View Full Version : bugs and slow growth

01-05-2007, 06:32 PM
Ok so I am fairly new to all this. I have a Megagarden System.

Here is what I know and what I think and hopefully you can help me....

I originally started my system outside late summer early spring, hoping to get atleast one crop of lettuce in before the weather turned bad.

I have since brought it inside, and managed to have decent luck with some plants that were established in soil and I planted in the system.

I have a fairly decent plant light, mind you I am mainly focusing on lettuce and small herbs till I get this figured out.

I have a small fan that I keep blowing near the plants, I aim it at the wall behind them so it circulates the air not just blows them over.

I am pretty confident that I am providing enough nutrients, (have tried adjusting up and down) and that the pH is where it should. I just got an electronic pH tester and it was about .5 lower then I wanted it to be but its been about a week since I last tested/adjusted it.

I have a water heater set to 65, I had it a but higher but was concerned it might be my reason for some of my troubles.

The PESTS and trouble....

Little tiny silver bugs that seam to live in the rockwool. It had gotten so bad I was forced to scrap every thing and soak the whole system in a weak bleach solution.

Well they are back.... That was about 3-4 weeks ago, and I just saw the first one tonight. Investiging I saw another. So have been checking carefully and plan to remove any rockwool cube I see them in.

Thats my next issue. I am pretty sure my rockwool is staying to wet. I have it set to water once a day.

I have come across some white fungus growth on some of the cubes when I move back the growing medium. If I leave the rock wool more exposed to the air and the circulation it drys out to fast and the young plants die.

How should I balance keeping them moist enough, but not enough for bad growths?

How should I deal with the bugs?
I have some insect killing soap, that seams to work, when I have sprayed it on the bugs themselves, but they live inside the rock wook and I am not sure if it would be safe to really soak the rockwool enough with the soap to kill the bugs.

Is it possible that the rockwool I bought was infected or got infected? If so what would be the best way to steralize it before using it?

Slow growth.....

Now I guess it could be all about the bugs but it seams like the growth is fairly slow. When I transported larger stuff, it didn't do much for awhile, I guess from shock, but then really took off. But the stuff I am starting in the cubes from seeds really seams to grow very slowly. Its been almost 6 weeks since this batch of lettuce was started from seed, and the plants seam very stringy and thin. I have noticed alot more growth recently however.

Is it likely I am putting them in the system to soon? How do I know when to put them in there, as opposed to my little mini greenhouse I started them in.

Is there a good rule of thumb about how dry the rockwool should get? or be planted beneath the growing medium?

I was originally using the water wick strips that came with the system but the rock wool was always so wet, even with one watering a day.

Ok lots of questions I know I am doing something wrong but I am not sure what.... I suspect its in the watering cycle, but not sure about the bugs.

David G.
01-21-2007, 10:07 PM
First, some questions:
1. Do the little silver bugs move much?
2. Do you have tiny gnats buzzing around the rockwool and plants?
3. Does the white fungus (or any other part of the sytem) exhibit any odor?

01-31-2007, 06:43 PM
1. Do the little silver bugs move much?
I cant tell, they live inside the rockwool, deep in the medium where I can't see them often. But they do move fairly well, and run and hide when I expose them.

2. Do you have tiny gnats buzzing around the rockwool and plants?
no I do not.

3. Does the white fungus (or any other part of the sytem) exhibit any odor?
I change the water out every 3-4 weeks. Usually by the end of that I can detect a SLIGHT odor.