Finally I got a chance to give some TLC to a rather neglected IBC system today. For the last few months it was getting nothing but fish food and water top ups. No new plants were added and nothing was really harvested. The time had come to try and get it back to its former glory.
Last week I took the time to plant a few seedlings into some coir peat pellets as a trial for growing my own seedlings in a controlled fashion. Often people will either sow their seeds directly into the grow media and hope for the best, or they start their seedlings in dirt and transplant them. I am hoping that using the coir peat pellets I will get greater control of plant location and remove the transplant stresses that can set a seedling back a week or more. Now that the seedlings are ready to put into the aquaponics system, it has forced me to tidy up the existing plants.
Some of the vegies like the beetroot and carrots just seemed to keep on growing, so rather than let them go for another 12 months, I decided it was time to harvest them and make the most of them. The largest of the two beetroot in the system was a monster, easily weighing in at 2 kg. The other beetroot was not far behind it. I also harvest all the garlic that was starting to show signs of being close to harvest time. Unfortunately one of the cloves had started to decompose but the rest were all harvested successfully. Finally the three carrots i put in there as a test were harvested. it looks like two of the carrots had grown so fat that they split up the sides and had started to get eaten by the worms. Straight into the worm farm they went. The third, which was the smallest appears to be OK.
I also had to wrangle the brahmi back under control after it tried to take over the grow bed again. The parsley was trimmed back a bit now it isn’t getting choked out by the monster beetroot and a few bits of dead wood were removed. This left the grow bed nice and empty and ready for the seedlings. The seedlings are as follows; 4 x English spinach, a mixed colour chilli, 3 x dwarf beans, a gold zucchini and a green zucchini. Unfortunately the chilli and green zucchini didnt germinate, so I will have to reseed those two at a later date. Now it is time to play the waiting game and see how these seedlings go in the coir peat.
Stay tuned for updates!
By Ryan Sevelj