More testing has been occuring at home prior to our website opening. We planted some new seeds in our Produce Pod™ Family unit to see how they would fare in our system.
We planted the following:
- Lettuce Mix
- Napa Cabbage
- Bell Peppers
- Red Cabbage
- Asian greens
We planted these items in a mediterranean coastal climate in May (late in the spring season). We setup the timer to go on and off every 15 minutes. This would allow for good watering, yet allow some airing out of the roots and energy savings.
Everything grew but we had more success with some plants than others. The kale, chard, napa cabbage, Asian greens, dill, arugula, romaine and lettuce did awesome! The biggest surprise was the watermelon. We have 3 fruits growing and they are getting bigger every day. I'm still in shock. I knew we designed an efficient unit but this is better than what I had hoped for! Imagine growing watermelon in such a small unit! The napa cabbage grew well but it didn't get thick like the Napa cabbage I use to buy in Hawaii. The red cabbage was small. The parsley and cilantro was a bit skimpy which I attribute to the hot weather. Those usually prefer cooler temperatures. The melon vine has many, many yellow flowers on a few very long vines but no melons. I'll have to research why. The cannabis is teenie tiny. After talking to some growers I've come to the conclusion that the cannabis needs dryer feet (roots). I'm guessing if one whole Pod was used for Cannabis only, and the timer was adjusted to either go on for a shorter amount of time more often with longer watering pauses in between, that it would grow much better. Also, we started it out in another test pod with another organic nutrient in the hot greenhouse. It was too hot for all the plants growing in that system so we took one of the cannabis plants out and stuck it in our Pod outside. At that point I think it was just too late for the little guy. The peppers we planted later and are still a bit small. We also stuck them under the kale and larger plants so they haven't gotten as much sun.
We learned a lot from this planting. We learned that vining plants such as melons, and tomatoes should be installed on the lower tiers and allow to spread on the ground. This also allows smaller full-sun loving plants to flourish. We learned that tall upright growing plants do well on the top level tier like the dill and Napa cabbage that shot right up. Bushy plants like Kale, chard and peppers also do well at the top tier. Lettuces and arugula do well on the middle tier as they get partial shade from the top tier's bushy plants, especially if you place them in a west facing position, as the afternoon sun can be pretty intense for those delicate greens.
We added two more Produce Pods™ to our balcony, but I'll save that for another post.