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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Devoid, thanks for the info. Your greenhouse looks great and I think your wood burning stove is cool. Wish we had the room to do that in our greenhouse. Since the drought 3 summers ago we have LOTS of dead wood around on our 30 acres. We used a lot for our wood stove in the house this winter. It's been so frigid....for our neck of the woods anyway. We've been using 20gal propane heaters in the aquaponics room. Costing a fortune but when it's 24 degrees out, I have to do something. On the lowest setting it maintains about 53 degrees and the heaters in the fish tanks are keeping the water in the high 60s-low 70s so I'm happy with that. Can't afford to lose those precious fish. Man, I never thought we would be fighting the weather so much when we undertook this endeavor......that and the dang white flies. I tried the sticky traps and killed thousands but there just seems to be a never ending supply of them. Good luck with everything!
Devoid said:

@Gena - The mini melons and hugelculture are both in Urban Farm May/June 2013 issue.

Mini Melons -

Alvaro

Early Silver Line

Kazakh

Sprite

Tigger

Golden Jenny

Green Machine

Honey Bun

Minnesota Midget

Sleeping Beauty

As for the hugelculture it has some fairly good basic info, that I'm sure you can find online fairly easy.

I was planning to use my downed wood for hugelculture but ended up using it for firewood in the greenhouse instead. I have pure sand out here for top couple of feet so could really use the hugelculture. Thanks for the link you posted, I'm around the same area as you also.

Do you experience the tops of your seedlings just disappearing? It's strange that it will only happen to a single raft of small seedlings and the rafts on either side are fine. It seems once they get the real leaves in a set or two, they're no longer in danger. Not sure if mouse or fungus gnat issue. Having trouble germinating in this cold. Working on tenting the seed beds and adding heat.

@Friendly - Hey Tim, it's Jarred, I was in your recent class at Sand Creek Farm. Be glad you came when you did, it's been getting down into the 20's this whole week. I'm waiting for my 2 inch net cups to come in and drill out the rest of my panels with 2 inch in higher density.

I think I got the fish and all back in April. Unfortunately my notebook got soaked once the greenhouse went up and I lost my old notes.

I poured in the rest of my iron bottle after talking to you and there is definite improvement in the collard and broccoli leaves. It looks kind of odd when one side of the main vain is perfectly green, and the other side of the main vain is still yellowed between smaller veins. I just received my bottle of biomin iron.

I definitely plan on getting more shade cloth this year. I'm thinking I'll suspend it under the greenhouse plastic as I'm afraid it'll rub holes if I lay it over the top. I can roll up the sides two feet and open up the ends. Trying to figure out how to add a ridge vent to it this spring.

Trying to write up some newspaper articles and a paper to hand out to people to see if I can drum up enough interest in an unproven CSA or kickstarter campaign to scrape together a grand or two for spring expansion. I can put in two external troughs the same size as my internal troughs beside the greenhouse, or build one verticalis unit for a little under a grand. I would have the verticalis outside of the greenhouse for the summer. Putting them outdoors would allow me to put more cold tolerant plants in it, and shutting up the greenhouse to extend the warmer crops.

The troughs would allow me to grow the melons and let them trail off to the side. If I let them trail out of the side of the greenhouse then I won't be able to close the sides on colder nights for the other plants. I'm not sure if the mini melons can support the weight of the fruit when trellising up. I'd likely do the two by two rafts so that I can still move the lettuce around.

The verticalis would let me shade more lettuce with less material. I'd have to run numbers about moving it indoors if it's still too much for the lettuce or heats up the water too much in the system. I started looking into strawberry growing after the class was over and found info here and there, but definitely looking forward to the book you are co producing. Is it likely to be out for this spring production? If so, it will definitely sway me into building a verticalis.

For the others, the verticalis can be found in the special newsletters 15-19 here:

http://www.friendlyaquaponics.com/support/newsletter-back-issues/

Photo from two weeks ago I think. In the foreground is tomatoes, with dinosaur kale to the right of them. Then lettuces going back, to broccoli that has bolted, to collard greens. I put in a wood burning stove for these freezing nights we've been having lately. Next year I'll add a thermal blanket and we won't have a single night near freezing.

