Sharon Johnson of Columbia, S.C., is a passionate gardener, a point that is made obvious by the fact that she lives on a small lot, full of concrete pads, yet she has found a way to have a beautiful garden full of flowers, fruits, vegetable and herbs. Some are in containers, some are not. Her blog will document the adventures of gardening in pots, fending off deer and small animals and the trials of organic gardening.
 

 

Aquaponics - the missing piece
by Sharon Johnson - posted 04/28/12

My miniponics system continues to amaze me.  Tomato cuttings love the floating raft system…and my fish are so happy they are reproducing!  All of this inspires me to get going on the big system (okay…and all my seedlings are still in the greenhouse)…so yesterday afternoon, we went shopping at one of the big box home improvement stores…then we went to one of the big box farm supply stores…and STILL we are missing an important part…it’s the fitting that goes through the tank and grow bed walls and connects the piping. 

We found a small one, but nothing in a size we could use…1” and 2”…so I went home and got on the internet…at the stores, the only name I could find for the part was “water tight straight connector”…NOT very helpful…but here you go…I found it on the internet…it’s a bulkhead fitting…most specifically it’s a threaded pvc bulkhead fitting…will be placing an order today.

In the meantime, we are building a table for the grow bed, which must be higher than the sump tank.  We have a pump and lots of plumbing elbows, connectors and reducers…should be fun…stay tuned for the putting it all together post coming soon.

In the regular container garden, it’s been a rough season, one moment its hot as blazes, the next moment we are having frost  far later than our average last frost date.   The corn in my three sisters garden hasn’t minded the cold but my beans will have to be replanted.  My rhubarb is flourishing in the ground, my asparagus overstepped its bounds onto the driveway and needs a trim.  Volunteer (those mystery tomatoes) tomatoes are STILL popping up everywhere.  I’ll keep the healthiest looking ones and clip the rest, and it’s time to redo the front beds.

 

The front beds have been filled with lantana for several years.  It takes 6 flats of flowers to fill the beds, so the lantana has been perfect, except it comes out so late the beds look sadly neglected until they do.  Pansies are deer fodder here, so I am at a loss as to planting schemes.  I thought of keeping the lantana and planting lots of spring bulbs underneath them, so that the lantana covers the dying foliage and the beds aren’t empty in spring and winter…but my husband says no…something green…something perennial…in builder’s sand…with root nematodes…one side in sun, one side in shade BUT because they are mostly symmetrical, they should match…hmmmm…little wonder I love my containers so much…but next week, we will tackle this problem.  This weekend is aquaponics, my favorite local fair: Sparkleberry Fair, and a fantastic horseback ride for charity, The Boykin Spring fling…how are you spending your weekend? You can find more information about Sparkleberry Fair here: http://sparkleberrycountryfair.org/ .

 

 

 

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