My tomato plants - pictures

plantboy_grower(9)March 1, 2008

Wanted to post some pics of what I'm doing.

These seeds grew for 21 days before I planted them in the system. The pictures you see are after 6 days in the system.

I think I can get better next time because I don't have a good way to start seeds yet - I would leave the cubes soaking in a pool of water when I left for work in the morning so they wouldn't dry out - if I can improve my seed starting method I think they will be bigger at transplant time.

I am keeping logs in a spreadsheet like this:

Date Day PH EC Gallons Hrs Light Deg F Hum Requirements Action Taken (AT)

0 Germination to transplant was 21 days

02/25/08 1 6 1.3 4 18 82 50 Timer set to every 7 hrs (9:00 / 4:00 / 11:00)

02/26/08 2 6.8 1.6 3.5 18 82 55 Added H2O2 Adjusted PH back to 6

02/27/08 3 6.5 1.8 3.2 18 80 46

02/28/08 4 6.5 1.9 3 18 81 49 Added 1 gallon PH adj water Added Root 66 Adjusted PH (tried - still 6.5) Added H2O2

02/29/08 5 7 1.7 3.7 18 82 47 Adjusted PH to 6 (didn't check it) Added H2O2

03/01/08 6 6.5 1.9 3.4 18 83 51 Sprayed with TAG

Timer set to every 4 hrs

(9:00 / 1:00 / 5:00 / 9:00 / 1:00)

03/02/08 7

03/03/08 8

Other parts of the spreadsheet help me tell when it is time to start new seeds or take cuttings in order to have more plants ready to go by the time the current plants are done.

I also have another spreadsheet that helps me with mixing nutrient strengths and adjusting PH for a specific number of gallons that I input. This is all new to me but I'm trying to get up and running with a good start. Let me know if you have any input. Thanks!

I would also like to note that this will be very intersting to see what happens. These are "Burbank red slicing tomato", Lycopersicon esculentum. The seed pack says the plant spacing after thinning should be 20 to 30 inches. They are a stalky plant with lots of fruit and does not require staking. I have 6 plants only about 3 inches apart from each other. I anticipated having to trim side shoots maybe - and let them grow out to the back wall and the front instead. I wil learn if this is possible or if I should stick with only two or three plants next time around :)

I am battling the PH trying to keep it down and am afraid of adding too much of the PH Lower (phosophoric acid) -- I think maybe the clay balls were not washed well enough and the sediment in the tank maybe is throwing off the PH to 6.5 instead of 6.

I will try to organize all this better - maybe on to a web site - to share, eventually.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tomato Pictures

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You keep much better records than I plantboy and those plants look just fine for their age. My record keeping consists of maybe something written on tape stuck on a bucket or going back in posts here to see dates and stuff. Guess I ought to start keeping some sort of records in case my system does really well and somebody wants to know exactly everything I did. Thought about a blog...

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 9:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

That's too funny. I always record my notes on masking tape stuck on the bucket. then stick it in a notebook when I make the next batch of nutrient for the plants. It does leave some blindness about what goes on between batches though. But I'm lazy like that.
Anywho, nice looking plant plantboy. Are those tomatoes a determinate variety? I haven't seen an indeterminate variety that grows short and stubby.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 10:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes they are determinate. Thanks for the comments. I always wonder if they are growing as fast as they should, as I'm relatively new to all forms of gardening. (I've read a lot more than I have had actual experience)

I found these links about them:

This one has a picture of the burbank tomatos a little ways down:

I'm thinking tomorrow I will change the res. in hopes to get the PH manageable again - I think it is hard to manage because of clay dust in the water, but it could be due to the smaller reservoir I use now, however I didn't think that would be it since the plants are so small still. We'll see... with the lettuce the PH was much more stable.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 12:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Updated pictures. They are only about 3 inches tall - is everything ok?

Here is a link that might be useful: Tomatoes after 21 days as seedlings + 11 days after transplant

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 9:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

They look okay to me. It seems like tomatoes are slow to start, but once they get going, you about can't stop them.
yours are determinate though, so that may also be why they're so slow to take off.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 10:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes it seems to me that plants in general go through slow and fast growth stages - like they are doing something behind the scenes or under the "soil" at some points. Eventually I'd like to also track the growth pace along with the other variables of the system to learn these patterns.

I have added four more picture of what they look like in the morning (the last four pictures in the album). The leaves seems to be more up in the air and perky, not dragging as much, even the low ones.

