Window Farm: some thoughts on current version

I thought it time for a WindowFarm update. The lettuce we planted a couple of months ago have grown to towers with flowers at their tips. I do note that going to seed is generally a sign that (a) the lettuce isn’t being picked (true) and/or (b) is under stress. The latter would likely be because the current pumping system seems to waste quite a bit of water, and the reservoir typically needs topping up with a litre or two of nutrient twice a week, in order to maintain enough depth for the pumping to keep working. Nonetheless, the plants have been resilient and are currently flourishing, and since the reservoir has been kept in the dark, we’ve had no more algae problems. Please feel free to come by and pluck a few leaves!

The pumping system I’m using at present isn’t the “air lift” described in the WindowFarms version 2 instructions.  I was hoping to get away from the fluid depth sensitivity of that system, so tried a setup to draw water into the tube by the Venturi effect: when you have a small hole in a pipe, a quick flow through the pipe will suck air or liquid in through the hole. This turned out not to avoid the need for the intake to be submerged at a substantial depth, but it did make it easier to keep it on the base of the reservoir (I previously had problems with the hose curling up, and because we had algae problems at the time, I didn’t want to put in more parts to use as bracing). The problem with the Venturi setup is that the water comes out as a fairly fine spray, and I suspect this is how we’re losing quite a lot of liquid. In contrast, the WindowFarms model has the liquid come out in a slow drip. So I’ll probably revert to that (or something else entirely) when I get time to make another…

One reply to “Window Farm: some thoughts on current version

  1. Matthew Fallon

    Hi Cameron,
    I’ve been eating some lettuce from the main stem. not sure if that’s encouraging it to grow. Am eating 3 or 4 leaves maybe once or twice a week.

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