We have hydroponic troubles. The cucumbers were not looking so good this week after we switched out the nutrient solution last week. The leaves were yellowing badly and the plants were not looking very good. The troubles are most likely due to a nutrient deficiency in the plant. It is most likely an iron deficiency which causes yellowing of the leaves. We added some more nutrient solution to the buckets, as well as some Cal-Mag which is a mixture of calcium and magnesium. The pH of the water was also a bit low, so we added a bit of pH raising liquid. Cucumbers like a pH of around 6.0 to 7.0 and the buckets were sitting right around a 5.0 pH. I continued to check on the pH of the water each day I went to the farm this past week. The second day I checked the pH only 3 of the buckets had a low pH and on the third day only 2 of the buckets had low pH. Hopefully the additional nutrients and more neutral pH will get the cucumber plants growing healthy again!
As well, this week we stringed up the cucumber plants to give them some support when they start producing fruit. We had some fancy devices that we could hook onto the wire spread over the plants. Then we pulled the string down to the plants and tied it loosely around the bottom of the plant. Next, we carefully wrapped the string around the plants and then locked the string in place on the device. Now if we can just get their nutrition and pH back in check so they will start to produce cucumbers.
I will continue to check on the cucumbers this week, and hopefully they start to look better! This week I also did something that we hardly ever get to do on the farm: weeding. Just kidding, weeding never ends at the farm. This week we cleaned out a bed towards the front of the farm that will soon be a home for garlic, onions and leeks. I totally forgot to take a before picture to display how much work we put into the bed, but I guess just an after picture will have to do.
We also spent a lot of time weeding the bed with our lettuce, arugula, Tokyo bekana greens and more. I know I have said this before, but I always love seeing a bed right after it has been weeded. It always looks so good and it also means that the plants have more space to grow and less competition for nutrients and water, The lettuce in these beds was really starting to be taken over by weeds, so it was time for us to step in and clear out the weeds. I went thorough and weeded around the plants, while some other people used a saddle hoe to clean out the walkways. The grass weeds are one of my least favorite weeds to pull out, but seeing the finished row always makes it worth it.
I feel like we are on one of those HGTV shows where they show the different parts of your house before and after. Although these are even more exciting because that is food growing in there! It is finally starting to get a bit cooler here, and this Friday it was actually somewhat cool while I was out working at the farm. I think that may have been the first day that I wasn't sweating profusely as I left the Howdy Farm :D I am excited for what is to come during this next week at the Howdy Farm!