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Author Topic: Plants die after a couple of weeks  (Read 2054 times)
Montymastiff
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« on: February 24, 2011, 05:14:15 AM »

Hello, all!

My first project with the Aerogarden involved starting the herb set.

I was really satisfied with the pace of germiniation. My seeds sprouted after no more than 1-3 days. Most of them at least.

The seeds continued to grow before hitting a stagnation at around 2 weeks. One week later they died.

I tried to grow lettuce as well. These seeds sprouted even faster, almost within 24 hours. However, my lettuce showed a similar pattern of growing stedy in the start, before dying.

I have some concern that the kitchen temperature may be the "killing cause". The temperature during the night does fall as low as 41 degrees (Norway is a cold, cold country  Cheesy) But these plants should survive lower temperatures during the night, right?

I am gratefull for any advice on the matter. I am a bit dissapointed withe the aerogarden, seeing how so many in the US are getting good results...
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« on: February 24, 2011, 05:14:15 AM »

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bab43
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« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2011, 12:15:29 PM »

Welcome to the forum!

Sorry to hear about your disappointing growing experience.  Hopefully we can help you figure out the cause of the problem.

The temperatures are low, but you are growing herbs and salad, not tomatoes so it should be possible.  From your post it sounds like the plants are healthy to start with.  The temperatures are high enough for them to sprout (and very well from your description) and are they a nice green color?

When it's colder, plants do not feed very much.  If the plants died after you added new nutrients then my guess is that the nutrients in the bowl were too strong.  Our night temperatures are around 68 and I have to watch that I don't overfeed the plants; this would be more of a problem with colder temperatures I would think.  I would change the water when adding new nutrients to avoid this, making sure the water isn't too cold.  Wink

The other thing I would do is change the light settings so that they are on at night, if you haven't already done this.  It would give a bit of extra heat to the plants during the colder winter nights.

If the plants were not healthy in the first two weeks then there could be water issues - some water has too high a mineral content so then some switch to distilled water.

I did grow lettuce and salad greens in the basement last year and they were exposed to very cold temperatures at times - they continued to grow fine so I do think it's possible.
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Marianne

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Montymastiff
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« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2011, 02:24:41 AM »

Welcome to the forum!

Sorry to hear about your disappointing growing experience.  Hopefully we can help you figure out the cause of the problem.

The temperatures are low, but you are growing herbs and salad, not tomatoes so it should be possible.  From your post it sounds like the plants are healthy to start with.  The temperatures are high enough for them to sprout (and very well from your description) and are they a nice green color?

When it's colder, plants do not feed very much.  If the plants died after you added new nutrients then my guess is that the nutrients in the bowl were too strong.  Our night temperatures are around 68 and I have to watch that I don't overfeed the plants; this would be more of a problem with colder temperatures I would think.  I would change the water when adding new nutrients to avoid this, making sure the water isn't too cold.  Wink

The other thing I would do is change the light settings so that they are on at night, if you haven't already done this.  It would give a bit of extra heat to the plants during the colder winter nights.

If the plants were not healthy in the first two weeks then there could be water issues - some water has too high a mineral content so then some switch to distilled water.

I did grow lettuce and salad greens in the basement last year and they were exposed to very cold temperatures at times - they continued to grow fine so I do think it's possible.

Thank you!

Yes, they all start out having a bright green color and a generally healthy look, before hitting a stagnation, and then utlimately dying.


The water I am using derives from the kitchen sink and is heay chlorinated, i think. I have used the tablets from AG. In the bottom of the lid, I can clearly see the nutriient tablets. They havent completely mixed with the water and there is a small amount with some pieces just lying there.

Nice tip about leaving the light on at night.

Hmm, so it could be that I have been adding too many nutritients as well as not using "shop water"?

Maybe I will pick up some expensive shop water on the way home from work to experiment with...Smiley
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bab43
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« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2011, 02:35:05 AM »

I'm glad you're trying it again and hope that it will work out this time.  I do think that the nutrients are a bit strong for lettuce.

About the chlorine - some of the members pour their tap water into a jug for a day before using it so that the chlorine will evaporate.  It wouldn't hurt to try that as well.

Good luck!  Smiley
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Marianne

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Montymastiff
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« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2011, 02:39:21 AM »

I'm glad you're trying it again and hope that it will work out this time.  I do think that the nutrients are a bit strong for lettuce.

About the chlorine - some of the members pour their tap water into a jug for a day before using it so that the chlorine will evaporate.  It wouldn't hurt to try that as well.

Good luck!  Smiley

wow, i didnt know that the chlorine evaporated from water. Thanky our a great advice.

