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 Post subject: Hydroponic Advice
PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:57 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 12:01 pm
Posts: 122
Location: Branson MO/Zone6
I'm going to experiment with trying to grow hydroponic tomatoes in my basement this fall/winter.

I ordered a bubbler system, nutrient and supplied to begin. It seems like everywhere I try to order anything hydroponic is designed primarily for pot growers, so I fully expect the feds to break down the door any day :) I'd like to hear from any of you who have tried to grow vegetables hydroponically (especially tomatoes) and maybe give me some tips or things to be aware of.

I grew a hydroponic cucumber once by filling a trash can with water mixed with nutrients where the roots could extend into the water/nutrient mix. No recirculation, no aeration, no nothing. I actually was able to get some cucumbers from the plant that grew.


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 Post subject: Re: Hydroponic Advice
PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 3:29 pm
Posts: 948
Location: Sunol, CA (9B)
I bet turface would make a good hydroponic medium for a bubbler system, especially for seedlings. If you don't know where to source some in your area, aquatic plant soil will work just as well.

I've never tried hydroponics, I'm under the impression that it's used mainly when you intend to grow lots of plants intensively indoors and don't want to have to deal with hauling yards of potting soil around and dealing with it getting accumulated with salts, ect.

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 Post subject: Re: Hydroponic Advice
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:28 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 12:01 pm
Posts: 122
Location: Branson MO/Zone6
This looks like pretty versatile stuff. I had to look it up because I didn't have a clue what it was.

I have already learned one lesson. I set up the bubbler in the basement where light is limited and put in 3 tomato cuttings a started cucumber plant and planted a coupld of rockwool cubes with lettuce. I started looking for light sources and they all looked expensive to me, so I thought, what the heck, there's plenty of sunshine in the greenhouse and there will be enough season left to get a crop of tomatoes, maybe. I moved the whole shootin' match to the greenhouse and went back to work in the house.

I have two fans running full time in the gh, but when I went back about 3 hours later, all of the tomatoes were totally wilted down.

Looks like it might be time to continue the indoor experiment and see if I can find some reasonable lighting options. Anyone with suggestions can feel free to chime in.


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 Post subject: Re: Hydroponic Advice
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 5:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 3:29 pm
Posts: 948
Location: Sunol, CA (9B)
Probably the plants just weren't strong enough to take the heat yet. In warm weather things in greenhouses tend to dry out quickly too because the dew point is way below the ambient temperature.

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The best time to sow is 5 years ago.


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 Post subject: Re: Hydroponic Advice
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:57 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 12:01 pm
Posts: 122
Location: Branson MO/Zone6
I expect that you are right. I'm going to see what they look like in the morning. Maybe they'll perk up. If not, I think I'll try again, but give the cuttings more time to root.


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 Post subject: Re: Hydroponic Advice
PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 7:48 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 12:01 pm
Posts: 122
Location: Branson MO/Zone6
Just an update. The tomatoes came back from the wilt and this is how they look now. I'm pretty impressed so far and will be anxious to see if any tomatoes ripen before I have to shut down the greenhouse for the winter.

So far, I've just checked the water level in the tote to make sure it's OK and have added a little nutrient mix about a week ago.

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