After the heat of summer made microgreens impossible to grow in the small greenhouse with very limited temperature controls, I've now been able to resume growing them now that fall has arrived.I'm growing kale, sunflowers, radishes and green peas.Because temperatures are still very high in the greenhouse, I must water three times a day, morning, afternoon and early evening, to keep them from drying out.
I began a test to see if cucumbers started in small pots could be transplanted into a hydroponic system for more efficient change out of plants between crop turns.The hybrid cucumber seeds were started in mid-August and grew until the end of September in the pots before I transplanted them into Bato buckets.Each cucumber plant was a foot and a half to two feet long, therefore giving each plant almost a month head start before being placed in the system.So far each of the transplants seems to have fared well even though cucumbers are not usually suited for transplanting.
Finally in September I was able to harvest some of my sweet peppers. I had harvested one or two here and there before but there were never very many at one time until now.These were small, but their color and texture seem to be good.I think that their small size may have been because they were growing under a canopy of okra in an experiment with growing okra hydroponically. The okra grew tall and the leaves grew broad, so they shaded the peppers more than perhaps they should have been. I also wonder if the okra took most of the nutrients from the water as it is a heavy feeder.
Despite the fact that the melon crop this year was almost an entire loss because of the rain that came in late August and didn't stop for two weeks, I was still able to harvest a dozen sugar pie pumpkins.These 12 pumpkins came from four or five plants only. I started them as transplants in late May when ongoing spring rains showed no signs of letting up.I planted sugar pie and Howden pumpkins but the Jack O'Lantern pumpkins only produced two fruits that were taken by rot and insects.I planted the transplants in mid June into a hydroponic Dutch bucket system where they grew for 3 months until the pumpkins were ready to pick and cure.
Despite my thorough preparation the growing season of 2016 and my optimism which led me to expand the amount of coverage I gave to Israeli melons, heavy rains in the last two weeks of August have destroyed my harvest.I've never seen this much rain in the summer before and I had no way to imagine two weeks ago when my melons first begin to ripen that they would now be rotting in the field with as much as 2 inches of flood water surrounding them.In the last several days I've harvested 10, 15, or 20 each day only to throw all but maybe one or two out in the field because they had split open and begun to rot.