Monday, April 28, 2008

the survivors

day 15
you'll see the greens got a stay of execution!
i used a bunch yesterday in some soup (thats the cropped right side in the photo)
however, there's now so many it'll take a large salad to eat them all...i'll be sure to do that today

Saturday, April 26, 2008

the final day

day 13
the greens are so ready. they've started to drink a lot more nutrient-- now there's a bush!
so the end is near, i'll harvest enough for the cheese, salad and sandwiches tomorrow, with so many available it'll take a few days to use them.

i have an admission to make; these are truly the first, successful plants i've ever grown from seed.
The prepara power plant made it easy...and i'm going to grow basil that'll be great for my home made pizzas and sandwiches...if there's as big a success with the basil, as i've had with the spicy green mix, i'll be able to make pesto too.

Friday, April 25, 2008

new nutrient

it's day twelve of growth.
after i took these snaps i thought it time to try a new nutrient....after all, the plants are near to harvesting and they've been growing strongly and healthily.
we have had some outstanding results, at the test lab, from a nutrient made by general hydroponics and i'd run out of the dyna-gro nutrient (once my supply of prepackaged nutrient was gobbled up by the greens, i had used dyna-gro -it's general purpose nature and it's simplicity to mix =a big plus).
i'll let you know whether the greens look any different tomorrow....i'd like to eat them on Sunday.

In another photo, you'll see i lifted the canopy of greens to check on the sprayer jets and as i peered in to the water well i could see very full and healthy roots filling out the chamber.
and yes, the jets were all working fine. (had they been blocked, i could have poked them with a bent paper clip...a lo-tech, yet simple solution for unblocking)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

adolescent we're really growing up!

i'm eleven days in from planting the seed.
last night i noticed some of the cotyledons leafed plants had developed their adolescent - grown up leaves. this is very good news. the plants will all be shaping up to look like the picture on the seed cover.
its a great sight...i've taken a bunch of shots, you'll see the more complex shaped leaves with some hairy fluff are the new ones i'm excited about.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

here's the cheap lamp 'sunlight' booster

btw its been 9 days since the seeds were planted

the grow bulb was purchased online for $16 and the lamp housing and lead + socket were bought at the local hardware store for $8...i have to say though they look a little out of place in my kitchen..'as cheap as chips'
i have it plugged in for roughly 16 hours a day, without a timer...i just switch it on when i make a coffee in the am

Monday, April 21, 2008

these little buggers are spicy!

i tried a couple of the greens and they do pack a spicy punch...they left my tongue tingling.

as they were growing i worried they were getting too 'leggy', you'll see from the images posted on friday last week how the stems were lengthening but the leaves weren't growing.
i took to google and found a few basic tips;and lo and behold they both seem to be working, as you can see from todays images.

1. add more 'sunlight'
(i hung a grow lamp above the power can just make its rim out in one image)
i'll write about it tomorrow, but it's a super cheap option
(saves buying a new house with a brighter window sill?)

2. i brushed my fingers lightly through the leaves and 'messed up' its 'do'....seems that helps aerate their tops and spreads them out enough for air to pass through.

anyway, should be time to harvest them soon, at this rate.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Saturday, April 19, 2008

a little about hydroponics

the power plant is a hybrid type device. it takes on the nature of aeroponics during its first weeks, as the nutrient mists are feeding the seed while it propagates. after the roots start finding their way into the reservoir the unit changes into a hydroponics system. the roots drink from the aerated nutrient.
wikipedia does a good job of explaining the details

one of the new lessons we learned is that the nutrient should be refreshed after 2 weeks or so, either dispose of the old or freshen up with some water / new nutrient the liquid level drops in the reservoir the concentrations of pH and chances of the nutrient strength increase, so we found that changing out with fresh nutrient / water helps keep the device running at an even keel.

when we were designing the device we learned a lot from actually trial and error. we built some crude jigs and contraptions and we read relevant texts and consulted experts in the field.
a favorite resource of ours is worms way. they have fun stores and a great catalog. i'm plugging them from a professional level, as i respect the enthusiasm they have for the growing system.
(most of the 'kit' they sell is crude and amateurish, but a huge amount of fun to put together...oh and home depot / Lendys our local hardware store, provided a lot more bits 'n pieces too.)

Friday, April 18, 2008

a micro-forest

as you can see the crop is shooting up.
i hope they start to develop some more 'micro green' resemblance soon!
we look everyday, first thing, and discuss what we'll use them for.
certainly look like they'd grow nicely into something i'd eat on a cracker with some fine cheese.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

micro greens- spicy

i found the seed pack!
we used about half the pack, all said and done...way too many seeds...they are so bunched up on the sponge....the instructions state 1/4 inch spacing...ours are on top of eachother, however they are shooting up

the packet says it contains;
sawtooth mustard, peppergrass cress. cabbage red acre, mustard red giant and radish china rose.
i never knew there were so many types of greens...but i'm very glad there are.

the pkt also says they should be harvested at 1 to 2 inches high...not too long to wait, at the rate they're growing (the pkt says 5-10 days to emerge, our power plant puts us way ahead)

micro greens = "good for garnish on soups, on crackers, in sandwiches, or in salads. Micro greens are the newest and greatest food in gourmet restaurants..."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

earlier this morning

the sun shone brightly today and the little plants grew well

chopped top

so my daughter and i decided to plant some interesting mixed greens (i'll get the exact name later when i can find that packet)

we didn't get all the seeds in the slit, some of the seeds strayed onto the sponge top, so i hacked up my top cover to see whether they'd all do well....lo and behold -i have a nice early crop growing.

we did this on Sunday
my steps to get here were;
mixed the nutrient, as it said on package
poured nutrient mix over the grow sponge
filled up the container
placed seeds onto sponge (and all over it!)
plugged power plant timer, in a sunny spot in my kitchen
placed paper 'seed curtain' on top of slot

next day i peeped and saw some seeds had a gel covering them...thats good news

after work on Tuesday i looked and the seedlings had started to grow!
i took the seed cover off and they're reaching upwards.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


what's new? the intro

i wanted to write something about my experiences as a newbie indoor gardener and design director of the new power plant products from

it seems everyday we are blessed with new ideas and uses for the power plant, i'll include pictures wherever possible.

firstly, here's a picture of the product and above it's packaging