Saturday, February 19, 2011

Tomatoes are showing!

 The tomato bushes have been really going like a boeing.  The cultivar is called Ox heart, which grows tomatoes upto 1lb in size.  This guy is already about the size of a tennis ball..

They are also apparently an indeterminate varierty, which means they do not grow into a fixed shape, which means they can grow very very long if you string them up.  So I put up some 3.6m horizontal poles which I will use to string the tomato plants as far as I can.  I am hoping for more than 10m.  (will add more string-ups when it gets to the end of the 3.6m poles..)  Also notice the welded mesh I installed to try and keep the tomato plants in check - they have been swamping the poor chilli plants..

Speaking of which. the chillies are all doing very well.  One paprika in particular is looking very good...

In other news, I have moved the smallfry outside.  I counted 140 of them!  I now have all the fingerling females in one tank and all the males in another, and all the smallfry together in a 3rd tank.

Last but not least, I am trying another experiment.  I like to call it "open loop aquaponics"  In open loops, the water is fed to the plants but not circulated back.  I connected a solenoid valve to the pipe coming from the pump, and fed a pipe all the way to a lemon tree that is planted in soil.  The lemon tree has had a rough time from dry conditions.  The solenoid valve is switched on twice a day for 20 minutes.  The solenoid valve normally requires a high pressure to properly open. 
I do not have much of a high pressure from the pump, so it only lets through a trickle.  Which is exactly what I want.  Twice a day, a very small amount of nutrient-rich water is dumped at the lemon tree, I would guess it to be less than 2 litres a day.