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  • Writer's picturegarysjordan

Farm Rapport

I don't know how much rapport I can claim with my hydroponics gardens. I do try, and an example is the water I add to each unit. City tap water contains halogens to kill bacteria. Based on the dotter's experience with her innumerable potted plants, the chlorine and fluorine can "burn" her plants, so I spend about a buck per bottle to baby my plants along.

The AeroGarden pods came with MiracleGro plant food. The QYO and iDOO systems came with two nutrients in separate containers. The labels listing the ingredients read pretty much the same. I add nutrients biweekly - the schedule is on the refrigerator door. Next doses are due April 12.

The Click&Grow systems, five Smart Garden 3s, are a jungle. The lights for them vary from no extensions to two, over the tomatoes. The tomatoes are in the back of this photo - the foreground is a Chili plant with blossoms. At least four flowers, and the Bee Vibe has been busy. I've had to move pods around so that plants with similar heights are together.

If you really, really strain your eyes you might make out tiny green balls on the tomato plant.

No eyestrain needed to see the nascent tomatoes on the QYO deck. You'll also notice that this unit now has only two tomato plants and nothing else. You'll also notice that a lot of otherwise unproductive branches have been pruned. The nekkid plant on the right has blossoms in the upper reaches, so may bear a tomato or two yet. Also notice the white caps and cacti, which I'll discuss below.

This right-hand QYO is down to one tomato pod and a cutting, and that pod is on deathwatch. Publish (blossom) or perish, there are no other options. The cutting was a mistakenly pruned branch that might have had un-opened blossoms. The descriptions of tomato plants point out all the little "hairs" on the stems, and say that if they contact dirt or water they may become roots. If so, I might rescue that branch.

About the cacti... the QYO system uses a square pod. The iDOO systems use round pods. All the systems say to cover all the holes not in use to keep mold and mildew spores out and because sunlight, or artificial sunlight, is not good for the water below. If nothing else, it heats the water, and hot water inhibits plant growth (but not mold). I taped over a bunch of the square QYO pods to fill in holes. Then I got a better idea. The round iDOO cacti fit into the square QYO pods, perfectly. There are some white caps that fit as well. I have round covers that don't fit either system well - they're made for an AeroGarden. I use many AeroGarden pods, but I don't own an AeroGarden system.

Speaking of AeroGarden pods and iDOO sytems, I've decided the iDOOs get to do all the salad stuff.

First row, left to right:

  • Marvel of the Four Seasons Lettuce

  • Deer Tongue Lettuce

  • Deer Tongue Lettuce

  • Red Sails Lettuce

Second row, left to right:

  • Rouge d'Hiver Lettuce (not germinating again!)

  • Rouge d'Hiver Lettuce (I got my eye on you!)

  • Parris Island Lettuce

  • Deer Tongue Lettuce

Last row, l-to-r:

  • Mini Jalapeno Pepper (I like 'em in my salads, okay?)

  • Black-seeded Simpson Lettuce

  • Deer Tongue Lettuce (mature)

  • Black-seeded Simpson Lettuce (mature)

Older pictures would show the white covers and cactus covers in place.

As shown in previous pictures the cute bucket iDOO has six Romaine lettuce pods. The domed one in the middle is the replacement for the salad I ate on... Sunday?

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