(Update) Local lettuce, butterhead lettuce, kang kong, sharp-leafed spinach

The local lettuce seeds from Ban Lee Huat seem to like taking their time to sprout as compared with seeds like the butterhead lettuce from Oh Chin Huat. But eventually, they all germinated.

I left three in pure vermiculite to see how they grow; three more went to pure hydroponics solution.


One of the seedlings in pure vermiculite.


One of the seedlings held up by a rooting cube at the mouth of the bottle.


Harvested the kang kong (water spinach) planted in the soil since they were growing so slowly. So I might as well eat them tender.


The root mass. It’s a bit gross. Lol.


The sharp-leaf spinach in pure hydroponics solution are growing really well. Their roots have outgrown the rooting cube and are now happily soaking themselves in the solution.

Within less than a week, they have already grown third leaves, which the soil spinach took over two months to achieve.


The roots growing out from the rooting cube.


Oh wow. Some of them have four leaves already.


Butterhead lettuce with ninth leaf.


Root growth after being transferred to pure hydroponics solution.

(Harvesting) Kang kong

I just harvested my batch of kang kong from my pure hydroponics solution. And wow. They were big.

I gave half to my dad’s tortoises, and kept half for myself to cook with soup later on.

Conversely, the ones in soil are still growing like turtles.

(Updates)

From 07.02.09

Rocket seedling.

From 07.02.09

My grapefruit mint has revived itself with a vengeance. Huge leaves!

From 07.02.09

Local lettuce from Ban Lee Huat. Gotta separate them into individual pots soon.

From 07.02.09
From 07.02.09

I love the shape of the leaves of the totem cherry tomato.

From 07.02.09
From 07.02.09

Yet another transplant needed soon.

From 07.02.09

Pure hydroponics kangkong leaf.

From 07.02.09
From 07.02.09

Kangkong in their bottle of hydro solution.

From 07.02.09

Strawberry saxifrage runner leaves.

From 07.02.09

Butterhead lettuce seedling transferred to pure hydro solution.

From 07.02.09
From 07.02.09

You can see the butterhead’s roots.

From 07.02.09

Choy sum and one butterhead.

From 07.02.09

Choy sum leaf bigger than my 2nd and 3rd fingers together.

From 07.02.09

Tea tree (melaleuca alternifolia) seedlings sprouting in pure vermiculite with hydroponics solution.

Hydroponics experiments

I must be one of the biggest failures in growing things in a hydroponics setup, I think. Currently, I’ve been experimenting with hydroponics for maybe around two months, and perhaps I’ll chart my progress and experiments to see what I’ve tried, and also which setup seems to have worked the best.

1. I bought a pre-made hydro. setup from OCH. It cost $10, and came with a styrofoam box which could hold up to eight net pots; fine vermiculite; leca bits (aka expanded clay bits, stands for Light Expanded Clay Aggregate | the common brand in the market is called Hydroton); and two packets of seeds. I haven’t tried the seeds at all, but used the net pots, leca and vermiculite placed in a small container of hydroponics solution to germinate some other seeds. Perhaps the other seeds were no good (such as Horti), so absolutely nothing germinated. I got discouraged, and since dad wouldn’t let me take up space with the box, I left hydroponics on hold.

2. After reading of some people on GCS having done and are still doing hydro, my interest was regained. 42ndFloor’s posts on hydro also aroused my curiosity, and I began to research on alternative methods to grow plants using water.

3. I experimented with using leca bits again, but on a much smaller scale. I filled the net pots with leca and fine vermiculite, and stood them in a small container of solution. Things grew, but not well. They seem stunted. Also, the fine vermi. kept leaking out of the net pots. It annoyed me, so I stopped this method.

4. Tried the other “common” method of germination, which is in starting cubes I made on my own. They sprouted pretty quickly and pretty well. But when the roots got too deep, they were hard to remove from the cubes without damaging the plants. I didn’t quite like the idea of having the roots grow out the other side of the cube before squashing them at the mouth of a drinking bottle, so another idea scrapped. Excellent sprouting method, though.

5. My best experiment comparison and success came when I went to Ban Lee Huat to buy GOOD seeds at a really cheap rate. Since kangkong (water convovulus/water spinach) seeds were quite large, I decided to use them in my experiment. So, I sowed kangkong seeds in soil and in a small (1/8 the size of a 500ml drinking bottle) container filled with leca bits and just poured the solution directly into it.

6. Halfway through, I took out two of the sprouts from the container of leca bits and placed those two in pure hydroponics solution without anything (inspired by 42ndFloor’s method for her lettuce).

7. It’s been about a month. Upon comparison, the kangkongs in leca bits are in 3rd place in terms of growth; the ones in soil are in 2nd place; the ones in pure hydro solution are 1st. I figured that the soil ones grew better than the leca ones because of the size of the container I’ve used. Even though in hydro, nutrients can get to roots easily because they are in liquid form, root balls still need space to grow. I retarded their growth by constraining them in too tight a space.

8. I’ve realized that it’s best to do germination in pure vermiculite moistened with hydroponics solution, covered with a transparent lid, and left in a bright place. When the seeds are about 3cm long, then they can be transferred very easily to pure hydroponics solution, since they’re not so fragile then and I can use rooting cubes to hold them in place. It’s one step more, but I can do it in less than 15 minutes, because vermiculite is loose, and the roots come out easily.

So, in conclusion, I am going to sow my vegetable seeds using #8, then transfer to pure hydro solution.

Good news is, my kangkongs are almost ready to be harvested. At least this experiment is one I can eat. =D

(Space Clearing) Of the clearing and reshuffling of space | Plants

My planting space was getting really, really cluttered, what with countless experiments using hydroponics and soil methods for seeds, and propagating a lot of mints for sale, and-this-and-that.

So, I cleared more dead plants, rearranged A LOT of things, and yay, more space.

The kinds of “creativity” us apartment-dwellers with space constrains have to come up with is amazing.

From 18.02.09
From 18.02.09
From 18.02.09
From 18.02.09
From 18.02.09

SPACE!!!!


From 18.02.09

The lemon eucalyptus was growing almost to the ceiling. I repotted and repositioned it to give more upward space for it to grow.


From 18.02.09

Mints for J.; Lavender ‘Goodwin Creek'; Rosemary. And extra space on the next tier behind them.

From 18.02.09

Capsicum.

From 18.02.09

(Clockwise from top left) Propagated pineapple mint; sawtooth coriander; water rooting peppermint; thyme seedlings.

From 18.02.09

Two circular pots – rocket seedlings; lettuce; totem cherry tomato; mulberry.
Sharp-leafed spinach; lettuce; kangkong.

From 18.02.09

Hydroponics kangkong.

From 18.02.09
From 18.02.09

Choy sum seedlings in hydroponics. Empty pot is for lettuce seeds which didn’t germinate.

Vegetables update

From 27.01.09

Kangkong sprouts pretty easily. They have visibly strong roots.

From 27.01.09

Rocket seeds from Dawn sprouted, too. =) They look so cute. Their leaves are shaped as small little clovers, unlike other sprouts, with typical leaves.

From 27.01.09

Sharp-leafed spinach seedlings all popping up.

From 27.01.09

Lettuce seedlings.

From 27.01.09

Kangkong seedlings in soil growing strong.

From 27.01.09

Sawtooth corianders firming up.

From 27.01.09

Capsicums setting fruit after successful manual pollination by me.

Sprouts

My lettuce, sharp-leaf spinach, rocket and kangkong seeds have sprouted. W00t.

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