In this video, I show an easy way to test and make wicking systems from household materials. I show two easy DIY methods for installing wicks, and a way to test wicking material to make sure that it works properly. For the demonstration, I use a Basil plant and a propagated pepper clone.
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This video shows how to change nutrients on large Kratky systems. The same principles apply though, to small Kratky systems. My Bih Jolokia in the 45-gallon trash gan was starting to show some nutrient deficiencies. The solution had dropped down by 2/3 the original volume and pH and dropped to 4.1. I replaced with fresh nutrients keeping the same level as before.
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Greenjoy recently sent me their hydroponic indoor grow box for review. I’ve published two videos, one of the initial unboxing and setup, and the other after 30 days of use. The videos are below. You can find more information about the product here, but as of this writing, it is currently unavailable.
In the title, I put ‘MasterBlend’ in quotes, because in my video I’m using a different brand of 4-18-38 tomato fertilizer, partly because that is what I have on hand at the moment, but to also demonstrate that you don’t have to have the name brand of the product. Also, it mixes exactly the same way and yields the same results, so if you have the name brand version of the product, these steps will work fine.
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I’m growing a Malagueta x Khang Starr White Thai under the Sansi LED floodlight. Both the parent plants were grown under this light also. I’ve been using this light for almost a year now. Although it isn’t marketed as a grow light, it actually does a great job for both vegetative growth and fruiting. I’m also using it over two Kratky grown peppers, a ‘pepper in a can’ and some succulent plants. I noticed they have a newer one that is twice the size and power. I might try it out in the near future.
Note: Sansi sent me this light for free to evaluate.
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I want to see if restricting the root size to a reasonable area will encourage early fruiting, or if the plant will stay in extended veg mode. Last year I grew two plants in a 27-gallon tote, and they took forever to fruit, and the yield, although good, was not great. There were a lot of green pods on them at the very end of the season when it was turning cold. So eventually they would have produced more.
This year I’m using the same 27-gallon tote, but with one plant, and that is in a 5-gallon bucket insert. The bucket has small holes at the bottom and larger ones at the top (for air flow). The idea is, the roots will mostly be confined to the smaller container, while still having access to all the nutrients in the large tote. Andrew Higgenbottom did a similar experiment but used a much smaller inner container. I’m hoping the 5-gallon size will mitigate the issues he ran into. This isn’t a perfect experiment, as I’m not growing the same kind of plant side by side as a control, but I’m just comparing against what I saw last season. Last year I grew a StarrRacha Bonnet and a KhangSta Red in the same tote , both were in the extended veg mode most of the season. This year, in the root restricted setup, I’m growing what is supposed to be a KhangSta Red but is producing yellow pods. It’s from the same seed stock that Khang sent me, but I think it’s either crossed or just a yellow mutation of KhangSta Red since it’s still a little unstable.
I’m using Dyna-Gro 7-9-5 at just over 1 tsp/gallon, with ppm around 500. The tote has a float valve already installed, and I can hook up a reservoir later when needed to maintain a static nutrient level.
I set up two large Kratky hydroponic systems. One is in a 60-gallon pickle barrel, and the other in a 45-gallon trashcan. Here’s a video preview. I’ll post a more in-depth video showing the setup and the all the details of what I used, in about 30 days.
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This year I’ve transplanted most of my sprouts from the AeroGarden Bounty and my DIY system, into Styrofoam wicking cups. These are super easy and quick to make. They are nice intermediate vessels for the plants until being moved to their final location. These setups also provide more flexibility than standard double cups do. For instance, you could remove them from the bottom cup and set in something larger for the plant/s to drink from.
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I’ve called it the HLG plant because it’s the only one I’ve had under my Horticulture Lighting Group HLG-100 3000K light. The pepper plant is an unknown cross with Lightning Mustard Hab and has grown prolifically. I need to make room in the tent and make use of the light for this year’s pepper starts. So I pruned it way back, and trimmed the roots, and moved it from the 27-gallon tote to a 5-gallon bucket. I also changed the nutrients from Flora Nova Grow to Dyna-Gro 7-9-5. I’ll soon move it out of the tent entirely and put it under one of my red/blue LED lights. I’ll need to sanitize the grow tent and set up space for my new pepper plants.
Most of my pepper plants have been transferred out of the seed starting system and AeroGardens, into small wicking cups. I’ll probably put most of them in tote lids so they can all feed through the wicks out of the totes.
Here are some pics of the plant I just pruned back.