I have never grown a plant in my life but love the TG concept. I should have fully educated myself before beginning but I did not. I have multiple issues going on and I need help.
I did not know the importance of plugging the holes that are not planted yet to cut out light or that I need to provide air circulation. I know I need to address those two issues but I think my garden conditions are spiraling out of control.
I realize now that I did several things incorrectly, I just need to know if there is a way to fix it or do I need to throw out all the plants and start over.
I grew the seedlings for the seeds that came with the garden and once those were ready I went ahead and transplanted them into the net pots in the tower (March 29). There were probably only 6 seedlings and all the other spots were empty and not covered. I filled the water reservoir with tap water added 200 mL each of the mineral solutions A & B. I checked the pH and it was 6.0. The TG is located next to a large window in a large room of my house and I have grow lights (14 hrs). We keep our house temp around 70. I do not have a ceiling fan is this room so there isn't air circulation around the garden. I will be purchasing a fan tomorrow. Water on a time 15 mins on/45 mins off.
I ordered more seeds and planted those seedlings in the TG on April 8th. From this point on there were only 6 empty slots. I topped off the water, checked the pH, it was 7.0 so I added 5 mL of pH Acid and then retested and it was 6.5.
On April 17th I noticed that the kale, brussel sprouts, broccoli (all second batch seedlings) and the arugula (1st batch seedling, but next kale) were looking wimpy, no new growth and really yellow leaves. So I thought it must be time to up the mineral concentration to the full strength. I did this by just adding 200 mL each of A & B. I checked the pH and it was 5.0 so I added pH Base 5 mL at a time and retested and I think I ended up 30 mL of the base to get it to 6.0 pH. I upped the watering time to 15 mins on/30 mins off.
I noticed last night mold and algae. The more I read trying to resolve my issue the more potential issues I potentially see. I did lower the watering back down to 15 mins on/45 mins off and upped the lights to 15 hr.
-The 1st picture is a cucumber leaf. I looked all over at all the plants last night and I did not notice this.
-2nd picture is suppose to be only brussel sprouts, which is the sad little plant on the left. I have no idea what is growing on the right, it doesn't look like anything else that I have planted. Why is it growing and the brussel sprout withering? If I have a weed in my indoor TG, I am going to cut off my thumbs and go to Sprouts.
-3rd picture is my puny kale.
-4th picture is my whole TG. The lettuce, cilantro and basil up top all look really great.
-5th picture shows the fuzzy mold that is growing on almost all of my rock wool cubes.
So currently my pH is 5.0, water is clear, there is a slick dark coating on the inside of the reservoir and parts of the center column. I am guessing this is algae due to not plugging the unused holes but I think it is pretty clear at this point that I have no real understanding of what I am doing. I will add a fan to provide air circulation. I was planning on taking it apart, rinsing the mold off the cubes and wiping out all of the algae in the tower. When I came home tonight I realized there was algae in the reservoir too and saw the suspicious looking cucumber leaves. So I am admitting defeat, I don't want to spin my wheels trying to fix the wrong thing. I want a salad already!! Oh, and I saw a teeny tiny green bug land on the center column last night...I didn't get a picture of it and I haven't seen another one. Should I go ahead and treat for aphids...or just donate this tower garden to the local elementary school?