Gardening in Montana can be a real challenge at times. Nothing like snow in July or a frost to make you become creative. Or the wonderful animals who enjoy the produce as much as we do. This year we are trying out hydroponics and so far I am excited about how it is going. I was amazed at the growth in just a few weeks with this system.
This was day one and you could hardly see the seedlings. In just two weeks things really changed. And then in week four I was sure this system could be the answer for us. Growth is very fast in the system and with our short growing season that is fantastic. No digging and improving the soil is a real bonus as it seems my body is getting a little old to play in the dirt. No more bunny or mole problems. Very little pest problems at all, but you still find a few leaves have been eaten by grasshoppers. My momma always said to share so I don’t mind a few holes. NO WEEDING, need I say more. I would love to move this into a greenhouse and see if I could grow all winter long. We used an old swing, a 33 gallon bucket, pond pump and lots of 4 inch pvc pipe to make this. We also added a shade tarp in the second week to give a little bit more protection. We planted many different items to see what would work the best. 4 types of tomatoes, baby bok choy, rainbow swiss chard, green chard, Tuscan kale, Chinese cabbage, marigolds, garlic chives, dill, beans, red cabbage, 3 types of peas, celery, 7 types of lettuce, pansies, 2 other types of flowers, collards, peppers, mustard greens, parsley and strawberries. The beans seem to be the slowest so far with the lettuce growing like mad.
And this is week 8. Plants have given us many wonderful meals this summer. I have added new plants weekly and it is still growing fantastic. I have lots to learn yet but that is ok with me. I have always tried to learn one new thing each day and I am sure this will keep me going for years.