LED First Harvest 2013

Under the lights

Under the lights

These greens were targeted for Thanksgiving but my timing is a little off.  Someone said Thanksgiving was late this year?  In the harvest picture below, from bottom left, clockwise:

  • Cilantro:  Calypso, which takes cool weather, bolts slowly and can be grown as cut and come again.
  • Shiso:  Aka Perilla; this is a red variety that I pick small for its color.  It does put out more leaves after being cut and has a very muted, almost-mint flavor.
  • Mizuna:  The common green variety.  I like the results of growing it under lights as outside, it seems to attract every chewing insect known.  Until growing it inside, I’ve always had to eat holey leaves.
  • Purple Mizuna:  See the single leaf in the middle of the board, with spoon for sizing.  My latest trial and I dunno?  I was thinking it was too little leaf surface to use up space under the lights and it’s skeletal shape is a bit off-putting, but it has the nicest peppery flavor.  It made my last egg salad sandwich quite elegant.
  • Spinner with Red Sails and Simpson’s Elite Lettuce
  • Majoram:  I got the nicest tasting marjoram plant at Lyman Estate’s herb sale this spring; normally I would let it die this winter but it’s SO good that I started cuttings under the light.  They weren’t happy; I’ve lost all but one; it’s more stem than leaves and I keep cutting it back without improvement.  But if I can just string this one plant along until next season, the genetics are there.
LED harvest

LED harvest

Total harvest this year so far has been about 12 oz.  Very fresh and pretty; organic, too.  The organic fertilizer that I’m using is based on fish pooh and kelp.  Sundays, when I fertilize, are smelly.  And I’ve learned from experience to only mix what I need.  It gets truly abominable when it sits.  It’s interesting that a few days after fertilizing, most of the smell is gone, well-metabolized by the fast growing plants.

 

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2 Responses to LED First Harvest 2013

  1. Raven says:

    I LOVE this. I need to try it. Do you grow cherry tomatoes too?

    Off to read the rest of your blog posts about it!

    • Esther says:

      So far, I’ve stuck with things that will grow at chilly basement temps. And also things that will stay pretty much at one consistent height. Short; like greens. When tall things are added, there are questions about how deeply the lights can reach into the canopy, the mathematics of it suggest that the light drops off quickly the farther away the leaves are from the plant. Having said that, when I switch their function to seedlings for the summer garden, I’ve had some nice and large tomato plants, putting out blossoms, even. So I do want to try some Sweet Million cherry toms at some point. But they will need at least bottom heat.