This year I have engaged more than usual in growing vegetables. I grow quite common things like cucumbers, tomatoes, dill, beans, peas, squash, salad, carrots and potatoes. We live in a moss that cools the environment quite a bit, so it's hard to grow without a greenhouse - which we happily have.
In the past years it has become a mediocre harvest of vegetables, but this year it has really exploded. If it depends on our extra actions or the unusually hot summer is hard to say, but the result is that we now have more vegetables than we can eat, a pleasing problem.
I will summarize what we did this summer so I can look back in the next year and compare.
Here is a (not complete) list of what we grow this year:
I bought a plant lamp to be able to give the precultivation a good start and it really made a difference. It only took a little more than a day before it started to grow up.
Different wavelengths of light have different uses because it stimulates different phases that the plant passes through. My plant lamp has a composition of 660nm(red), 560nm(blue) and 5000k (sunlight).
The blue wavelengths (560nm) increase the biomass and stimulate chlorophyll formation, and the red (660nm) stimulates root initiation, flowering and stretch growth. LED lamps is by design very specific in their wavelengths so you can buy a LED to stimulate a specific phase of your plants.
Simply all vegetables has been precultivated but carrots and dill. Even the potatoes lies under the lamp to create sprouts.
Tomatoes and cucumbers
We cultivate both tomatoes and cucumbers together, however, some prefers to cultivate them individually for maximum yield. The reason is that the cucumber wants higher humidity than the tomato. Tomatoes pollinate them self by let the pollen fall down to the ground and touch other bloom on the way down. This does not work if the humidity is too high.
One problem we have had previous years is that all cucumber plants got leaf mold. Cucumber generally likes to got water sprayed on them, and it is OK if it is hot and sunny, but I think you should never spray water cold days or late on the evening.
Seeds may be stored up to five years if the temperature (not >25 degrees Celsius) and humidity is right. If you store them longer the germination is affected and the yield will decrease.
You plant in small pots and replant it 3-4 times as it grows. The replanting should be so that some of the stems fall underground, so that the plant can create more roots and become steadier and can pull more nutrition from the ground. This is especially important for cucumbers and tomatoes since they are growing high and tend to have a lot of heavy vegetables.
I do not have a good translation for the Swedish "Tjuva tomater". Lets use "Thief tomato". What I mean is to remove the extra shots that come into the leaf wake of the plant. This has to be done for all high-growing tomatoes at least once a week. The reason is that the plant otherwise becomes an impenetrable bush that is difficult to handle and that these "thieves" steal energy from the plant. Energy that could otherwise be used for tomatoes.
The leaves give a good indication of the health status of the plant. Dark green or blue-green leaves mean too much nitrogen, while light green leaves mean lack of nitrogen or to much water. Yellow spots mean that there is not sufficient with magnesium.
As soon as the plant get flowers, it need nutrition added to the water. As a general rule; never give nutrition to a thirsty plant! I water at least two times a day and add nutrition every third day.
I'm really looking forward to this BrandyWhine Black tomato to mature.
Salad could taste bad if they are dry and nutritionally poor. Salad will grow fast in nutritious and moist soil. I have not added nutrition but have been very careful to water a lot and often. A hot tip is to use good soil to plant in.
This year has been incredible fruitful and I hope that we are doing things right now.