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  • Writer's picturegarysjordan

The Mid-August Farm Report

Updated: Aug 23, 2023

2023-08-15


Last Thursday was "Feed Me, Seymour" day, and all the non-ranches got a dose of Miracle-Gro Plant Food except Faith and Madison. I have one bottle left of E-Z-Gro.

In establishing my "farm," I have relied on six types or brands of hydroponic equipment: Amber Mason Jars (regular and wide mouth), which are all retired, iDOO 12-pod gardens, AeroGarden Harvest 6-pod gardens, Click & Grow Smart Garden-3s, and QYO 12-pod units. I traded the QYOs for another iDOO last year and just got them back and commissioned them. In addition to the QYOs, I added two LYKO units. LYKOs and QYOs are interchangeable. There are many types and styles of hydroponic gardens.

I would like to say that among the plethora of internet guides, reviews, and how-tos, one that stands out is EverCrest, the MythicalMom, Brittany. Brittany has dozens and dozens of video posts and articles showing the unboxing of every system I own, how to clean them, pruning and harvesting.


 

ZERO Kratky Mason Jars

Template



All the amber mason jars and their lighting have been decommissioned and stored until needed again.

 

ONE Smart Garden-3 [The Click & Grow Smart Garden-3 units are collectively named “the Ranch” or "the Ranches." The individual units are labeled Rancho Cero (Ranch Zero in Spanish.) and Ranch One through Ranch Five.]

The Click & Grow Smart Garden-3 Template



Ranch Four: (Scheduled from 16:00 to 08:00)

  1. Click & Grow Red Bell Pepper.

  2. Click & Grow Red Bell Pepper.

  3. Click & Grow Red Bell Pepper.

When the red peppers are harvested, all of the Ranches will be decommissioned, cleaned, boxed, and given to whomever wants them. Five have been decommissioned so far.

The last Smart Garden 3 can be seen lurking behind Madison, below.



 


The AeroGarden Harvest Template


From Left to Right:

SEBLE, ANNY, HARVEY, LASSY, THERESA, DORIS, HARVEY TOO


All the green onions were pruned but one. Some were over a foot tall. They went into a batch of soup and were excellent. A second wave of red fire peppers were harvested, then a third. They are much fatter than last year's crop, and every bit as hot. One (1) pepper was chopped up and added to the same soup as the green onions. I should never do that again, or at least throw out the seeds. Much tears and some loss of breath were involved.

There are advantages to the AeroGarden systems, but I've seen some bloggers describing them as "boutique" systems, meaning you pay a bit more for the name. You're also paying for the availability of a lot of pre-seeded pods and support from Etsy vendors. Other than Click & Grow and to a limited extent, Lyko, you don't find that level of support for other systems. Of course, they'd argue that you don't need it, either.


Seble: (Scheduled from 00:00 to 15:00) [Seble is a female Eastern African, Amharic name that means Harvest]

  1. AeroGarden Red Fire Pepper Seed Pod, growing and ripening.

  2. Empty Pod.

  3. Empty Pod.

  4. Empty Pod.

  5. Empty Pod.

  6. AeroGarden Poblano Pepper Seed Pod, growing. Poblanos are lower on the Scoville scale than Jalapeños.


Harvey: (Scheduled from 06:00 to 21:00) [Harvey is short for Harvest]

  1. Empty Pod.

  2. AeroGarden Jalapeño Pepper Seed Pod,

  3. Empty Pod.

  4. Empty Pod.

  5. Empty Pod.

  6. AeroGarden Jalapeño Pepper Seed Pod,

Teresa : (Scheduled from 12:00 to 03:00) [Teresa in numerous languages, also means Harvest]

  1. AeroGarden Jalapeño Pepper Seed Pod, growing.

  2. Empty Pod.

  3. Empty Pod.

  4. Empty Pod.

  5. Empty Pod.

  6. AeroGarden Jalapeño Pepper Seed Pod, growing.

Harvey Too: (Scheduled from 18:00 to 09:00) [Harvey Too is a play on Harvey the second and Harvey also]


  1. Genovese Basil

  2. Empty Pod.

  3. AeroGarden Bell Pepper.

  4. Empty Pod.

  5. Empty Pod.

  6. Mint


 

Changes;

  • I grew the AeroGarden Purple Super-hots just to prove (to myself) that I could. Reviewing the chart at right, those peppers are just below habaneros in heat, and I don't eat anything that hot. Habanero powder used sparingly is a great seasoning. I ripped the PSH plant out of Seble and exchanged it for the Poblano plant in a mason jar.

