Paul Nickerson

Posts Tagged ‘Indorm’

InDorm Potatoes Update: Piling

In Alternative Agriculture, Gardening on January 31, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Over this past weekend, my two of my potato plants shot up drastically. I think this was due to the fact that I was not there to turn their light on for a couple of days. Regardless, it gives me the opportunity to update you all on the container, and show you the next step in InDorm Potato Gardening.

To recap, the purpose of growing potatoes in an upright container, such as a pail, is that you can pile dirt higher around the growing plant. In typical farming, potatoes are planted in long furrows. As the plant grows upward, the furrow is filled in, allowing potatoes to grow along the buried section of the stem. Due to the exposed rows, piling dirt to any real height can prove difficult, allowing for only a small section of a potato plant to produce potatoes. In a container, however, you can easily add soil to the bucket as the plant grows, allowing you to bury up to a number of feet worth of plant, greatly increasing the yield of a single plant.

As you can see in the photo, two of the plants have grown about six inches high. At this point, I simply pile potting soil, with a mix of vermiculture compost, around the stems of the plants. Once the plant continues to grow another few inches, I will again add more soil. Continuing this until harvest. Unfortunately, the other two plants are lagging behind, so I piled the soil on the one half of the bucket, and am hoping the other two plants will follow quick behind.

Plants Before Piling

Plants After Piling

InDorm Pineapple Attempt #2

In Propagation on January 4, 2011 at 12:53 am

Pineapple Attempt #2

I have previously attempted to water-root a pineapple top. Unfortunately, due to the fact that I used a pineapple that had been completely cut in half, including the top, it was very susceptible to bacterial infections. A mold quickly began to grow along the cut edges of the top. I decided to trash that plant, and try again.

This time I am using a fresh top from a pineapple I bought from a grocer. I twisted the top off of the pineapple, peeled off the bottom inch of leaves, and planted it directly into succulent growing medium, to provide good drainage for the plant to grow. I will continue to keep you all updated on how it plays out!

InDorm Potato Farm

In Alternative Agriculture, Gardening on January 4, 2011 at 12:38 am

There is currently a lot of information online regarding Container Potatoes, therefore, I will not go into great detail about the intricacies of planting potatoes in bins. Instead, I am going to outline my InDorm system.

InDorm Potato Farm

The overall theory behind my system is to stack 5 gallon pails on top of each other in order to achieve growth along the whole length of the potato plant. After drilling a number of small holes in the bottom of one pale, I planted small pieces of seed potato.

As the plant grows, I will continue to bury the plant by filling the bucket little by little with compost and soil. Once the dirt reaches the top of the base pale, I will cut the bottom out of a second pale, and stack it on top, continuing the process.

System Light Cover

The pride and joy of my InDorm Potato Farm is the grow light. I cut a large hole out of the middle of a plastic lid, then pop-riveted an eight-inch, metal flood light to the cover. I put a 65 watt flood light in the lamp, which cast light directly over the plants. It also maintains a micro-climate of 85 degrees. This seems to be an ideal situation for healthy potato growth.

Indorm Aquaponics System Update

In Aquaponics on December 15, 2010 at 1:10 pm

Hey all! I posted another video on You tube of the system! Check it out!

From Trash to Grow Bed

In Propagation on December 8, 2010 at 11:15 pm

Stemming from my last discussion on condiment cups, I thought I would share with you all another object that I have found very useful for germinating seeds. At work each morning, one of the girls I work with prepares up to five container of strawberries for parfaits. Typically, the plastic strawberry containers are recycled; however, I have collected (not hoarded) a small stack of them to use as germination trays.

Germination Greenhouse

Having cut the lid away, I placed a shallow layer of small stones along the bottom of the container. This allows for good drainage, and keeps dirt from falling through the large hole at the bottom edges. Next, I filled the tray 3/4 full with highly nutrient potting soil. Gently press the soil evenly with your fingers. If the soil remains higher in the middle than on the edges, the depths of the seeds will vary.

I find it easiest to wet the soil prior to planting. This keeps the seeds from being disturbed during initial watering.  Finally, plant the seeds according to their prescribed depth.

To create a humid environment, cut the lid and rim off of another container. When the second container is turn upside down it can be placed over the soil, resting just between the soil and the inside edge of the main growing bed. This will help to keep the soil moist and will create a wonderful environment for germination. I placed my container on a plate, allowing me to water it from the bottom. As you can see in the picture, the seeds have already begun to germinate. I planted about 12 tomato, broccoli, and cabbage seeds on December 3rd. The broccoli had all sprouted by December 6th, the tomatoes the 7th, and the cabbage began sprouting today!

Another method is to leave the original lid attached to the container, and simply use it to close the system; however, you will quickly need to remove it, because it will hinder the growth of the new seedlings.

Strawberry Update

In Aquaponics on December 8, 2010 at 1:13 am

Strawberry (Bottom Right)

I previously posted that I was having a problem with the strawberries. When I originally introduced the plant into the system, the leaves began to die off. I reduced the plants exposure to water by elevating it in the system. I also removed the dying leaves, in hope that new growth would form from the main body of the plant.

Newest Growth At Base Of Strawberry

After a couple of weeks, the health of the plant seemed to improve. I slowly worked to introduce the plant to a normal water cycle. A few weeks ago, I successfully replanted the strawberry plant in the grow bed. Here are some pictures of the result! In the second picture of the base of the plant, you can only see four of the newest leaves. There are two more sets of three leaves that are slowly opening up. They should be fully exposed in the next couple days!

The System With Plants!

In Alternative Agriculture, Aquaponics on November 1, 2010 at 9:10 pm

The video does not seem to be working well… Something to do with the format required to post it online. Because of this, I decided I should post some pictures of the system with the plants. I am working to retake the video on another camera. Hopefully I will be able to post that sometime in the next couple of days!

Grow Bed

Grow Bed Bird's Eye

InDorm Aquaponics

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