Since I just harvested a couple good sized plants in 5 gallon smart pots, I had quite a few roots to play with. I still have root oil that I made to use for topical recipes, so I decided I would ferment them and use it as a root stimulant. I cleaned most of the soil out of the main root balls, but didn't rinse them as the microbes are useful. I weighed them at about 90 grams, and then shoved them into the growler. Next, I added to that 45 ml of molasses and just enough water to cover the roots. Finally I added 1 ml of lactobacillus culture and put the air lock on. This will ferment for a week or two, then the liquid will be strained and used as a soil drench at about 1 tbsp per gallon. I currently use a homemade fish hydrolysate, cannabis leaf FPE, and lactobacillus culture for veg. I plan to make a bloom recipe with banana, squash, and papaya to try out on the screens. You can learn more about making your own fertilizers at the unconventional farmer dot com.
The Bubba Kush S1 has recovered nicely from her last round of torture. After this picture, I removed the two large bottom fan leaves and removed the wire holding the main branches down. This should encourage vertical growth. In a day or two, I will top both sides for four main growth tips and again give a couple of days for her to recover. So far, I believe this technique has added about three or four days of veg. It's not too bad if it works out, also the roots get a chance to really grow out with a longer veg. More roots, more fruits
After a bit of struggling, it seems like the Seedsman Lowryder competition
is a go! I've had a hard time germinating some seeds for the competition, but sometimes the simplest solution is the best. I simply put them into the peat puck and one is up, the other looks like it may come up in a day or two. The other varieties are also auto flowering from the same order. I wanted to make sure nothing was wrong with the order, so tested germinating some other seeds. A larger grow area will be free in a couple of days, so I am going to run 6-8 of the ones that come up in 2 gallon smart pots in my storage cabinet. Though there will be other varieties in there, we will be focusing on the Lowryder.
Next, a one week update on the yogurt cup challenge
. Strawberry was horizontal when I checked up on them, so I propped them up with some bamboo skewers and twisty ties.
I am finally getting up to speed with my Arduino board. I got my starter kit and quickly worked my way through the dozen or so examples. The board is programmed in C/C++ so there was no issue learning the language or syntax. With the parts I had, basically a few resistors, buttons, and LEDs, I realized I could easily make an ART-DNe cycle timer. So I wrote up an object that uses the system clock and has all of the features of the ART-DNe. Next I ordered up a datalogging shield, this has an SD slot as well as a real time clock and a small amount of NVRAM. I updated the ART-DNe to read from a config file on the SD card, so that parameters could be changed without flashing the firmware. I still need to update the code to use the real-time-clock.
I also ordered a temperature/humidity sensor and then wrote a simple "weather station". Basically every couple of minutes the firmware will read the sensor and record the temperature and humidity to a log file. I also ordered up some soil moisture sensors and a relay board. I would eventually like to create an automated watering system for the yogurt cups.