I finished a better controller board for my TechnoArugula project today. The original setup had the pump, accumulator, filter and valve on a stand that was sitting next to the shelving unit with the grow boxes. The controller and power supply were just sitting on a shelf.
The updated configuration has the nutrient tank, pump, accumulator, filter and valves attached to the frame of the shelving unit on the bottom shelf and the power supply and controller board also attached to the unit. I also mounted the valve in close proximity to the grow box to decrease latency in the system allowing a half second spray every 5 minutes. The goal is to spray only enough nutrient solution to wet the roots without dripping.
The harvests of arugula have been very encouraging. I’ve been harvesting a tub of Arugula about the size of what you buy at the store for three or four bucks every seven days or so. Figuring the cost of electricity and nutrients it adds up to about 40 cents per harvest – not bad. The first harvest took 30 days so it was more expensive, $1.60 or so, but still a good deal.
I started Kale and Spinach this week as well to see how that goes. I’ll be adding a second and maybe third shelf to expand my production in the following weeks and I’ll also look at adding CO2 enrichment to speed up the grow rate.
Until next time, happy techno gardening.