Aquaponic Gardening

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I need help with my cucumber plants & squash not producing.  All my levels are where they're suppose to be.  I have 100 gal fish tank with 25 cat fish & 50 gal surge.  I have 4 40 gal grow beds with clay balls.  My cucumber plants are producing but the leafs turn brown & dry up.  Squash plants blossoms flower but fall off. Tomato plants are doing great!   Flood & drain cycle is between 12 & 15 min.  Any ideas?  

Jack

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Could you post a picture? Drying up leaves could be the result of several different problems. Leaves usually brown because of a nutritional deficiency (magnesium, potassium, etc.) or the result of pests (like spider mites).

Are the squash where they can be pollinated naturally?  Otherwise they will need to be hand pollinated.

Thanks for the input.  I'll send pictures of the brown leafs tomorrow.  After surfing the web  I added 1 T of hydrated lime to the surge tank.



Arthur King, Jr. said:

Are the squash where they can be pollinated naturally?  Otherwise they will need to be hand pollinated.

I would like to echo the previous recommendations of magnesium, potassium and ensuring pollination.
My previous trouble with those exact plants (squash/cukes) was fixed with potassium sulfate (potash) and magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt). Now I have dozens of buds per plant and am looking at a wonderful season!

Magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) releases quickly for fast absorption.

Potassium sulfate (potash) releases more slowly and can require further processing by worms and bacteria.

Thanks for the input Spencer.  In So Cal there's not to many people to talk to that have systems up & running.  How much should you add for 100 gal fish tank & 50 gal surge?

Jack

Spencer Curry said:

I would like to echo the previous recommendations of magnesium, potassium and ensuring pollination.
My previous trouble with those exact plants (squash/cukes) was fixed with potassium sulfate (potash) and magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt). Now I have dozens of buds per plant and am looking at a wonderful season!

Magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) releases quickly for fast absorption.

Potassium sulfate (potash) releases more slowly and can require further processing by worms and bacteria.

No problem Jack!  I was born in So Cal, Pasadena!  Glad to hear aquaponics has made its way there.

To give You some perspective, I use 2 cups of magnesium sulfate (epsom salt) in my nightly bath, which is a much smaller reservoir of water.  A few cups should be fine.  It might be best to add a cup a day for a few days.  Then wait and see the results after maybe 3-5 cups total.

Potassium Sulfate (Potash) I am less familiar with.  My experience with it shows that it is not as water soluble and required more mineralization.  So I added less of that and waited longer to see results.



Jack Lansford said:

Thanks for the input Spencer.  In So Cal there's not to many people to talk to that have systems up & running.  How much should you add for 100 gal fish tank & 50 gal surge?

Jack

Spencer Curry said:

I would like to echo the previous recommendations of magnesium, potassium and ensuring pollination.
My previous trouble with those exact plants (squash/cukes) was fixed with potassium sulfate (potash) and magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt). Now I have dozens of buds per plant and am looking at a wonderful season!

Magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) releases quickly for fast absorption.

Potassium sulfate (potash) releases more slowly and can require further processing by worms and bacteria.

Yeah, it definitely dipped down to the 60's last week. No okra for me! Luckily, my part of the garden is indoors ;) The rest of my family isn't too happy about the outdoor garden production getting a late start, but I'm pretty sure their lack of production has more to do with a particular mistake in their gardening technique. They've been playing with no-till gardens that utilize a lot of mulch. Only problem is they never stopped to balanced out all those carbon materials in the soil. First year looked amazing, this year, not so much. You can see a definite difference between the new beds we freshly planted with compost and mulch and the areas we didn't give proper compost to.

To remedy, I'm garnering the aid of several friends of mine who are Starbucks employees. I've got sooooo many coffee grounds right now...... :D

Randall Wimbish said:

Sometimes you have to try all kinds of plants until you find something that really rocks for the situation.

Squash vine borers and other pests sometimes dictate where I live. Try okra in this time of year in California.  Alex. Arctic vortex in your area?  I can't believe it. I hope you cut your tomatoes back for an early fall crop.

Like folks say...there are many reasons cucumber leaves turn brown and die...and squash blossoms drop...Not all are related to plant essential element deficiencies...

Potassium sulfate (Sulfate of Potash...K2SO4) doesn't require any sort of "further processing by worms or bacteria"...As a rule (with no exceptions that I'm aware of) all compounds of group 1A elements are soluble...and you can dissolve slightly more than 11 grams of K2SO4 in100 grams of water.


Spencer Curry said:

I would like to echo the previous recommendations of magnesium, potassium and ensuring pollination.
My previous trouble with those exact plants (squash/cukes) was fixed with potassium sulfate (potash) and magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt). Now I have dozens of buds per plant and am looking at a wonderful season!

Magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) releases quickly for fast absorption.

Potassium sulfate (potash) releases more slowly and can require further processing by worms and bacteria.

Thanks for the correction Vlad.  Your knowledge here seems good.  Is it true that the potassium sulfate releases more slowly than the epson salts?

Vlad Jovanovic said:

Like folks say...there are many reasons cucumber leaves turn brown and die...and squash blossoms drop...Not all are related to plant essential element deficiencies...

Potassium sulfate (Sulfate of Potash...K2SO4) doesn't require any sort of "further processing by worms or bacteria"...As a rule (with no exceptions that I'm aware of) all compounds of group 1A elements are soluble...and you can dissolve slightly more than 11 grams of K2SO4 in100 grams of water.


Spencer Curry said:

I would like to echo the previous recommendations of magnesium, potassium and ensuring pollination.
My previous trouble with those exact plants (squash/cukes) was fixed with potassium sulfate (potash) and magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt). Now I have dozens of buds per plant and am looking at a wonderful season!

Magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) releases quickly for fast absorption.

Potassium sulfate (potash) releases more slowly and can require further processing by worms and bacteria.

Well, I guess that would somewhat depend on how you define "release"...but for practical  (non-chem-lab) purposes...No, not really. The little bit of difference in the solubility curve between the two is negligible...certainly wouldn't qualify K2SO4 as slow release or anything like that...

Although K2SO4 is not AS soluble as MgSO4, it's still very much completely soluble in water. So it "releases"  as soon as it hits the water...it dissolves and dissociates into it's (plant bio-available) component parts.

You can dissolve 11.1 grams of K2SO4 into 100 grams of water, while you can dissolve 35.1 grams of MgSO4 into the same amount of water, but both readily dissolve and are immediately made plant bio-available...

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