Slitting the Bottom of the Rockwool for Arugula in the Tower Garden

This experiment is similar to cutting the rockwool in half. I’ve cut slits in the bottom of the rockwool to help the arugula roots reach the Tower Garden water sooner.  The seeds have been started using this seed starting procedure.

June 6, 2015

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Placed in the Tower Garden June 14. Picture taken June 18.

Placed in the Tower Garden June 14. Picture taken June 18.

June 30, 2015 -  Arugula is doing well.

June 30, 2015 – Arugula is doing well.

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July 19

After 6 weeks the arugula in the sliced rockwool grew well.  I may try this again.

What’s the best planting arrangement for Arugula in the Tower Garden?

I’m trying to get as much arugula as I can out of one piece of rockwool in 35 days. (Ferry-Morse seeds say 35 days to harvest)  So for this planting, I took 5 pieces of rockwool and planted each in 5 different ways using this seed starting procedure.

May 16, 2015

4 holes poked around the center hole with 2 arugula seeds placed per hole - 6 in the middle.

4 holes poked around the center hole with 2 arugula seeds placed per hole – 6 in the middle

4 holes poked around the center hole.  I put 2 arugula seeds in each hole.

4 holes poked around the center hole. I put 2 arugula seeds in each hole.

8 holes poked around the center hole.  I placed 1 arugula seed in each hole.

8 holes poked around the center hole. I placed 1 arugula seed in each hole – 2 in the middle.

4 arugula seeds placed in the center hole.

4 arugula seeds placed in the center hole.

8 arugula seeds put in the center hole

8 arugula seeds put in the center hole

 May 23, 2015
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June 7, 2015
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June 17, 2015
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Harvested July 3, 2015 – I weighed each
1 and 1/8 oz 1 and 1/4 oz 1 and 3/8 oz 1 and 1/8 oz 1 and 3/8 oz
The winner here were the 2 that had 8 seeds planted. It didn’t matter if the seeds were spread out or put all in one hole.  (Instead of 35 days, I harvested after 48 days.)
Since the rockwool with 8 holes did well, I decided to run this arugula experiment to expand on the 8 holes idea.

Set #3 of Rotating Arugula Through the Tower Garden

I’m trying to rotate arugula through the Tower Garden to get 5 bunches per week. This is set #3. (See set #1,  set #2 and schedule)

April 18, 2015

Planted set 3 of Arugula using Organic Ferry Morse seeds.

Planted set 3 of Arugula using Organic Ferry Morse seeds.

May 10, 2015

Set 3 of arugula is ready to go into the Tower Garden.

Set 3 of arugula is ready to go into the Tower Garden.

May 11, 2015

Set 3 arugula inside the Tower Garden.

Set 3 arugula inside the Tower Garden.

May 16, 2015

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May 23, 2015

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May 28

Tragedy struck. I checked the Tower Garden and found wilting arugula. After about 5 years, the pump quit working and I didn’t have a spare on hand.  It was a week later before I got another pump working.  Lesson learned.  Buy a spare pump.  With only 2 days left until harvest, I’ll call this experiment a success.  (Update 3 months later.  How to fix the Tower Garden pump.)

Set #2 of Rotating Arugula Through the Tower Garden

I’m trying to rotate arugula through the Tower Garden to get 5 bunches per week.  This is set #2.  (See set #1, set #3 and schedule)

 April 18, 2015

Planted set 2 of arugula seeds using Burpee seeds.

Planted set 2 of arugula seeds using Burpee seeds.

May 2, 2015

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May 9, 2015

Set 2 of arugula replanted May 9

Set 2 of arugula replanted May 9

May 11, 2015

It's been warm, from 70-75 degrees on the top of the tower.  I put frozen water bottles in the well to try to cool it.

It’s been warm, from 70-75 degrees on the top of the tower. I put frozen water bottles in the well to try to cool it.

