Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

This year has been a strange one for my garden here in central Florida. We had almost NO spring, the summer was long and hot and so far the winter has been generally warm.

My lettuce is bolting already, and nothing seems to be doing very well!

Is this the general consensuses?

Views: 269

Replies to This Discussion

@Dan Ponton Depending entirely on "normal growth cycles" is handy, but perhaps the Farmers almanac might shed some light on the problem. I haven't checked. I live in Arizona, a whole nuther world.  

We are also in central Florida and we continue to enjoy our harvest. Plenty of lettuce, which is still producing, tomatoes, collards and broccoli. Lots of herbs too. We are pleased to have a crop of strawberries coming in now with the cool nights. We even have some peppers and a nice eggplant. The low temp this week was 46 degrees, but the system water temp held at 62. It is all outdoors and the only modification I make is to wrap the FT with 3/4" insulation board.

Winters aren't what they were two or three decades ago.  My Lacinato Kale always does well.  Probably too late to start it now.  I gave up on lettuce but maybe certain varieties would have worked.  Sounds like John W is doing ok with lettuce.

Here in Miami where we've had an extended and verrrrry wet Fall our lettuces have been just fine...Summer was a different story..you know 95 degress and 99% humidity.   Bolt city!!  I'm looking forward to the predicted mini Ice Age over the next 30 to 50 years...sort of like my childhood.  Seems like much reduced solar activity is the reason...who knew that humans were so insignificant!?

However, a couple of ideas...do you have a greenhouse around your system...if so...get shade cloth to cut down the Sun when you need to...also...varietals matter...pick the slow bolt seeds offered by many...all the best...

My Kale is also doing well but not my Romain lettuce.

I did have shade cloth over the DWC system but I took it off in the end of October. Good to know someone else knows about the Mini Ice Age. The cycle is coming around again, we just need to adjust and learn to plant the right crops.

The potato famine was caused by the last Mini Ice Age. I planted Garlic this fall. This is the only root crop I have planted in AP.

Has anyone planted Potato's maybe in Hydroton? Potato's need very loose soil, can't think of anything else that would be loose.

Dan,

I grow tomatoes, cukes and peppers in the gravel media bed...a little basil and a few beets.

In the DWC, I grow greens and lettuce...eight kinds on a rotation plus kales, scallions in net pot.

In my soil based garden, I grow six kinds of carrot, three kinds of beets, three kinds of onions and 60 varieties of heirloom tomatoes in 15 gal buckets. Also, have thirthy pots of various herbs as well as more greens, peppers and cukes.

Plus I have raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and pineapples.

Also, tumeric, garlic and ginger.

Best regards,

Ned



Dan Ponton said:

My Kale is also doing well but not my Romain lettuce.

I did have shade cloth over the DWC system but I took it off in the end of October. Good to know someone else knows about the Mini Ice Age. The cycle is coming around again, we just need to adjust and learn to plant the right crops.

The potato famine was caused by the last Mini Ice Age. I planted Garlic this fall. This is the only root crop I have planted in AP.

Has anyone planted Potato's maybe in Hydroton? Potato's need very loose soil, can't think of anything else that would be loose.

I managed to grow lettuce all summer (I'm in inland central FL along the ridge) I do choose the most heat tolerant varieties I can and I germinate the seed indoors in AC under humidity domes then move it out into seedling beds in the sun as soon as I see the seeds starting to break open.  The butter head seems to have the worst problems when it gets rainy since I don't have a roof over my raft beds, only 40% aluminet which I have left on so far.  I'm having trouble deciding if I should keep it on for the slight frost protection it provides by bouncing radiant heat back down at night or if I should take it off to let my red lettuces be as dark as possible.  Last winter I didn't have the shade cloth up yet and I don't think I had much if any cold damage to the lettuce in the raft beds.

In towers and media beds I grow kale and celery and herbs.  I don't think it is too late to start kale.  My kale kept producing well into summer last year and I expect had I put much effort into it I might have kept some of the Toscano kale going year round.  Had I gotten the shade cloth up earlier in the spring I definitely would have had even better kale and collards into late spring and summer.  Some varieties of course hung on longer and better than others, the Toscano Kale (Dinosaur kale) seemed to be the heartiest growing into summer.  The Red Russian and Collard Greens were the first to be pulled out as the heat got the better of them.  Swiss chard might also manage year round if given the best conditions.

As to the Romaine, I've had trouble finding a good variety of Romain that produces well for me.  I've had some that seemed to do well for a short time but so far it seems better for me to let others grow that while I concentrate on the varieties that seem most productive to me.

You will have to test out different varieties to find what works well and what doesn't in your location (and during different seasons.)  Lately of the Johnny's seeds varieties I've been using lately I like the Toscano Kale, Cherokee red summer crisp leaf lettuce, Conquistador Celery and in the past I've been impressed with the Encore lettuce mix but not so much lately, I'm currently still growing the Adriana Butterhead but I'm looking at other varieties to try out and if you want a really big green leaf lettuce the Tropicana variety seemed like a possible option to me but it needs bigger spacing than my rafts currently afford.  I'm also currently trialing the Salanova Lettuce collections.  The One Romaine lettuce I thought was promising for a time last winter was Helvius but none of my romaine ever got really big like you see at the farmers markets and it seemed to only thrive in the cooler weather and would get bitter too fast when it got warm.

I agree that the climate is certainly much different this year. I live in the Keys and it's been far more humid than anyone can remember. While most of my plants are doing OK I have started cucumbers twice and despite regular spraying with actinovate they get white spots and then wilt. I'm going to try one more variety and then give up. The bush beans produced well but are no longer flowering. 

While weather shouldn't be confused with climate the trend down here has been towards much wetter and much warmer. We had heavy, heavy rain during the summer -- twice our normal -- and then twice as much rain as normal in December. It's all that the scientists have been predicting but sooner and faster than even they thought. I have been seeing some very pessimistic studies lately.

Here in the Keys we'll adapt until we have to leave. 

RSS

© 2019   Created by Sylvia Bernstein.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service