Why are my tomato leaves drying up?

Michael.MasztalFebruary 16, 2013

I have been growing lettuces and herbs for a while now with good success so I though IâÂÂd try tomatoes. I started with heirloom Cherokee Purple seeds and transplanted when they were a few inches high. I grow DWC (3 gals water) under full spectrum LED (200w, 5w bulbs ~18" away). GH Flora, Bloom, Micro ~800ppm, pH ~6.5. They initially grew thick stock and stems and large dark green leaves. About a week ago the leaves started to dry up (without turning brown). They would open up and within a day, dry up. The new leaves are also quite a bit smaller.

Any ideas? I read that heirlooms donâÂÂt do well in hydro setups.


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Inspect your root system. make sure you have enough water in the system. check where the stem comes out of your medium for signs of disease. From what you wrote, it sounds like the leaves source of liquid is being lost. That is why I suggest what I did.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 8:17PM
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Yes âÂÂgrizzmanâ youâÂÂre right. The suggestion you had given to âÂÂMichael.MasztalâÂÂ. It seems to be right. But GH product he used that can also occur problem. What your suggestion?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 11:53PM
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Sounds like heat stress or nutrient burn in my opinion but then again I'm not entirely sure what your setup looks like or exactly how the leaves/plant looks without a picture. I doubt the LED lights are the cause. You may have low humidity in the room?

Like grizz said, it could be stress from blight or another type of disease that began in the root system.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 2:13AM
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Please refrain from slandering GH if you've never used it. Many people on here, including myself, have used it and used it successfully without any recurring similar issue. the nutrient is not the problem.
I will ask again, do you work for Advanced nutrients? It seems every post you make either pushes AN, or tries to diminish some other brand of fertilizer. so to put it like the late Jerry Garcia used to:
"Please don't dominate the rap jack, if you've got nothing new to say."

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 7:35AM
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Set up is in a laundry room. Temp range between 73-78, RH about 55%, ~800ppm, pH ~6.5. Water levels are consistent. The leaves started their changes when fruit started to set (small, I have the same problem with the plant adjacent to it with a top drip system. I'm beginning to think it's that the seed doesn't do well with hydropinics. I ordered some "Trust" and "Big Dena" breeds and will try those when they arrive.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 10:01AM
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To date I have never had a problem with any type of tomatoe in hydroponics. While you shouldn't rule genetics out as a factor, I don't think that is the issue.

One thing that caught my eye is you said water levels are "consistent." What amount of water might that be in terms of total volume?

Also, what do the roots look like? Can you provide pictures?

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 2:27PM
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Ethnobotany- I have 3 gallons in a 5 gallon bucket. The root system is well developed. I may take a photo later.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 3:30PM
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Pictures would help. Sometimes with larger plants, especially water suckers like toms or cukes, they will eat water faster than nutrients. This means the nutrient solution increases in its EC/ppm values as there is now a greater molarity due to smaller amount of aqueous matrix.

Do you measure EC/ppm everyday, or just when you refill the reservoir?

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 4:03PM
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