Paul Nickerson

Archive for September, 2012|Monthly archive page

Recent Video of Messiah College Aquaponics

In Uncategorized on September 18, 2012 at 9:28 pm

This video was shot prior to changing the crops over to Thai Basil, but the general ideas are the same. Enjoy!

 

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Aquaponic Crop Rotations

In Aquaponics, Gardening on September 13, 2012 at 10:11 pm

Since we erected the gutter system in the greenhouse, we have had a number of difficulties to overcome. One such problem that has arose is the fact that the shade cover only extends across half of the gutters, leaving the far side completely exposed.

The solution was simple. Crop rotations. One wonderful feature of the gutter system is that it is incredible modular. One the pump is turned off, the small supply lines can be removed, and each gutter can be moved as a unit. It was easiest to have one person stand on each end of the system and simply lift the gutters to swap locations. We moved all of the new seedlings to the inside, where they would be better protected, and relocated the larger plants outward where they would receive full sun.

Wicking Water and Saving Seedlings

In Aquaponics, Gardening, Propagation on September 7, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Last summer we had a number of problems planting lettuce seedlings in the system due to the fact that the root systems were underdeveloped upon transition, and the circulating fan tended to dry out the seedlings at the far end of the gutters.

Learning from our mistakes we decided it was necessary to attach a wick to the rock-wool in order to aid in supplying water to root systems of the seedlings. After running through ideas such as string, cotton thread, etc., we settled on small sections of paper towels, as they effectively wick water, yet dissolve away as the plant continues to develop. This method was used on the first planting of basil, and drastically increased the percentage of plants that took to the system successfully. We recently planted the second half of the system with basil using the same method.

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