May 16, 2015

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May 23, 2015

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Harvested May 23.  This set of arugula is a success.

Set #1 of Rotating Arugula Through the Tower Garden

I’m trying to rotate arugula through the Tower Garden to get 5 bunches per week.  This is set #1. (See set 2, set 3, and schedule)

April 9, 2015

Planted first set of 5 arugula seeds (Picture shows other seeds planted as well)

Planted first set of 5 arugula seeds (Picture shows other seeds planted as well)

April 24, 2015

Put 5 seedlings into the Tower Garden

Put 5 seedlings into the Tower Garden

May 2, 2015

I'm hoping to be able to harvest this arugula in 2 weeks

I’m hoping to be able to harvest this arugula in 2 weeks

May 11, 2015

Arugula leaves are a little curly.  It's been warm, from 70-75 degrees on the top of the tower.  I put frozen water bottles in the well to try to cool it.

Arugula leaves are a little curly. It’s been warm, from 70-75 degrees on the top of the tower. I put frozen water bottles in the well to try to cool it.

May 11, 2015 – Set #1 replant

Set #1 replant

Set #1 replant

May 16, 2015

Set 1 is nearly ready to harvest

Set 1 is nearly ready to harvest

May 19, 2015
Set #1 harvested

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Harvested on May 19

All 5 plants grew well, but the yield wasn’t as much as I would have liked.  I’m experimenting with different planting arrangements for arugula in the rockwool to see if I can get a higher yield from each rockwool.

24 hours or 48 hours – Starting Arugula from Seeds for the Tower Garden

April 28, 2015

Using this seed starting procedure, the arugula seeds sprout in 24 hours.  If I leave them in darkness for 48 hours, they’re much taller.  But I’d like to find out if the extra 24 hours is helpful in the long run.

So I planted 8 seeds (Burpee) in each rockwool, put them in a butter container wrapped in black tape, covered with the lid, and placed them on the heat mat.

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Arugula seeds in rockwool

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Arugula seeds inside the butter container on the heat mat.

Both have just started to sprout after 24 hours. The 24-hour rockwool I removed from the covered butter container and put under the light. The 48-hour, I put back in the covered butter container.  Ironically, the seeds haven’t sprouted as much as they usually do in 24 hours.  Since both are getting the same treatment, I’m going to continue with the experiment.
24 hour in darkness
48 hour in darkness
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April 30, 2015

One day after the 24-hour in the dark seeds sprouted they have turned green.

One day after the 24-hour in the dark seeds sprouted they have turned green.

I just removed the 48-hour in the dark seedlings.

I just removed the 48-hour in the dark seedlings.

May 11, 2015Placed in Tower Garden

Placed the arugula into the Tower Garden.

Placed the arugula into the Tower Garden.

Placed the arugula into the Tower Garden.

Placed the arugula into the Tower Garden.

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May 28

Tragedy struck. I checked the Tower Garden and found wilting arugula. After about 5 years, the Tower Garden pump quit working and I didn’t have a spare on hand.  It was a week later before I got another pump working.  Lesson learned.  Buy a spare pump.  The plants probably have grown enough that there doesn’t appear to be much difference in 24 hours or 48 hours in darkness.

I followed most of Joe of Level2 Concepts’ advice in his seed starting procedure to start the below arugula seedlings. 

Arugula seedlings taken from darkness right after they've sprouted.

Arugula seedlings taken from darkness right after they’ve sprouted

Joe says to check the seedlings once a day and remove them from the darkness when you see the first signs of life.  Instead of once a day, I checked them every 12 hours and pulled them from the darkness when they started to sprout.  I’ve discovered that the arugula grows so fast that if I check them every 24 hours, they can already be too tall to grow well as seedlings.  Other plants would be fine checking only once a day.  Like Joe says, this procedure can be fine-tuned depending on the crop you’re growing and the environment you’re using.  For example: I’m using a heat mat.  without it, the seeds would probably not sprout as quickly.