A Jungle in My Window

My view of the back yard is obstructed by green. This is a good thing! I have plants over a foot tall in my hydroponics system. Currently have about 70 plants in it, and we will add about another 20 sometime over the next few days. Working on building another system to hold about another 80 also. That oughta be enough to keep us in lettuce and broccoli at least.

Most of the plants are in early stages of growth. The lettuce is big enough that I can rob it of a few leaves for a salad each evening – somewhere around 15 lettuce plants are big enough to do that with. The broccoli raab is almost ready to sprout some buds –  about eight plants growing like fury! Half the plants are still very small though, barely started, many still in the two-leaf stage, some finally sprouting a second tier of leaves. The chard has half-sized leaves, about 5 per plant, but is not ready to be able to use – the few leaves I could gather would not be enough to be of value yet.

The big stuff is finally big enough that it is now difficult to distinguish individual plants. And some experimental bush beans are turning out to be more like pole beans without the tendrils, weaving their way up through the other plants, finally forming buds that look like they may be blossoms.

After working so hard for it, and waiting weeks and weeks to get this far, it is satisfying to be able to selectively harvest once a day. But I am impatient for more of it to bear, because I need SO much more than once a day! And the kids need it too.

So right now, I look at this as a beginning, but know it is not the whole thing. Still much work to do to get it to do what we really need it to do. Overuse at the moment could postpone that day, so I reluctantly restrain myself from grabbing salads whenever I need.

Logistically, is it possible to provide for all of our veggie needs this way? I still don’t know. Because I don’t yet know how long growth takes in this system, or how much each is capable of bearing, between those plants that bear repeatedly, and those that bear once and need replaced, and all of those that fall somewhere between.

I am already planting once a week, a new round of about 20 more plants. Eventually we may need to step that up. There is the garden for the summer also, which will take the burden off the system temporarily, though I am CERTAIN my daughter will want the indoor bug-free ones instead of the outdoor grown ones!

No point to make, really, just a ramble to give you an idea of what is happening with it, and what our results were.

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