Well I’ve been suffering with Influenza for over a week now and this posting is late but I haven’t missed a day at work or a day here!!! This week I looked into implementing my research into the projects already going.
I planted chives in-with the latest lettuce so we can start the companion planting from the germination cycle! The planting is a 1/20 ratio. There are still 6 ladybugs visible in the POD! Saturday we harvested and got a fair amount of product. Unfortunately the aphid population has taken its toll on the plant weight and it could have been better! The food for the ladybugs caused a fungus on the plants and now we know to put it In a small container at the end, near the air circulation and not on the plants! Without a microscope I wasn’t able to identify the fungus but we definitely know it came from the food for the ladybugs since it wasn’t present prior to the introduction of the ladybugs!
The lacewings would have produced a fungus to kill the aphids but this particular fungus only fed the aphid population but did not control it! The ladybugs seemed to do little to nothing as far as controlling the population of aphids, however the aphid population was running rabid prior to their introduction, earlier introduction may have had different results. I’m still researching the use of plant extracts to fight the aphid issue consuming the growth of any and all projects.
Neem is to start to be used 4/14/14 but like I stated before this can’t be the only choice of control since aphids adapt so quickly. So, multiple options would be more beneficial for us. I’m thinking of 3 to 4 options that rotate would keep the aphid population at bay and allow us to produce good weight product and uninhibited/mutated seedlings for sell.
I’m also working on the salt water system, trying to get some nitrates out of it, this is proving to be quite difficult! My assumption is that we are starving the system! Friday! Put 5g of whole fish food into the system. This whole food should take time to degrade and should give us some results starting with the ammonia! With approval I’ll keep working on this system too. Nitrates should be showing in the system with what I’ve already done since that hasn’t been the case, I’m determined to figure out why we can’t produce expected results, even though they are using basic biology. I love to work on issues and to do research! If there’s a problem, give it to me and I’ll find a solution! Food in–>ammonia–>nitrites–>nitrates, easy enough but this system isn’t following the rules. The short showing of nitrates was both right and wrong! But without ammonia and nitrites showing before I shouldn’t have been so quick to judge and be happy that we saw nitrates for the 2 days we did. I still think those we’re misleading and contaminated results. I continue to request the introduction of distilled H2O, and have made some progress with Justin. There is so much unneeded heavy metals in tap water it’s not funny and those definitely shouldn’t be used in a self sustaining environment!
The build-up of cyanide is going to cause false positives for multiple tests! Not to mention other tests that will be affected by heavy metals in a system that shouldn’t have hardly any! Cyanide occurs naturally in just about everything but is only safe and useful at certain levels. I’m enjoying this so much!!!