Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Growing Things: Part 1

*This is our 100th blog post!*

For Kelsi's Birthday a couple years back, I bought her an AeroGarden. They are pretty sweet. You can grow flowers and vegetables hydroponically. The plants are also nice to look at and it adds precious oxygen to the room, which makes life that much better. 
This particular model has 6 slots for growing which is great. You can really grow a lot. The bad thing about the AeroGarden, is that you have to buy the hydroponic fertilizer, seeds, and the small device that holds the seeds into the water from the company. In our quest to become more sustainable I have been trying to grow seeds of our own by reusing the seed holders.
Shown is what we have planted now. I am trying different things, some of which fail. On the left is a pepper plant that I tried. The plant grew, we pollenated the flowers by hand but, only one pepper grew. On the right is an eggplant. It grew but, it hasn't given us any flowers to pollenate. It really didn't do that well in the garden either now that I think back to this summer.
This single pepper better be delicious for all the lighting involved for it to grow.
I have also gotten away from the hydroponic fertilizer that the company pushes on the consumer. Instead I mixed some compost in with water, let it set for a couple weeks in this jug. Then I pour a little bit of this 'compost tea' in the reservoir each week. It seems to work just as well as the fertilizer pellets. The only downside is that the compost tea smells awful. Like worse than the worst dog fart you have ever smelt. The smell kinda 'goes away' after it goes into the reservoir.
This new product offered by AeroGarden looks promising so I bought it. I plan to start some of our vegetable starts in this. Hopefully it works as well as the reviews say. I will post an update when it's up and growing.
How do you start your seedlings? Let us know. We are always looking for better ways to do things.
Thanks for reading!


DebH said...

now that seed starting tray looks very interesting. I started some tomatoes to hopefully transplant but I am understanding that the secret is an excellent root base on the new seedlings. I just tried my aerogarden this last week. It being the first time I used it since I found it on ebay. I just have the itch to start something...spring needs to get here fast!! Great idea on the fertilizer. I will definitely try that!

Mike said...

DebH- Thanks! THe compost tea works really well! I hope you have a great gardening season!