Hydroponics – Day Four

Project One – Countertop Sprouts

Getting hungry for tuna salad sandwich with lots of sprouts! I read that it’s time to process (totally dry and refrigerate) alfalfa sprouts when they are about three inches long. I think mine are racing towards that goal, quickly.

Morning of 3/9/2020: Alfalfa spouts experiencing their 15 minute drain this morning after their rinse.
Mung beans draining after morning rinse.
Alfalfa sprouts after draining, shaking out the excess water and redistributing by rolling.
Mung beans after draining and redistributing.

Project Two – Lettuce Greens

There’s been a big jump in the little rockwool germination cubes over night. The leaf lettuce has shot up above the tops of the cubes. The arugula is slower going. Also, I can now tell that the Arugula seeds in two of the six cubes have not germinated. In the future I will put more than one seed per cube to accommodate for the lower germination rate. Seeds can get stale with time. I have no idea how old the seeds were that I purchased. I, personally, planted them within a day of their arrival.

Yesterday, I gently moved one of the lettuce seeds (bottom row) that had germinated outside of a well, into the first well on the left. It seems to be doing OK. Arugula (top row) is not germinating in well #3 or #5. But, there are two seeds germinated in well #2. Perhaps, I will be able to move one of them over.
This image illustrates that the lettuce (bottom / closer) has shot up above the surface of the cubes. Arugula (back) is slower growing.

Today, my LED grow light arrived. I plan to put the lettuce seedlings under that light. I remember from botany class in college that light actually inhibits growth. You may have put a plant in a sunny window and it appeared to turn towards light. That phenomenon can suggest that light promotes growth. However, the cells facing the direct light grow proportionally slower than the cells on the “dark side.” While it might appear that light causes growth, that is just a misinterpretation of what is actually happening. If the whole plant gets sufficient light, it will grow slower and put energy into becoming stronger, rather than quickly becoming tall but spindly.

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