Gena, I've got some pics on my profile with the various stages of my hugel bed construction. No instructions, but the idea is pretty straight forward.

Oh forgot about the seedlings losing their tops. I did have that happen a few times but I think it was the grasshoppers? that got into the greenhouse. 

Devoid said:

@Gena - The mini melons and hugelculture are both in Urban Farm May/June 2013 issue.

Mini Melons -

Alvaro

Early Silver Line

Kazakh

Sprite

Tigger

Golden Jenny

Green Machine

Honey Bun

Minnesota Midget

Sleeping Beauty

As for the hugelculture it has some fairly good basic info, that I'm sure you can find online fairly easy.

I was planning to use my downed wood for hugelculture but ended up using it for firewood in the greenhouse instead. I have pure sand out here for top couple of feet so could really use the hugelculture. Thanks for the link you posted, I'm around the same area as you also.

Do you experience the tops of your seedlings just disappearing? It's strange that it will only happen to a single raft of small seedlings and the rafts on either side are fine. It seems once they get the real leaves in a set or two, they're no longer in danger. Not sure if mouse or fungus gnat issue. Having trouble germinating in this cold. Working on tenting the seed beds and adding heat.

@Friendly - Hey Tim, it's Jarred, I was in your recent class at Sand Creek Farm. Be glad you came when you did, it's been getting down into the 20's this whole week. I'm waiting for my 2 inch net cups to come in and drill out the rest of my panels with 2 inch in higher density.

I think I got the fish and all back in April. Unfortunately my notebook got soaked once the greenhouse went up and I lost my old notes.

I poured in the rest of my iron bottle after talking to you and there is definite improvement in the collard and broccoli leaves. It looks kind of odd when one side of the main vain is perfectly green, and the other side of the main vain is still yellowed between smaller veins. I just received my bottle of biomin iron.

I definitely plan on getting more shade cloth this year. I'm thinking I'll suspend it under the greenhouse plastic as I'm afraid it'll rub holes if I lay it over the top. I can roll up the sides two feet and open up the ends. Trying to figure out how to add a ridge vent to it this spring.

Trying to write up some newspaper articles and a paper to hand out to people to see if I can drum up enough interest in an unproven CSA or kickstarter campaign to scrape together a grand or two for spring expansion. I can put in two external troughs the same size as my internal troughs beside the greenhouse, or build one verticalis unit for a little under a grand. I would have the verticalis outside of the greenhouse for the summer. Putting them outdoors would allow me to put more cold tolerant plants in it, and shutting up the greenhouse to extend the warmer crops.

The troughs would allow me to grow the melons and let them trail off to the side. If I let them trail out of the side of the greenhouse then I won't be able to close the sides on colder nights for the other plants. I'm not sure if the mini melons can support the weight of the fruit when trellising up. I'd likely do the two by two rafts so that I can still move the lettuce around.

The verticalis would let me shade more lettuce with less material. I'd have to run numbers about moving it indoors if it's still too much for the lettuce or heats up the water too much in the system. I started looking into strawberry growing after the class was over and found info here and there, but definitely looking forward to the book you are co producing. Is it likely to be out for this spring production? If so, it will definitely sway me into building a verticalis.

For the others, the verticalis can be found in the special newsletters 15-19 here:

http://www.friendlyaquaponics.com/support/newsletter-back-issues/

Photo from two weeks ago I think. In the foreground is tomatoes, with dinosaur kale to the right of them. Then lettuces going back, to broccoli that has bolted, to collard greens. I put in a wood burning stove for these freezing nights we've been having lately. Next year I'll add a thermal blanket and we won't have a single night near freezing.


