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Green house Hydroponic Tomatos

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Project by Jimthecarver posted 05-15-2012 12:04 PM 2555 views 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This year I decided to try my hand at growing tomatoes in another home built hydroponic system. This is also a build that was inspired by multiple You Tube vidoes. Then it was time to put some ideas to the drawing board and build a grower from a 4”X 4” vinyl fence post purchased from Home Depot ($4 cheaper than Lowes).
As you can see it is supported using concrete blocks, the nutrient bucket is contained within an old planter that was burried to help keep the nutrient cool.
The system is a flood and drain type of growing unit it fills to the desired level and overflows back into the bucket and recirculated.
In the third pic it shows the roots just beginning to come out of the net pot. The plants are supported using hydroton/expanded clay balls. The great thing about the hydroton is it is completely reusable year after year.
Hopefully this venture will be a success, and if not it was a heck of alot of fun to try.
Thanks for viewing
Jim

-- JTC



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Jimthecarver

111 posts in 2276 days
hardiness zone 8b

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11 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3751 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 05-15-2012 12:23 PM

that is SO cool.
An adventurer in the garden!

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Bon's profile

Bon

7374 posts in 3531 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 05-16-2012 03:25 AM

That tomato plant looks nice and healthy.Good luck with your experiment

-- Bon,Hastings,Ont.....zone 5a....Always room for one more

View NavyCop68's profile

NavyCop68

262 posts in 3043 days
hardiness zone 8

posted 05-16-2012 08:24 PM

Did that a couple of years back and, while it was warm in the garage and using a grow light, grew some massive plants. Did not get any produce though as I think I wasn’t really aware of how to get the flowers to get ‘funky’ with themselves and actually produce…

Good luck with your systems. Are you looking at year round, extended growing season or simply through the summer with your projects?

-- Steve, Vancouver, WA

View Jimthecarver's profile

Jimthecarver

111 posts in 2276 days
hardiness zone 8b

posted 05-17-2012 05:02 AM

Steve- after having the same results I found info online that made me realize playing mother nature has many jobs. You must be the bee, simply use a Oral B tooth brush to vibrate the blooms. Even in the garden this technique is very effective. The tomato bloom is both male and female, vibration from the bees wings causes the pollen to fall and pollinate it.
Use the brush behind the bloom and watch the pollen fall.
Strawberries are the same…if you notice in the strawberry tower pics, no strawberries. But a lesson well learned.
This is strictly a summer project.

-- JTC

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Jimthecarver

111 posts in 2276 days
hardiness zone 8b

posted 05-25-2012 09:27 AM

Well so far so good. They are growing nicely …roots are showing through the net pot and looking very healthy. Nutrients seem to be doing fine and staying stable. The PH jumped up to 8.3 which is bad, tomatoes like it to be between 6.0 and 7.0 to thrive.
All in all things are doing great!

-- JTC

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Jimthecarver

111 posts in 2276 days
hardiness zone 8b

posted 05-25-2012 09:28 AM

-- JTC

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3751 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 05-25-2012 09:57 AM

two green thumbs up!! How exciting.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Cameron Robertson's profile

Cameron Robertson

10 posts in 1662 days

posted 04-02-2013 01:48 AM

A lady friend of mine was looking into home gardening, hoping to grow some staples at home like tomatoes. She is one of those not-so-lucky ones to have been deprived of a big garden, but only a small garden in the front of her house. She has only a small storage for her gardening tools inside the house, but not a lot. However, she managed to find online how to grow tomatoes like this. It was not expensive but rather cheap. She was glad to have discovered it online.

-- Cameron John Robertson - http://supercheapselfstorage.com.au/facilities/sydney/northern-beaches/

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Jimthecarver

111 posts in 2276 days
hardiness zone 8b

posted 04-02-2013 03:29 AM

The results were amazing, the tomatoes tasted great. Hydroponics are so much faster than conventional gardening. I am doing a test to see how much difference in time for maturity and flavor. Its fun experimenting.
:-)

-- JTC

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4312 posts in 3014 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 04-02-2013 04:24 AM

Your next challenge Jim, might be to incorporate fish into the loop using aquaponics. I have been reading about it and it is really quite fascinating. You use the fish wastes to feed your hydroponic plants and you use the plants to clean the water for the fish. I know it gets quite cold where you are in the winter, but perhaps you can figure out how to grow your greens and raise fish to eat at the same time! I am thinking about starting a small system in the house with a few goldfish and herbs, just to see if it is something I want to try on a larger scale.

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

View Jimthecarver's profile

Jimthecarver

111 posts in 2276 days
hardiness zone 8b

posted 04-02-2013 07:00 AM

Last year I started looking into aquaponics, bought a book on complete setup of beds, tanks, bio filters, all the basic info needed to succeed.
I have a few friends giving it a try, I am holding back to see how they do in the adventure.
Spikes in nitrite and nitrate levels cause plenty of challenges in this type of gardening. I believe that can be controlled by a better filter.
It maybe in my future even if Gold fish is used in the system …...I am not a fan of eating fish.
The increased growth compared to regular type gardening is ten fold.
Hopefully you’ll give us an update on your herbs.
:-)

-- JTC

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