Cut Your Own Rockwool – Arugula in the Tower Garden

In order to get more space for growing arugula in the Tower Garden, I decided to purchase full block of rockwool and cut my own.  I found some at htgsupply.com.  (I also purchased from them a single-bulb, t5 fixture to replace one of my fixtures that went out.)

August 11, 2015

The rockwool slab

The rockwool slab

Used a new, very clean blade to cut out the rockwool the size of a net pot.

Used a new, very clean blade to cut out the rockwool the size of a net pot.

The air supply into the Tower Garden can't be blocked off, so I cut a hole out of the bottom of the net pot.

The air supply into the Tower Garden can’t be blocked off, so I cut a hole out of the bottom of the net pot. (Hopefully this doesn’t cause any complications.)

The hole is for a straw to allow air into the Tower Garden

The hole is for a straw to allow air into the Tower Garden

Thanks to Joe of Level2 Concepts for the straw idea.

I poked about 13 holes in each rockwool and planted 2 Burpee arugula seeds in each hole.

I poked about 13 holes in each rockwool and planted 2 Burpee arugula seeds in each hole.

August 13, 2015

Placed the arugula seedlings in the Tower Garden

Placed the arugula seedlings in the Tower Garden

August 15, 2015

Arugula in the Tower Garden Cut your own rockwool

August 23, 2015

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August 29, 2015

Cut Your Own Rockwool - Arugula in the Tower Garden

Sept 6, 2015
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Sept 13, 2015
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October 25, 2015

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After 2 months and 2 weeks, I harvested 11.2 ounces of arugula.  This was in the Tower Garden a lot longer than I would like.  The arugula gets very strong with age.  So if you like it spicy, let it grow.  🙂

I’m going to experiment more with cutting my own rockwool, but on a shorter time-frame to better compare.

Arugula in the Tower Garden – Burpee Seeds, Sliced rockwool, eight holes

I’m narrowing down the best way to grow arugula – at least for my Tower Garden setup.  Of course, your mileage may vary.  🙂

Burpee arugula seeds seemed to produce a higher yield than Ferry Morse,  Slicing the bottom of the rockwool seemed to help as well. Letting 8 plants grow in one rockwool also produced a higher yield.

July 20, 2015

I sliced the bottom of the rockwool, poked 8 holes around the center hole and put 5 or 6 seeds in each hole.  Two rockwool cubes are the normal size.  Two are the quarter size doubled left over from this experiment.

July 20

July 20

July 25, 2015 – Placed in Tower Garden
Full rockwool cube Quarter size rockwool doubled
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August 1, 2015
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August 15, 2015
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August 29, 2015
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The arugula planted in the full rockwool cube is larger than the 1/4 size doubled.

Cress in the Tower Garden

I picked up some Burpee Cress (Berro Cresso) to try.  The packet says days to harvest is between 15-35 days.  I used this seed starting procedure, but poked extra holes in the rockwool like I’ve done with the arugula.  The seeds germinated in about 24 hours and are looking healthy.

The seeds were planted July 22, 2015.

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Cress was placed in the Tower Garden August 1, 2015

Cress was placed in the Tower Garden August 1, 2015

August 9, 2015

The cress is growing, but has more stem than leaves.

The cress is growing, but has more stem than leaves.

August 15, 2015

Cress in the Tower Garden

August 23, 2015

Cut cress. I'm going to see if it grows back.

Cut cress. I’m going to see if it grows back.

August 29, 2015

August 29. The cress is starting to grow back,

August 29. The cress is starting to grow back,

Sept 6, 2015

The cress has grown back and could be harvested again.

The cress has grown back and could be harvested again.

I’m going to close off this experiment and call it a success.

8 Holes in Rockwool with Multiple Seed Per Hole – Arugula in Tower Garden

With the success of putting 8 holes in the rockwool from this experiment, I decided to max out the holes with seeds and see what happens.  I poked 8 holes in 5 rockwool cubes and planted the following:

Rockwool #1 – 2 seeds per hole
Rockwool #2 – 3 seeds per hole
Rockwool #3 – 4 seeds per hole
Rockwool #4 – 5 seeds per hole
Rockwool #5 – 6 seeds per hole

If needed, I’ll thin the arugula seedlings to eliminate 1 seedling per hole.  Example: Rockwool # 5 will end up with 5 seedlings per hole.

Ferry Morse seeds planted July 5, 2015

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July 11, 2015. Put arugula seedlings into Tower Garden
1 Plant  per Hole 2 Plants per Hole 3 Plants per Hole 4 Plants per Hole 5 Plants per Hole
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July 19, 2015
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July 25, 2015
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August 1, 2015
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August 12, 2015 – Harvest.  The arugula with 4 and 5 seeds per hole did the best.

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1 1/8 ounce

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1 1/2 ounce

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1 3/4 ounce

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1 3/8 ounce

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1 3/8 ounce