Gardening

Gardening: Low-Maintenance Lettuce Garden

One of my goals for this year is to make a low-maintenance lettuce growing system for harvesting fresh lettuce everyday. I have tried indoor and outdoor gardening methods and I still keep trying for more improvements. So far, my lettuce garden system settled down to this format in the picture below.

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  1. Planters filled with neutral gravel
    • can prevent snail and slug
  2. Red party cups for lettuce
    • Made holes at bottom of the cups for roots to grow through the gravel
  3. Moisture control soil potting mix by Miracle-Gro
  4. Place them under shadow – avoid burning from the Sunshine
  5. Pour water from the bottom of the planters
    • take a break if it rains

This allows us to harvest lettuce every morning to make sandwiches for lunch and salad. Good thing is it is always fresh. No need to get them from grocery stores any more.  Instead of hydroponics which requires grow lights and some cleaning sometimes, this is vert efficient with minimum efforts except the first time when I built this system 🙂 Hydroponic systems cost more than this system.

Gardening

Gardening: 2017 Feb Veggie Shelf

After two months, my winter gardening is getting under good control by using indoor garage and a heavy duty rack with LED lights. I think I stil need to improve more like keep control of temperature, add thermal foil insulation, and better efficiency.

Garage gardening during winter definately keeps vegetables away from frost. Frost caused big damage to my crops in January. Once roots and stems got damaged by frost, it is extremely hard to recover even for strong crops like green onion.

Currently it takes quite efforts to make recycled planters. Also, vegetables grow slowly because of low temperature. I am still learning fertilizer, soil and hydroponics. I am experimenting soil vs hydroponics. Let’s see what is the best solution for winter harvesting.

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The above picture is my Veggie Rack inside garage. I attached two LED lights now for more light intensity to 1st and 3rd shelves. The LED light coverage is too wide, so I need to narrow it towards the crops. Germination doesn’t require light, so they can be at the bottom. The right picture shows the winter green leaves progress like Chinese Cabbage, Bok Choy, Lettuce. Spinach started growing better now, so I moved them up to the 3rd shelf from 4th shelf. There is still a lot of space left for new crops. Feeling excited now at end of weekend 🙂