvested over thirty peppers from the two plants, and there will be another dozen ripe by tomorrow.

  • Like Harvey, Seble is home to only two plants, both Mini Jalapeño plants. Like the Red Fires, these are expected to be huge. I have an extender on order for Seble's lighting mast. The first Mini Jalapeño finally germinated after 15 days. The second hasn't germinated yet, but has until Tuesday before I ruthlessly cull it.

  • Harvey Too is starting over after the latest harvest. Three bok choy plants and some Japanese Greens. The bok choy all got eaten. The Japanese greens were a failed experiment (they grew but I didn't like them). Now, Harvey Too boasts two Romaine, two Marvel of the 4 Seasons, a thyme and a dill. The dill has a head start and is already quite tall. Nancy is Harvey Too's reservoir.

  • Teresa, too was recently harvested of much lettuce. Anny is Teresa's reservoir. She needs the water - she has two Romaine, a Swiss Chard, Arugula, a Baby Salad Bar Greens and a Marvel of the 4 Seasons. Those are very thirsty.

  • Sheba has been frequently described since being placed back in service. That's where my main Golden Harvest Tomato plant thrives. I've harvested over twenty plump, ripe, yellow tomatoes and there are still a dozen left.

  • Ethyl went through a cleaning and swap with Phredd. The black deck that formerly belonged on Predd's black container is now on Ethyl's white container. There are twelve green onion plants, all healthy and trying to reach the lights.

  • Phredd and its white deck are the site of a goodly chunk of my "Pipes & Connectors" support construction. These "straws" supported a Genovese Basil and a Curly Parsley. I ripped out a purple super hot pepper plant that had gotten too tall for Phredd's britches. It had a foot of roots. I also ripped out that basil - nine inches of roots - and planted another in its place. There's also a young Red Fire Pepper.

I looked at the status of the six ranches (Smart Garden-3s) and had a hard time deciding whether to report on them individually or as a group. I moved plants around, ranch to ranch, to facilitate cleaning and lost all track of some of them. With the caveat that changes may occur without notice, here they are individually.

  • Ranchero Cero contains two Red Sweet Pepper plants and an unknown plant. The sweet peppers are young, yet.

  • Ranch One hosts the Piri-Piri and two empty pod bays. I suppose one isn't really empty - but whatever it is or was, it never germinated.

  • Ranch Two contains Some Kind of Pepper Plant (they look like Jalapeños), an empty bay, and a tomato plant. There are six little green tomatoes at the top of that plant. I can't wait to see them ripen.

  • Ranch Three has "something green", an empty bay, and a Yellow Sweet Pepper plant that has given me three peppers. Two more are growing on it, but not ripe yet.

  • Ranch Four has "something green" and two empty bays.

  • Ranch Five has two empty bays and my other Yellow Sweet Pepper. Two more green peppers, still growing.

The Mason Jars are clamoring "Are we there yet? Are we there yet?" There are six amber Mason jars. I name everything. Everything. There are, as yet no labels on these jars. They aren't even numbered! What I'm contemplating are horrible puns. You see, my father was from Texas. Katemcy, TX. I'd mention that and people would ask, "Wherinell is that?!" I'd reply, "It's smack dab in the middle between Mason and Brady." If you haven't Googled, just know that Katemcy is in Mason County. Mason jars - Mason County. I will name the jars after one of the unincorporated towns in Mason County - Art, Fredonia, Grit, Hedwigs Hill, Hilda, Katemcy, Loyal Valley, and Pontotoc. Four of six jars are in commission.

  • Art contains one Golden Harvest Tomato plant sprout.

  • Fredonia contains one Golden Harvest Tomato plant sprout.

  • Grit contains one Heirloom Cherry Tomato plant sprout.

  • Hilda contains one Heirloom Cherry Tomato plant sprout.

  • Katemcy is not yet in commission.

  • Pontotoc is not yet in commission.

There are adapters and accessories "on the way" for the remaining jars, or maybe for the jars in use. More about them when appropriate.


2022-09-15

The Mason Jar Net Cup Adapters from two different Etsy vendors (Liger Labs and THREEDEECREATIONS) arrived with two Mason Jar Plant Support Halos from Verdant Hydroponics. I installed the first support halo on Pontotoc with a 2" Net Basket adapter, intending to insert a Click & Grow Wild Strawberry pod. With the net pod adapter, you have to insert the base of the support halo over the net pod and under the jar lid before attaching the supports, else you must disassemble and reassemble the halo from the base ring.

Part of this order was to determine if a 2" net pod adapter could accommodate the standard Smart Garden pod. They cannot, I might take a file or sandpaper to one to widen the hole.

  • Art contains one Golden Harvest Tomato plant sprout and is doing fine after yesterday's feeding.

  • Fredonia contains one Golden Harvest Tomato plant sprout and is doing fine after yesterday's feeding.

  • Grit contains one Heirloom Cherry Tomato plant plant. Said plant was two inches tall, but has wilted. Perhaps too much plant food?

  • Hilda contains one Heirloom Cherry Tomato plant sprout, also wilted since yesterday.

  • Katemcy now contains a 2" net pod which in turn contains a Click & Grow Wild Strawberry seed pod under a dome (a condiment cup.)

  • Pontotoc now contains a 2" net pod which will in turn contains a Click & Grow Wild Strawberry seed pod. A support halo is mounted on Pontotoc.



2022-09-17 Update

Those dozen clear Mason jars will probably see use after all. Amazon will be sending six colored neoprene sleeves ("cozies") with which to screen out UV rays and avoid algae growth. Maybe. The wilted Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes in Hilda and Grit were beslimed with algae. They've been cleaned, the old plants thrown out (basket and all) and new plants have taken their place. Pontotoc got that Wild Strawberry seed pod as expected.

Amazon is sending, in addition to the sleeves, another set of grow lights, different from the ones in current service. One set consists of donut shaped light fixtures and a support pole. The pole should fit perfectly snug between neoprene and jar.

I've begged for help on Argh Ink in naming future Kratky gardens. My only winner so far is named for a Norse goddess. Freya Mason Jar. I know I have leftover names from Mason County, Texas, but I'm holding those for any amber jars I acquire.


I pruned away wilted leaves and branches from Sheba. The poor thing looks naked. I count just eight tomatoes (and harvested two ripe ones) I'm not expecting a lot of new blossoms. When the last tomato gets picked, the whole plant comes out and either one of the plants recently started gets transplanted or I start another plant. Definitely some sort of tomato.


Below are pictures from Amazon's pages of the three light systems, six colors of cozies, and seed to plant in them


SWEET PEPPER SEEDS


MASON JAR COZIES


LIGHTING SYSTEM #2

System #1 is the one in use over the amber Mason Jars

These will be attached to jars via tie wraps, rubber bands,

or by inserting the pole between cozies and jars


LIGHTING SYSTEM #3

Similar to System #2


LIGHTING SYSTEM #4

The spare system.

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