A descriptive journal of hydroponic gardening projects; this blog replaces a paper journal, and is intended for my record keeping purposes. It is not intended to teach hydroponic gardening, but is rather a record, including editorial comments, of what has worked for me.
The above photo is of Spicy Greek Basil being grown hydroponically in a mason jar that was painted gray to inhibit algae. This is a no brainer method of growing, as it requires hardly any maintenance, and, have you priced basil in the market during winter? The jar, a standard 4" net pot filled with perlite topped with a quarter inch of coir sprinkled with activated charcoal and you have a nifty little hydroponic garden, Oh, I forgot to mention a short strip of felt to act as a wick. Add the seed and fill the jar with water and a dilute solution of water and any good soluble fertilizer and you are good to go.
Forcing bulbs is also a way to add a little color and fragrance to the house during winter. Several types of bulbs can easily be forced into bloom with again no maintenance.
I have always had a passion for photographing wildlife. It has the same thrill as hunting, but without the blood, gore and recrimination of killing a living animal.
When the weather is really lousy there is always table-top photography to pass the time. The above photo I have named R2D2 meets H2O. Oh, the joy of being retired!
Just because it is winter it does not mean you have to discontinue gardening, you can always find something to grow, and somehow to grow, in the great indoors. As for myself, I am growing zinnias, carnation and a hyacinth bulb.
The carnation is Miss Aroma and it is very fragrant, but just my luck the seed I planted produced a white flower and I would have liked some color.
The zinnia is Thumbelina but unfortunately it as no aroma.
The hyacinth does have a nice aroma and it is going to be pink.
All are being grown hydroponically one way or the other.
Seeing as there is not much gardening to do this time of year it gives me a great excuse to get outdoors and do some photography.
Recent surgery on both eyes has returned my vision to where it was when I was in my twenties, so it is like a whole new world and I intend to take advantage of it.
I have been itching to try my new Nikon DSLR to get familiar with the different settings and lenses but my images were out of focus, so here are some examples of what it can do now that my vision has been corrected.
I would like to digress from gardening to do a post about something I found and would like to share with fellow photographers.
Recently I read something about a plugin called the Nik Collection being available for free some time ago. I like free, so I thought I would like to try the free version and searched for it online. It did not take long to find a site that still allowed users to download the free version. There is a new version, but not being a professional I was happy to get the free version even though it does not have all the new bells and whistles. https://nikcollection.dxo.com/nik-collection-2012/
The plugin was used to modify a mundane photo of the Martin Dunham reservoir in Grafton, New York. I took an extreme approach and with a few clicks really modified the photo, to the point that it now looks like a painting from the Hudson River School Of Artists.
Of course, you don't have to be so radical when using the plugin, but it was interesting to try the different features to get a feel on how they work.
As my test plant was doing nicely I decided to deflask one more plant. Then, I saw another promising plant I just could not throw away, then another, and another and so on, until at eight I decided enough is enough. I will ask my wife to get rid of the excess plants before I have a house full of them.
All in all, I am very satisfied with this experiment. It took a little over a year from the time I pollinated the flowers until I had seedlings.
Early in 2017, we had a speaker at the orchid society meeting and as is customary the speaker brought plants for sale. The speaker receives no fee but member plant sales are suspended if the speaker is bringing plants. By the time I arrived all he had remaining were dendrobiums that he had hybridized himself and I bought one just to help offset his travel costs. I don't know anything about dendrobiums and never had one previously. At the same time, I was experimenting with Keiki paste, a hormone paste that when applied to a node may cause a new plant to form. Some paste was applied to a node on the plant and I promptly forgot about it. Last winter the plant appeared to have died, which I could not understand. There was, however, a small plant growing from the end of one of the canes. I removed and planted the tiny plant and discarded the dendrobium I had purchased. Last month we had a Ph.D. from the American Orchid Society whose topic was, you guessed it, dendrobiums. It seems it is normal for them to drop their leaves and go dormant, so my plant was alive when I discarded it. This week, I noticed a strange plant with the Cattleyas and picked it up to examine it. I was shocked to find it was the Keiki from the dendrobium I had discarded! Well yeah, I goofed, but I like the new plant better than the parent plant.