I will give it another chance. I thought the nutritients would suit anything you grow in the Aerogarden, but do you think i should use liquid nutritients instead? The nutritients does not seem to dissolve in the water. Hmmm.
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bab43
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« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2011, 10:08:41 AM »

Monty, a number of members on the forum started using liquid nutrients because they felt that the tablets were not so good for the plants.  AeroGrow has switched over to liquid as well so eventually the kits will all have liquid, not tablets.  One of the ones used on the forum here is General Hydroponics 3 part flora series, but there are others.

I have had fairly good results with the tablets myself, but I did end up with one bad batch recently.  They do suit all plants but because your temperatures are quite cold your plants would be slower using them.  Mine don't always dissolve - I don't know if that matters.

Because your plants look healthy to start it did not sound like the tablets or the water, so I thought it might be when you added the second batch of nutrients - too much too soon.

Anyway, you have some things to try out.  If you have problems next time, post a picture if you can.  Hope to hear good news!
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Marianne

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« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2011, 10:27:50 AM »

Monty, a number of members on the forum started using liquid nutrients because they felt that the tablets were not so good for the plants.  AeroGrow has switched over to liquid as well so eventually the kits will all have liquid, not tablets.  One of the ones used on the forum here is General Hydroponics 3 part flora series, but there are others.

I have had fairly good results with the tablets myself, but I did end up with one bad batch recently.  They do suit all plants but because your temperatures are quite cold your plants would be slower using them.  Mine don't always dissolve - I don't know if that matters.

Because your plants look healthy to start it did not sound like the tablets or the water, so I thought it might be when you added the second batch of nutrients - too much too soon.

Anyway, you have some things to try out.  If you have problems next time, post a picture if you can.  Hope to hear good news!

Thanks a lot for all your help, bab! I sure will try out some new things and report back in a while! Have a good weekend Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2011, 07:19:20 PM »

Monty,
what modifications did you do to your AG for Norway?

I'm originally from Finland and we might be moving there for a few years and I'd like to take my AGs with me. Btw, fire up that wood stove... 41 is cold inside even for Norway.  Cheesy

Did you modify the light sockets as well?
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« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2011, 01:57:21 AM »

Monty,
what modifications did you do to your AG for Norway?

I'm originally from Finland and we might be moving there for a few years and I'd like to take my AGs with me. Btw, fire up that wood stove... 41 is cold inside even for Norway.  Cheesy

Did you modify the light sockets as well?

Actually i didnīt do any type of modifications for my aerogarden... Haha, I know that 41 degrees is pretty cold Tongue But that is just during the night when my gf insists on turning off the warmpump, during the day, there is a normal indoor temperature in the room.

No, I didn't modify the light sockets either. Is it the Euro/US difference in sockets and electricity that you're thinking of? Cause I bought my Aerogarden from Spain, and they have the same arrangements as they have in Norway when it comes to power and lighting.

But I think you can get it to work without too much hassle, at least powerwise. Cause you can by some kind of power converter (I buy some electronics from the UK and they have different sockets than Norway, so then I have to use a converter). Not sure when it comes to lighting, but am pretty sure that you'll be able to find a quick solution there as well so that you may bring your aerogarden up to suomi! Smiley
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Tin Man
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« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2011, 03:19:16 AM »

I think it has to be the cold. I think if they were starved of nutrients they would yellow and wither first and take longer to die.

I have an aquarium and so I have dechlorinator on hand, I tried using it on the aerogarden and it didn't help that I could see. And here in Los Angeles they use chloramine instead of chlorine which is stronger and doesn't leave when exposed to air. So I don't think thats the problem.

Really, 41 degrees fahrenheit is very cold, I can't imagine the problem being anything but that.

Are you a Lapplander living in a hut with reindeer???

/kidding
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Montymastiff
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« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2011, 05:02:56 AM »

I think it has to be the cold. I think if they were starved of nutrients they would yellow and wither first and take longer to die.

I have an aquarium and so I have dechlorinator on hand, I tried using it on the aerogarden and it didn't help that I could see. And here in Los Angeles they use chloramine instead of chlorine which is stronger and doesn't leave when exposed to air. So I don't think thats the problem.

Really, 41 degrees fahrenheit is very cold, I can't imagine the problem being anything but that.

Are you a Lapplander living in a hut with reindeer???

/kidding

You might be on to something and I'm actually considering moving the Aerogarden into another room in the house where heating is activated 24/7. Only issue is getting my spouse to agree with me moving more "plant-stuff" around the house :/

Haha, when i wake up and walk into the kitchen to make my self breakfast and coffee i ask my self the same question: where are the reindeers?! They are the only ones missing.