  • Having put a purple super hot in a mason jar, I then transferred it to my dotter's custody for further transplanting outside. I told her to regard it as ornamental. I even included the heat chart shown here so she wouldn't think I expected her to eat the peppers. She is less tolerant of heat than I am. I can eat the red fire peppers in a salad or chili. She tops out with jalapeños. That's odd, given the blue diamond almonds I've seen her eat, coated with everything up to ghost peppers.


 


I named the QYOs after my mother and my aunt, her sister. I named the LYKOs after Faith and Madison, my eldest granddotters, and did some planting. There is now an Aerovoir water tank (Ariel) behind Alice. Lori now resides behind Faith.

Both tomato plants in Cecile survived a pruning. Everyone recommends that if a fruit plant sends up multiple shoots, you pull or cut away all but the healthiest. So I did.

I did the same to the Jalapeño plant you see in Madison. Two skinny stalks removed. That's supposed to let the survivor bulk up on nutrients and produce more and larger fruit.

Alice


  1. Lyko Butterhead Lettuce

  2. Lyko Arugula

  3. Lyko Parris Island Lettuce

  4. Lyko Green Chard

  5. Lyko Spinach

  6. AeroGarden Romaine Lettuce

  7. AeroGarden Romaine Lettuce

  8. Lyko Spinach

  9. Lyko Green Chard

  10. Lyko Parris Island Lettuce

  11. Lyko Arugula

  12. Lyko Butterhead Lettuce

Cecile


  1. Empty and covered

  2. Empty and covered

  3. Empty and covered

  4. Empty and covered

  5. Empty and covered

  6. AeroGarden Golden Harvest Cherry Tomato

  7. AeroGarden Heirloom Cherry Tomato

  8. Empty and covered

  9. Empty and covered

  10. Empty and covered

  11. Empty and covered

  12. Empty and covered

Faith

  1. Empty and covered

  2. Empty and covered

  3. Empty and covered

  4. Empty and covered

  5. Empty and covered

  6. AeroGarden Golden Harvest Cherry Tomato (Sprouted 08/19)

  7. AeroGarden Heirloom Cherry Tomato (Sprouted 08/22)

  8. Empty and covered

  9. Empty and covered

  10. Empty and covered

  11. Empty and covered

  12. Empty and covered

Madison (waiting for room on the shelf)

  1. Empty and covered.

  2. Empty and covered.

  3. Empty and covered.

  4. Empty and covered.

  5. Empty and covered.

  6. AeroGarden Heirloom Cherry Tomato Sprouted 08/20)

  7. AeroGarden Jalapeño Pepper Seed Pod, (10" tall)

  8. Empty and covered.

  9. Empty and covered.

  10. Empty and covered.

  11. Empty and covered.

  12. Empty and covered.


I purchased "QYO Seed Pods Kit for Hydroponics Garden Kit with 24pcs Growth Sponges,24pcs Pod Labels, A&B Solid Nutrient (Seeds not Included)" and "LYKO Seed Pod Kit for Hydroponic Indoor Garden, 500+ Seeds Lettuce Spinach Broccoli - 7pcs Grow Sponges & Basket, A&B Solid Nutrient Plant Foods, Hydroponic Pods Kit for LYKO, QYO, Yoocaa (Square)". The former came with square green pod labels that fit the pods perfectly. The latter came with foil square pod labels or covers that don't fit well. I had seeds from Lyko left over from a previous purchase, so that's what I planted. Same source. Same seed assortment.


 


from left to right:

LULU, SHIRLEY, LOUISE, LUPE, NANCY, LUCY

If there is no other advantage to an iDOO 12-pod unit, it stands out from the rest by having a built-in fan to help with pollination. I saw the effect last year with Sheba before she died. So many tomatoes!

