Hydroponic greenhouse tomatoes

In our hydroponic greenhouse, our tomatoes are going crazy. The beefsteaks are big producers. The Persimmons they are orange tomatoes are just starting to bloom and the romas are newly planted.

All the hydroponic greenhouse plants were started from seed and they are in gravel with a timer that waters them with nutrients 3 x a day then it recycles it back to the main tank for the next time.

We keep the suckers trimmed off them which allows a better production of tomatoes but you can plant the suckers in water and let them root and we have been doing that. Now we have an additional 35 plants to do something with.  We have given away at least 30 plants.

We have already planted some outside so we can compare the production and health of the plants. We have some planted in buckets and some in a no-till garden.

We have 8 tomatoes in dutch buckets that are beefsteak. This variety does better if you let them get taller. Ours are 7 and 8ft tall now. We have strings of rope across the top of the greenhouse to guide them along and hold the weight of the plants and the tomatoes.

All the years of gardening we have done we have never had this much success with tomatoes. Last count 7 of the 8 plants had 143 tomatoes on them. We are so ready to be able to taste these tomatoes. There are four that are starting to turn colors.

I have a funny feeling we will be selling tomatoes, freezing them and making lots of good stuff with them.

Enjoy life and do something you truly enjoy because it will give you such pleasure and peace at the end of the day.

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The beauty of a weed

Even I can find the beauty in a weed and it’s flowers.

I love taking pictures of flowers but especially using my macro lens because it shows all the little details we might not see otherwise.

These are some of my favorite weeds to take pictures of. They are called ” Daisy Fleabane” but the flowers are truly amazing when you look at them up close.

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Hydroponic Gardening

I have planted the first seeds in the rockwool that are for the inside plants.

This time of year it is so hot for lettuce, spinach, cabbage and swiss chard but if you grow them indoors hydroponically it is a win win situation. Those are the seeds I just planted.

I have ordered many supplies for the big greenhouse outside we are waiting for the plastic to arrive. The kind I ordered is 10 mil. woven clear plastic it has a longer life span than the regular clear in fact I think it is 7 years compared to 4.

We are also doing shade cloth since Texas is so hot it will allow for better ventilation. The shade cloth will go first then the woven plastic and we can raise the plastic up and open the screen doors to ventilate the greenhouse.

We will be doing several types of hydroponics the dutch buckets and the Kratky method are two and we may even do a third.

I have to get a load of sand delivered and then the pond liner that is 22 mil. will go over that because this hydroponic set up is a sterile environment there will be no dirt inside of this greenhouse. Only water, buckets, container, plants grown from seeds, and nutrients.

I will post pictures as things start happening hopefully in the next few weeks.

The colors of Crepe Myrtles

Here are some of our crepe myrtles.

We only have one purple one and one red one we have numerous of the pink fushia ones and one white one.

I really do not know how many we have but I think it is around 10 -12 of them. Some are big as a tree because they are much older.

I love crepe myrtle time.

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Pretty in pink

Roses have this softness about them they are so delicate and pretty but the petals are very fragile.

I love knockout roses mainly because they are much easier to grow and they require less attention than standard roses.

My favorite time to photograph flowers is in the early morning light when they still have dew on the petals.

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Watermelon time

Do you know how to pick out a good watermelon?

First of all, thump the melon you want to get sort of a hollow sound from the thump.

Secondly look for one that has a creamy beige underside this means it was on the ground long enough to ripen. You do not want it to be white it must be cream colored.

If the watermelons still on the vine look for a curling of where the vine is attached.

We do not plant our watermelons we have a dirt pile we toss them on upside down this keeps the birds from eating the seeds and allows the melon to rot and create mulch for the fallen seeds. I only buy Texas watermelons at the store because they seem to be the best to grow in our area.

This is our first year to have watermelons during the right season most of the time we have them in December.

Our biggest watermelon so far weighed a whopping 32.6 pounds it is the one in the pictures below. This watermelon had just been picked so it was not washed off yet it still had some dirt on it.

As you can see when it was cut the color was a bright red and it was sweet.

This was watermelon number 2 and Sunday we picked number 3. So far number 1 and 3 have been the sweetest and they came off the same side of the dirt pile but we are not sure it if was the same vine or not. Watermelon vines grow like crazy and can spread as much as 10 feet or more from the actual start of the plant.

We cut them up and put them in ziplock bags in the refrigerator they stay good for 5 or 6 days and they get ice cold which is my favorite way to eat watermelon.

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