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GreenHouse Report: 02/01/2013
Melanie Newfield 

I’m running behind with my green hab reports, and since I know from long experience of catching up that it’s best not to try starting at the beginning, but at the end, here’s today’s report.

General comments 

 I have labelled all the shelves in the greenhab to help communication. The temperature and light levels are different in different locations so it’s good to be able to explain to people where I have put things.

1.       The upper shelf, to the right of the north (?) greenhab door - the broken one. This shelf is cold at this time of year due to a draft from the door. While I don’t expect a greenhab on Mars to have a draft from the outside, there are still likely to be cold and hot spots due to ventilation etc.

a.       I have placed a number of seedlings that do well in cooler temperatures here, the snowpeas, upland cress and some other cresses. The snowpeas and upland cress look better since they have been moved. The other cresses (Persian, curly) look about the same. They may prefer more heat, if they aren’t recovering soon I’ll move them to another location.

b.      I moved the avocado from this spot, as I think it got frozen in a cold night and keeping it in a draft probably won’t help.

2.       Lower shelf, same spot. Used for storage, including seeds, which should be kept cool.

3.       Upper shelf, same side, closer to the heater.

4.       The shelf below 3.

5.       The high shelf to the left of the door, with the hydroponic setup on it.

6.       The upper large shelf on the same side, closer to the heater. This is the shelf that has the heating pad on it. It is a particularly warm location. I’ve moved the avocado here.

7.       The shelf below, used for storage since there is no light here. Could be used for mushroom kits though.

8.       The small table next to shelves 3 and 4. I have been using this as a potting table.

9.       The set of shelves in the room on the south end of the greenhab. This location is moderately warm, so I moved the seeds away from here.

10.   The ground on the other side of the path, where the potted conifers are.

When we were picking up the outreach materials from JPL in Hanksville, we saw a small bag of potting mix in the store, and bought it, since I was in danger of losing some plants due to mould in the planting mix.

 

1 Feb report

The larger snowpeas seem to have grown and seem happier in their new location. The burned parts of the leaves are fully dead, but the rest seem to be growing. No mould. The upland cress seedlings have no further sign of yellow on the leaves. I’m not sure what caused that, but it may have been heat stress.

I watered pretty much everything, including the cuttings. Most are ok, but there is mould in one pot. If I get seed-raising mix or pumice tomorrow, I will transfer some of the seedlings to combat the mould.

Although the seeds I planted a couple of days ago had mould growth yesterday, today some of the basil had germinated. I transferred the seedlings to a 3x3 inch pot which had planting compost in the bottom half and potting mix in the top. If I had had seed mix or pumice, I would have used that, and as a second choice, I would have used a whole pot of potting mix. But I have very little of it and I’ve previously had success with the strategy of using a less suitable material at the bottom of the pot and better at the top when planting seeds. These seedlings are now covered with a plastic bag and on the heat pad, since basil likes heat to germinate.

I set up a small climate experiment on potted sprouts. I filled six 3x3 inch pots with the same 50/ 50 mix as the basil, and planted three with “Italian mix” (red clover, cress, garlic) and three with broccoli (for no other reason than I had more of these seeds than any other). One pot of each is on the heat pad, one of each on shelf 1 (cold) and one of each sitting in the hab where we can watch them and experience something green around us.

ENDS. 

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