The iDOO 12-pod Template


Lulu: [Named in keeping with the "Loo" sound of Lupe and Lucy] (Scheduled from 00:00 to 16:00)


  1. Empty pod. Covered

  2. AeroGarden Romaine Lettuce

  3. Empty pod. Covered

  4. AeroGarden Romaine Lettuce

  5. AeroGarden Romaine Lettuce

  6. AeroGarden Romaine Lettuce

  7. AeroGarden Romaine Lettuce

  8. AeroGarden Romaine Lettuce

  9. AeroGarden Romaine Lettuce

  10. AeroGarden Romaine Lettuce

  11. AeroGarden Romaine Lettuce

  12. AeroGarden Romaine Lettuce


Louise: [Named in keeping with the "Loo" sound of Lupe and Lucy] (Scheduled from 06:00 to 22:00) It still doesn't look like any broccoli I've ever eaten, but it's definitely time to take the shears to these plants. Broccoli florets have begun to form!


  1. Empty Pod

  2. Some kinda broccoli

  3. Empty Pod

  4. Some kinda broccoli

  5. Some kinda broccoli

  6. Empty Pod

  7. Some kinda broccoli

  8. Empty Pod

  9. Empty Pod

  10. Some kinda broccoli

  11. Empty Pod with thermometer

  12. Empty Pod

Lupe: [Named for Ida Lupino] (Scheduled from 12:00 to 04:00) Only one of the six arugula plants is aruguling. The rest have germinated, but still look like dwarves.

  1. EZ-Gro Arugula

  2. Empty Pod

  3. EZ-Gro Arugula

  4. Empty Pod

  5. Empty Pod

  6. EZ-Gro Arugula

  7. Empty Pod

  8. EZ-Gro Arugula

  9. EZ-Gro Arugula

  10. Empty Pod

  11. Empty Pod

  12. EZ-Gro Arugula

Lucy: [Named for Lucile Ball] (Scheduled from 18:00 to 10:00) The chard crop is ready for harvesting. Mixed with the lettuce from Lulu and the one arugula from Lupe, I should achieve one fabulous salad. I have been pruning the chard and adding it to salads since the last report.

  1. Empty Pod

  2. EZ-Gro Green Chard

  3. Empty Pod

  4. EZ-Gro Green Chard

  5. EZ-Gro Green Chard

  6. Empty Pod

  7. EZ-Gro Green Chard

  8. Empty Pod

  9. Empty Pod

  10. EZ-Gro Green Chard

  11. Empty Pod

  12. EZ-Gro Green Chard

 

Over half my equipment came directly from Click & Grow or AeroGarden or from Etsy. Some even came from Walmart. But all the links above are to Amazon.

 

SEVEN Aerovoir reservoirs

  1. Shirley [Shirley is short for Chalchiuhtlicue ("She of the Jade Skirt"), an Aztec deity of water, rivers, seas, streams, storms, and baptism.] She is serving Lulu and Louise.

  2. Nancy [Nancy is from Naiad. In Greek mythology, the naiads are a type of female spirit, or nymph, presiding over fountains, wells, springs, streams, brooks and other bodies of fresh water.] She is serving Lupe and Lucy.

  3. Lassy [Lassy is from Thalassa- primeval spirit of the sea. She was a consort of Pontus and together they presided over the seas.] She is serving Teresa.

  4. Anny [Anny is for Anuket, the ancient Egyptian goddess of the cataracts of the Nile and Lower Nubia in general, worshipped especially at Elephantine near the First Cataract] She is serving Seble and Harvey.

  5. Doris [Named for Doris, a sea goddess.] Serving Harvey Too.

  6. Ariel [named for the Disney princess] Serving Alice and Cecile.

  7. Lori [named for Superman's mermaid college girlfriend, Lori Lemaris.] Serving Faith and Madison.

The various Aerovoirs serve the various units in slightly different configurations. The four Harvests have a base which contains the various controls for the units. That raises the container enough to require the Aerovoir's pedestal to raise the reservoir to the proper height to maintain the proper level in the container.

The iDOOs are short. The pedestal is not employed, and the containers must be raised about ½". Similarly, the QYOs and LYKOs are short. No pedestal and raised units like the iDOOs.

In order for seven reservoirs to serve twelve containers, several T or Y connectors were spliced into the tubing. The picture at left shows such a connector.


















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