But since my first post other plants have started to die as well, so i will consider moving the aerogarden ASAP Sad
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bab43
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« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2011, 06:54:31 AM »

Monty, you didn't say you had a warmer room for them.  I pictured you living in a very cold house.  Wink

Tin Man's probably right about the cold.  We do have herbs and salad that will survive temperatures outside in the fall that go down to 40 but they don't grow quickly if it doesn't warm up during the day.  I also see 40oF as a cut-off point in plant guides for lettuce and a number of herbs.  But at those cold temperatures they wouldn't be starved of nutrients because they would be feeding very little, overfeeding can quickly happen.

And yes, we also have chloramines, not chlorine.  You can't smell chloramines and they never evaporate; it's a mixture of chlorine and ammonia I think.  It's supposed to be better.  Undecided

Sorry I suggested everything but the easy solution!  Cheesy
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Marianne

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« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2011, 09:49:56 AM »

My basil outside died when the temps dropped in the 40's last summer.  It could be the nutrients and water - but I am betting that it is the cold temperature shift.  Lettuce can grow in colder temps, but herbs or flowering plants will surely die.  It is not good to have your aerogarden bulbs subjected to such drastic temperature changes.  I would definitely move them somewhere warmer to prevent the bulbs from shattering from temperature extremes.
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Carolyn
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« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2011, 01:02:54 PM »

Monty, you didn't say you had a warmer room for them.  I pictured you living in a very cold house.  Wink

Tin Man's probably right about the cold.  We do have herbs and salad that will survive temperatures outside in the fall that go down to 40 but they don't grow quickly if it doesn't warm up during the day.  I also see 40oF as a cut-off point in plant guides for lettuce and a number of herbs.  But at those cold temperatures they wouldn't be starved of nutrients because they would be feeding very little, overfeeding can quickly happen.

And yes, we also have chloramines, not chlorine.  You can't smell chloramines and they never evaporate; it's a mixture of chlorine and ammonia I think.  It's supposed to be better.  Undecided

Sorry I suggested everything but the easy solution!  Cheesy

Thank you all for many great tips! Nice to see so many eager to help out an aerogarden newb Cheesy

Lol, but the house is very cold, bab. It was built in 1885 and we arent allowed to isolate it (Huh). But some of the rooms are warmer than other thanks to our electric ovens. I just moved the Aerogarden into the bathroom. Thats the warmest room in the house and offers stable temepratures of around 70-75 degrees.

I also started a new set.

However, I am out of those spunges to start seeds in. I did however have a lot of root riot cubes. So what I did was, I used a knife to adapt the root riot cubes to the Aerogarden seed pods.

I read that root riot cubes were great for hydroponic use, so i figured they could be used in the AG as well.

Can anyone confirm that they are in fact suitable? Here's an url which gives a short description of Root riot.

http://www.growthtechnology.com/gc/rootriot.asp

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bab43
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« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2011, 05:19:14 PM »

The cubes you're using look like they are suitable, but I don't recognize them.  Would you let us know how they work out for you?  Members are always looking for alternate solutions.  In case you haven't seen it, there's a post at "http://www.aerogardengrowers.com/index.php/topic,1611.0.html" for recording supplies that have worked (some better than others Wink).

Perhaps someone else will recognize them.

Happy growing and keep warm!  Smiley
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Marianne

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« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2011, 02:00:15 AM »

The cubes you're using look like they are suitable, but I don't recognize them.  Would you let us know how they work out for you?  Members are always looking for alternate solutions.  In case you haven't seen it, there's a post at "http://www.aerogardengrowers.com/index.php/topic,1611.0.html" for recording supplies that have worked (some better than others Wink).

Perhaps someone else will recognize them.

Happy growing and keep warm!  Smiley

Thank you very much Smiley) I sure will let you know how they work out Smiley
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Montymastiff
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« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2011, 07:38:40 AM »

Wow!

As i moved the Aerogarden into a warmer room after getting the permits needed from my spouse  Grin, I also started a new 7-set of pods.

However, I only had 2 original spunges left, and used 5 adapted root riot cubes.

I did this last night (European time), about 17-18 hours agoe.

The seeds have germinated in every root riot cube, but not in the original spunges. The spunges were cleaned and re-used, so that could be why they now seem to be somewhat slower.

Here's a picture of one of the root riot cubes:



* bilde.JPG (1456.65 KB, 2592x1936 - viewed 117 times.)
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« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2011, 08:31:02 PM »

They're off to a great start!  Smiley
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Marianne

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« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2011, 02:26:59 AM »

Thought I would deliver a small update.

It's been 6-7 days since I planted a new set of lettuce in all 7 seed pots.

4 of the 7 were planted in root riot cubes, the rest in the original spunges.

The ones in root riot cubes have now reached about 2 inches and the ones in the spunges have reached 1 inch.

The taller ones are now at the point where they used to die when placed in a colder room. That means the next few days will be interesting...

I am actually surprised that the root riot cubes worked out that well when I wasnt even sure they would work.
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