LEDs again

I’ve purchased a new, larger light and I was hoping to have pictures of the new, more permanent basement setup.  Between poor design and construction skills, it’s not ready yet.  So here is a quick status, with pictures, instead.  Click on the pictures for a bigger view.

root structure on old lettuce

root structure on old lettuce

The older lettuces are showing signs of stress with more tip burn on the outer leaves.  I was not sure how long they would last in 2″ soil cubes.  But there’s still plenty to harvest from them.  I will probably harvest and throw away about half of the older plants to make room for the second planting which is approaching maturity. 

picked lettuce tip burn after a week in the fridge

picked lettuce tip burn after a week in the fridge

Some of the picked lettuces developed brown tips in the lettuce keeper after about a week in the fridge.  This is not the bad stuff, which happens on the inner leaves of growing plants.  However, it gives me something to improve upon.  While the simple cause of tip burn is not enought calcium uptake, it seems that its not a problem that can usually be solved by making more calcium

old lettuce plants
old lettuce plants

available to the plant. 

Low light sometimes contributes, but too much light will, too!  I’ll try to compile a some of the resources that I’ve found or that friends have sent me in a different post, specifically about this issue in lettuces. 

basil

The basil is getting two hours of low speed “wind” a day from a fan to, hopefully, strengthen the stems.  This is in addition to being on a heat mat.  And it’s still growing exceptionally slowly.  Growing warm weather plants may not be worth the energy; hard to measure since I’ve mixed them in this temporary setup. 

Also trying to get more variety by starting micro greens.  It was a package of mixed greens and that may be a mistake. 

micro greens

micro greens

When you are working with such short development cycles, if one green is a few days behind another it creates problems.  And you can tell these would like to have a bigger share of the light.

My goal is to blaze a trail (if feasible) for us northern gardners who have a spare bedroom or some unused basement space and who want to extend their growing season inside with LED lights.  I don’t find many others in my research; the most help is coming from greenhouse growers.  But here is yet another innovative business trying to grow under LEDs for commercial use:  Podponics.

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