Aquaponics - Bean seed density experement

As mentioned earlier I thought I'd see how densely I could plant bean seeds before they started to suffer.

To this end I've planted different numbers of bean seeds in plastic cups to be grown in my NFT tubes.

I started with six of my standard plastic drinking cups with holes drilled in the bottom to allow water to flow through. If you make some, don't forget you can drill a stack of ten at a time.

I added one, two, four, eight, sixteen, and thirty two seeds to each cup in turn.

They will grow to seedling size in my little seed raising grow house, until they are big enough that their roots will reach down to the water in my NFT tubes.

I tend to wait until the first signs of their real leaves rather than the two first leaves that the seed turns into. In previous tests where I've pulled up seedlings, I've noticed that by the time their first real leaves appear, their tap roots are well developed and reach the bottom of the cups. This seems to apply to every variety I've tested.

I guess roots are pretty important things to grow first. Plants manage for quite a while without light, but only hours without water.

With a lot of small seeds I don't bother covering them as their is a steady rain of water from the roof of my little grow house, but with the bean seeds I worry that they might dry out as they stand up much higher than the damp media, so I cover them with scoria.

I water them with fish tank water, and on this occasion I added a little seasol ( a seaweed extract plant tonic) because there are going to be a lot of seedlings and I don't want them begging for trace elements.

The fish tank water stands around an inch deep or a third of the way up the cups.

There is also a pot with my twice weekly lettuce planting, an experimental seed raising method that I'll talk about later, and also an additional cup with 20 pea seeds buried because I love peas.

I've only just done this, so it's going to be a while before I can report results.

Unfortunately this isn't going to be a case of "and here's one a made earlier".

120 Things in 20 years - Still trying to rob perfectly innocent giants of their golden egg laying livestock with Aquaponics - Bean seed density experiments in an attempt to build a better magic bean scaffolding.

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