Aquaponic Gardening

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I am in central Texas and built a raft system based on Friendly Aquaponics instructions.

Water temperature is up to 92

ph 7.7

ammonia 0.5

nitrate 10

nitrite barely above 0

Seed starting bed

Plant Problems

Tomatoes originally looked like Iron deficiency and I added iron, then it just started getting light green all over

Pumpkins that are now completely dead

Cucumber with same type issues and it's roots

Okra - left 3 are a week or two older then the ones on right

So any thoughts or ideas on what to do to get this going? I'm looking for a good low cost d.o. meter. I'm also wondering if putting them out in full sun in just frying them.

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I read about mini melons in Urban Farm magazine and I just had to try them. I've got silver-line, minnesota midget, and tigger melons. I started them a few weeks too late this year though, looks like I'll get 10 melons out of the mix. Not bad for the first year of a hugel bed. Only gets better after that!

Gena said:

Alex, I will check into that. This weekend we are running 2 x 4's across the top of the greenhouse to start trellising. Would love to see pics of your melon house. Would like to know what type of mini melons you grew.

We have had great success growing all kinds of cantaloupes, in the ground. Are your melons cantaloupe or watermelon types? I was leery of trying something heavy in the aquaponics but we do love our melons so I'll check these out. Post a pic. when you can. 

Alex Veidel said:

I read about mini melons in Urban and I just had to try them. I've got silver-line, minnesota midget, and tigger melons. I started them a few weeks too late this year though, looks like I'll get 10 melons out of the mix. Not bad for the first year of a hugel bed. Only gets better after that!

Gena said:

Alex, I will check into that. This weekend we are running 2 x 4's across the top of the greenhouse to start trellising. Would love to see pics of your melon house. Would like to know what type of mini melons you grew.

I saw that article and definitely want to try some next year.

I had planned to let the cantaloupe vine over the side and fruit on the ground rather than on the raft. Unfortunately that is not what ended up happening

Devoid, it does sound like a good plan though. Unfortunately we are enclosed with the greenhouse so I would have to trellis or vertical grow somehow with support. 

Devoid said:

I saw that article and definitely want to try some next year.

I had planned to let the cantaloupe vine over the side and fruit on the ground rather than on the raft. Unfortunately that is not what ended up happening

Devoid, I think you are just having the same problems I am having over here in Shreveport. It is just too damned hot!!!  Some of the plants do well and others seem to fry . I have not started any seeds but the seedlings are particularly vulnerable. But I have some plants that survive (if not flourish) despite  the heat while the ones around die. Even regularly heat  tolerant plants.... some do well and others flounder.  For me it is a numbers game. Then as they die, I move them to consolidate plantings and plant more.

Hi Pat, I tend to agree with you. Even with shading some of my plants are really suffering in these 100+ days we are having. I'm trying to grow heat tolerant lettuce but it's a losing battle. 

Pat James said:

Devoid, I think you are just having the same problems I am having over here in Shreveport. It is just too damned hot!!!  Some of the plants do well and others seem to fry . I have not started any seeds but the seedlings are particularly vulnerable. But I have some plants that survive (if not flourish) despite  the heat while the ones around die. Even regularly heat  tolerant plants.... some do well and others flounder.  For me it is a numbers game. Then as they die, I move them to consolidate plantings and plant more.

Sorry to hear you're having issues to. Yeah okra seedlings even haven't been doing well. We're still hitting the 100 degree Mark daily I'm assuming sun intensity has decreased and some plants are starting to make it. The purple hull pass grew to about three inches and haven't budged since. Along with various other issues it has been challenging start up. Good luck

Here's an update photo of the expansion and greenhouse construction

Devoid, your greenhouse setup looks fantastic! After all the posts about pH I am now struggling to keep mine up to 7.0.  Like the former post by Pat James, some of my plants do exceptionally well and some just don't seem to make it. I even wonder sometime if I'm putting them in the holes in my rafts correctly. Boy if we could only live on basil though, I would be all set. Fish are still doing well in spite of my efforts. LOL Looking forward to seeing your finished greenhouse.  OH, by the way, are are having a terrible time with white flies. I've read that can be quite a problem with greenhouses. If anyone has suggestions as to how to deal with these pesky critters I would appreciate it. Thinking of getting a truck load of lady bugs. 

Got the covering on the greenhouse. Quite warm inside and awfully humid. I've got water covering the inside of the plastic all day long. Also those gnats seem to be back, did you find a good solution to those?

Devoid, your greenhouse looks awesome,  As for the white flies I'm going to try some "sticky traps" from planetnatural.com.  You can also get them on eBay but planetnatural.com has the little metal stakes that you can stick them into to hold them up. I read where lady bugs aren't always a good option because they don't stay put.  

Thank you. Do you have a problem with humidity causing condensation all over the inside of your greenhouse?

I'll have to find a way to get a hold of some bugs to examine, see if they are whitefly or fungus gnats. Thanks for the site.

Yeah I read that they weren't in an open system but in a closed greenhouse they have nowhere to go. I don't know how well they work for whitefly or fungus gnats though.

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