Hydroponic Peas grow gallery

Posted on September 25, 2014 by Travis Athougies

Seven weeks ago, I did a post on my new NFT hydroponics system. A few days after that post, I put some new pea seedlings into the hydroponics system.

I started the nutrients out with a really low concentration, and kept the peas under two layers of plastic wrap, to keep them out of the hot Bay Area sun. The seedlings thrived for three weeks, and grew a bunch of leaves.

A few weeks later, I removed the plastic wrap, thinking that the plants had become hardy enough to survive a little sun and wind. Boy, was I wrong. Just an hour in the full California sun, and my peas had started to wilt.

At that point, a more experienced grower may have realized the solution was to cover the peas up again, but I’m still new to this whole hydroponics thing. Instead of accepting the simplest answer, I became convinced that my plants were suffering from Fusarium or Pithium. I quickly checked the root zone to find all the roots covered in a white fuzz. I took this to mean that my plants were undergoing a fungal onslaught. I immediately added in a little Hydrogen Peroxide, which quickly got rid of the fungus. Unfortunately, my plants still looked ill, so I thought maybe they were suffering from nutrient burn. This led me to change the water.

What I should have realized during all of this was that it was a case of it just being too hot for peas. Once I covered the little guys up, they perked up by the next morning. Sigh. Next time, I’ll be calmer when my peas start wilting.

Anyway, as you can see in the pictures, the plants suffered extensive burn damage to their older leaves. Two weeks later, however, and they already have a whole lot of new leaves, and one of the plants is actually blooming!

This weekend, I’ll be changing the nutrient mix to be more phosphorous-heavy so the plants get everything they need to produce some snappy peas!