It’s 11th of January and I have a Product Manager interview at 10:30am, as a way to relax and prepare I decided I would get some gardening tasks completed and generally have a walk around in the cool of the day.
Kumera is growing well in the clotch.
Strawberries are continuing to produce. This year we forgot to cover the plants, but what we’ve discovered is a complete lack of blackbirds that would usually swoop in and gobble up bright red berries.
Cabbages are growing awesome, we’ll have to start harvesting these shortly.
Potato strip down the back path has worked well. Good crop and added diversity to the area beneath the fruit trees.
Apples are coming along nicely and are a bit unexpected considering the losses we’ve had after the late frosts, many of our fruit trees are bare this year.
The biggest delicious delight is found under a mass of peach leaves.
After constructing the environment that we feel is going to be suitable for growing food indoors, and our seeds arrived from KingSeeds, we have started our MicroGreens trial. It was a bit of a messy start, we didn’t have the garage table sorted out with suitable lighting areas so we moved into the kitchen, and we know that our aluminium food /baking trays are a bit flimsy however we haven’t yet discovered the perfect food grade plastic trays for growing in. These will do for starters!
The process was to:
poke holes in the base of the smaller trays to let the excess water drain out
break up the coco-coir into smaller chunks (as we didn’t have a clean 9-litre container)
add water to the coco-coir and watch it soak up the water and expand (quite exciting to watch)
give the coco-coir a good mix to ensure that it is indeed wet, but not dripping
use a metal spoon to decanter the mixture into the trays and press down so that the mixture is almost to the brim.
measure out the seed and sprinkle a suitable amount evenly
As it is winter in New Zealand, and we’re still having the occasional frost, growing outdoors has come to a bit of a standstill, in our yard at least – there are still things to be done outside but the temperature certainly isn’t inviting. We have therefore moved our interests indoors.
At the weekend we visited Bunnings, Mitre10, plus our local Hammer Hardware and BuildLink and gathered all the things required to get an at-home micro-greens environment set up. The trays were the hardest to find and we need a better solution to these. The shelves were very loud to put up, the metal all sang out and we ended up each donning ear muffs.
We covered the shelves with black plastic polythene which we had left over from a summer waterslide, and as you can see a clear polythene front space, which is useful for peering in without opening. Yes, the space isn’t air locked which means that the dehumidifier does dry more than the growing booth, but at this trial stage we’re OK with that.
We had some deep bath hydroponic trials going already but the lower daylight levels had brought the basil leaf growth to a near standstill. As an experiment, we placed the yellowing plants into the booth for a 14 hours of full spectrum LED light to see if it made any difference. And after 3 days the colour in the leaves is certainly far greener and healthier it its appearance.