Plant Growth After Three Weeks

Many of the plants have been in the Aquaponic System for about three weeks now.  They’re growing fairly well considering the system is not quite mature yet.

Some newly planted net pots were placed in the system just a few days ago.  We’ll continue to plant new seeds and seedlings in the rafts every week or two so we’ll have a continuous harvest throughout the year.

We have also been testing a new medium in the net pots.  Below shows a Sure To Grow cube that is surrounded by Hydroton to hold it in place.  The seed is in the center of the cube…

So far, the Beans are the fastest growing plants in the system…

The Tomato plants are also growing quickly…

The Squash isn’t doing too bad either…

Here are some of the Lettuce and other leafy veggies…

Here is a pea plant that’s ready to climb…

It’s been fun watching the tiny seeds grow and become real plants.  Actually, it’s truly amazing that a tiny ball that we call a seed can transform into a plant that produces food for us.  It’s a miracle that we want our children to experience and enjoy for the rest of their lives.

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43 Responses to Plant Growth After Three Weeks

  1. megcorey says:

    Those are pretty cool!

  2. Everything looks fantastic. It’s all so healthy and growing so well and so quickly. Your system clearly is working!

    I have a question though. Aren’t your plants too close together? I certainly wouldn’t plant that much so close in the ground. They’ll all be shading and crowding each other in no time. Especially the squash – how are you going to stop it smothering everything else?

    • Yes, you’re right. They’re probably too close, but I wanted to experiment and see how close we could get them. When they’re in the ground, we have to consider the available nutrients in the soil, but when they’re in the aquaponic system the nutrients are constantly being added to the water by the fish and then the nutrients flow by the roots as the water circulates. If the leaves shade other plants too much we’ll thin them out, even if we have to transplant some of them into our raised bed gardens. Squash, Pumpkins, and similar plants will be on the edges of the growbed so they can grow up the trellises or over the sides of the growbed so they don’t cover the other plants. Well, that’s the plan. I hope it works.

  3. Your plants look great! My husband has plans of doing what you are doing, so we are learning quite a bit from watching you. Thank you for sharing the details of your project.

    • Your husband will love this type of system. It’s actually fun.

      I made the mistake of mentioning your yurt to my wife today. Now I’m worried we’ll be renting out our house soon and moving into a yurt with a chicken coop. What’s next? Beekeeping? 🙂

  4. thebeadden says:

    Everything looks great! This is such an interesting concept for growing. Looking forward to seeing your posts as the seasons progresses.

  5. pbmgarden says:

    It is amazing to see how you’ve managed all this. Plants looks great!

  6. Lora K. says:

    looking good. yes, it’s that learning experience that makes it fun. and when you grow an impressive looking plant, the more excited you are to plant even more. congratulations.

  7. Ter says:

    Very impressive! Now I’m anxious to get our garden started. I wish our weather would make up its mind!

  8. Laal says:

    Fun stuff, thanks for sharing all the pictures. Are supplies for this type of growing expensive? What are the Sure to Grow cubes made out of? Just curious as I know next to nothing about this kind of growing.

    • Hi Laal! We also have raised bed gardens and we’re finding that the supplies for the aquaponics system cost about as much as our raised beds, but we are growing so much more in the aquaponics system.

      According to the FAQ’s on the manufacturer’s website, Sure To Grow is made of PET1, the same material that most soda bottles are made of. They are not reusable, but thy are recyclable. We are also experimenting with other types of media, so next year we may only plant with a reusable media, such as Hydroton or shale. The challenge with this media is how to plant very small seeds in something that allows the seed to drop out the bottom. We may need to use a little Sure To Grow to hold the seeds in the Hydroton or shale until it sprouts. After a harvest, we can recover the media and use it again, which would reduce our costs.

  9. WhiteRabbit says:

    Great system – thanks for posting all the pics~! Namaste~*

  10. I can’t quit coming back to look at these pictures. This is absolutely fascinating to me! How does the taste of these veggies compare with ones grown in soil?

    • Hopefully I’ll be able to answer your question within the next month. We just started using the aquaponic system, so we’re waiting for our first harvest. I feel like a child counting down the days until Santa comes. Time is going by so slowly.

  11. Iona Farm says:

    Wow! As soon as I’m done typing, I’m dragging my husband off the tractor and in to look at your pics! (He’s always been interested in growing aquaponically/hydroponically–are they considered the same?) Everything looks incredible–wish I could say the same up here for our plants in plain ol’ dirt! And the talapia are beautiful! Thanks for stopping in at our site so we could discover yours!

  12. Seasonsgirl says:

    Wow they all look so healthy 🙂 Good job 🙂

  13. babso2you says:

    Finally catching up after the vacation! Wow — looking really good! Can’t wait to see more!

  14. Very interesting! Yesterday we got 8 inches of snow and your green plants make me so envious.

  15. nfroio says:

    Wow! You guys have a bounty in the making! What an amazing array of plants, I will be interested to see how they grow. The first thing that came to mind about the trellis system would be a simple string trellis system that can be adjusted up/down to support all of the climbing plants?

    I saw an episode of Victory Garden (I believe) when they visited a commercial tomato nursery and they were using a string trellis system that I think would work great for the tight grouping of your plantings.

  16. nnadine says:

    Really like your blog – we were thinking of putting in an aquaponics system, but haven’t gotten around to it yet – We’re in western NC, so a lot of the weather, etc conditions would apply to us, too – we tried chickens, but raccoons, hawks and neighborhood dogs wiped out all 30 within 3 months… so we’re sticking to growing & foraging mushrooms and our 100×100 veggie garden this year.

    • That’s a big garden, or a small farm. Impressive either way. Sorry to hear about your chickens. That’s terrible.

      I lived in Bryson City for a few years. Love the mountains, greenery, and white water rivers. Western NC is so beautiful.

      • nnadine says:

        We’ve done the Raft & Rail excursion from there and had a fabulous time – I love working from home so I can take advantage of the weather to get the best kayaking and hiking in. The convenience of growing so many great fresh veggies really helps my healthy eating plan not to mention the help on the grocery bill (!?) no manufacturer’s coupons for tomatoes!

  17. melissakoski says:

    What a lovely garden you have sprouting. I found myself muttering “squash!” “lettuce!” “nasturtium!” looking at the beautiful photos. It’s great motivation to get planting.

  18. Venessa says:

    Amazing! I’m impressed by how your system is working!

  19. Fay Moore says:

    Wowser! Very inspirational. The photos are great. Looking forward to more shots in a couple of weeks. It will be jungle city!

  20. Now I know what those little clay balls are called: Hydroton. Thank you for that. We received a bulb over the holidays planted in that medium, but I didn’t know what it was.

  21. These are fantastic. I am really looking forward to seeing you yeild. Our tomatoes are developing nicely. The cherry tomatoes are huge! Also, how much water is your system evaporating? We are having issues finding a way to trellis the tomatoes that won’t damage them as the water level changes? Maybe prop the mats? I dunno. Any thought would be greatly appreciated!
    -Paul

    • We haven’t been measuring evaporation loss yet. When the water drops noticeably, we just add water. I’ll find out and let you know.

      We’ve been guiding the beans, peas, tomatoes, and other plants up the trellis to insure they have at least three inches of slack at the bottom. So far, our rafts have never dropped more than an inch, so 3″ gives us a large margin for error. Hopefully it’s enough.

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