Alex, thanks for steering me to your profile pics. I guess that's where I need to put my pictures of my stuff. I do REALLY like the fish tank ambiance! All pics are very nice. and the hugel beds look great. I am interested in trying that. 
Alex Veidel said:

Gena, I've got some pics on my profile with the various stages of my hugel bed construction. No instructions, but the idea is pretty straight forward.

Too cold for grasshoppers now so still not sure what it is. Seems strange it only hits one raft at a time. In no seeming order as to location or how long the plants have been in the trough as long as they haven't got several sets of leaves

Oh I see, it's happening now. I was going to suggest damping off but I don't think that affects just the top of a seedling. Yes that is strange. Almost like a cut worm but I'm sure you could see signs of that. 

Devoid said:

Too cold for grasshoppers now so still not sure what it is. Seems strange it only hits one raft at a time. In no seeming order as to location or how long the plants have been in the trough as long as they haven't got several sets of leaves

It's cut off at media level and gone, it's not just laying on top :/

Great, I just found that back issue of Urban Farm on Ebay and got it. I take Mother Earth News and Mother Earth Living. Are you pleased with Urban Farm? I had never heard of it but the subscription price seems reasonable. 

Devoid said:

Too cold for grasshoppers now so still not sure what it is. Seems strange it only hits one raft at a time. In no seeming order as to location or how long the plants have been in the trough as long as they haven't got several sets of leaves

Well I don't think a mouse would be that discriminating. Plus if it's a pest you should see "signs". I had grasshopper poop all over the place when they were munching my plants. Maybe fungus (damping off) but then where are the plants??? Very odd.

Devoid said:

It's cut off at media level and gone, it's not just laying on top :/

Urban Farm and Hobby Farm Home can be hit or miss. I subscribed when I found them on discount. Currently you can use the discount code THRIFTYNWMOM at discountmags.com and get 1 year subscription / 6 issues for $12 each. If you search for it every so often you can get them for somewhere around $8. They are both magazines that if I had a local store that carried them, I'd browse before buying. They don't tend to have the most in depth articles but it may turn you on to something to research. I find Mother Earth News and The New Pioneer to be more in depth and have more articles. Not sure the subscription price on them but they're $10 news stand price where Urban farm and Hobby Farm Home are $6.

I've never seen discount subscription for Hobby Farm, The New Pioneer, or Mother Earth News. If you come across any let me know

Edit : Hobby Farm works with the above discount code as well to be $12

I already take Mother Earth News and Mother Earth Living (used to be Herb Companion) so I usually get a renewal discount.  Both good mags but I barely have time to read those as it is. Would love to be able to pick and choose articles a la carte on line and then print. Will let you know if I find them cheap somewhere.

Devoid said:

Urban Farm and Hobby Farm Home can be hit or miss. I subscribed when I found them on discount. Currently you can use the discount code THRIFTYNWMOM at discountmags.com and get 1 year subscription / 6 issues for $12 each. If you search for it every so often you can get them for somewhere around $8. They are both magazines that if I had a local store that carried them, I'd browse before buying. They don't tend to have the most in depth articles but it may turn you on to something to research. I find Mother Earth News and The New Pioneer to be more in depth and have more articles. Not sure the subscription price on them but they're $10 news stand price where Urban farm and Hobby Farm Home are $6.

I've never seen discount subscription for Hobby Farm, The New Pioneer, or Mother Earth News. If you come across any let me know

Edit : Hobby Farm works with the above discount code as well to be $12

Urban Farm is well, okay. It's a magazine, so the idea is more to inspire you with new ideas, not give detailed information on how to do things. But it's something fun and uplifting to read if you're lacking inspiration or just in the mood for a light perusing.

Gena said:

Great, I just found that back issue of Urban Farm on Ebay and got it. I take Mother Earth News and Mother Earth Living. Are you pleased with Urban Farm? I had never heard of it but the subscription price seems reasonable. 

Devoid said:

Too cold for grasshoppers now so still not sure what it is. Seems strange it only hits one raft at a time. In no seeming order as to location or how long the plants have been in the trough as long as they haven't got several sets of leaves

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