I also included a picture of a root that I found I can take a sneak peek shot at. It looks really good! And the clay is still slighly moist in some areas after a six hour night.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 8:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

when your plants were "perky" what was the temperature and humidity?

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 2:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

They are perky in the morning and get less perky throughout the day. As I have noted in one of the following pictures, there are some stems that touch the ground by the end of the day but are back up like normal in the morning.

As you can also see the temperature is around 74 F and humidity is something like 67% in the morning.

For the perky tomato pictures I have included a clickable link below. However, please compare against these other two photos, which I believe I took later in the day when the light was on:

Leaves touching ground:

Check out the temp/humidity:

Here are my current thoughts - let me know what you think.

First off, if the tomatoes were outdoors I don't think they'd be going through anything different. There are cool and hot spots of the day and plants naturally droop a little bit and struggle to survive and cope with conditions. However it would be great if I can make their environment more ideal since they are in an environment that can be controlled.

I have two possible theories why the leaves drag a little bit after a long day - the first theory I can test very easily:

Perhaps the plants are not getting quite enough water as the heat increases from 72 F to 82 F throughout the day. It is an all clay pebble medium that waters at 9:00 AM, 2:00 PM, 7:00 PM, 12:00 AM. The light stays on from 9:00 AM until 3:00 AM.

I could increase watering frequency from every 5 hours to every 4 hours, then to every 3 hours, to see if that makes any difference (I was thinking I'd maybe need to do this as they got older anyways)

I know 82 - 84 F is just slighly hotter than tomato plants tends to enjoy, and as such perhaps this has nothing to do with watering frequency but just the plant making due with a little extra heat. This will be harder to test because I don't know what else I can do about temperature control right now. I've got an ok setup going right now with fans but it is not optimal, but I will have to work on this later.

Which do you think it is - I will try #1 starting today to see.

Here is a link that might be useful: Perky tomato plants in the morning

    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 7:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ok, so first off some kind of combination of lowering the temperature in the room and increasing the watering intervals from 5 hours to 4 hours for one minute at a time, has made the plants more "perky". Either that or they just grew taller so the leaves don't touch the ground anymore :)

I have new pictures and a question (see link below).

In the pictures you will see some flowers starting. They haven't opened yet - just the green outer casings.

Here's the deal. Is this ok? Notice in another picture that these plants are only about as tall as my hand - 6 or 7 inches.

How open should the flowers be before I switch to a blooming/fruiting formula for nutrients? I expected them to be MUCH taller - is something wrong why they are short and starting to get flowers?

I plan on using an electric toothbruth for pollination. Honestly the fans might be enough though.

Also here is the entire history so far for these plants:
( Summary is this:
temps around 79 - 82,
EC always around 2.1 except for first week, was half strength,
18 hours light,
humidity around 50 or so.

Plants were three weeks as seedlings and then have been in the system for 2 weeks and 2 days!

Day PH EC Gallons Hrs Light Deg F Hum Action Taken

0 Germination to transplant was 21 days

1 6 1.3 4 18 82 50
1/2 strength nutrient (550 PPM)
Timer set to every 7 hrs (9:00 / 4:00 / 11:00)

2 6.8 1.6 3.5 18 82 55
Added H2O2 Adjusted PH back to 6

3 6.5 1.8 3.2 18 80 46

4 6.5 1.9 3 18 81 49
Added 1 gallon PH adj water
Added Root 66 Adjusted PH (tried - still 6.5)
Added H2O2

5 7 1.7 3.7 18 82 47
Adjusted PH to 6 (didn't check it)
Added H2O2

6 6.5 1.9 3.4 18 83 51
Sprayed with TAG
Timer set to every 4 hrs (9:00 / 1:00 / 5:00 / 9:00 / 1:00)

7 6.7 1.9 3.3 18
Timer set to every 5 hrs (9:00 / 2:00 / 7:00 / 12:00)

8 6.5 2.2 3.5 18 83 49
Changed nutrient to 1100 PPM formula
Tried to adjust PH down to 6 - in progress?
3 ML / gallon H2O2

9 6.3 2.3 3 18 83 47
Add 1/2 gallon PH adj water (back up to 3.5 gals)
Added H2O2 EC was 2.1 so 50 PPM drop from original EC

10 6.5 2.1 3.1 18 82 47
Adjusted PH to 5.8
Added 4+ tsp of H2O2

11 6.2 2.1 3 18 82 52

12 6.3 2.1 2.9 18 80 50
Adjusted PH to 5.8

13 6.3 2.1 2.2 18 80 50
Added some H2O2 / cleaned old dead gunk out of tank

14 5.8 2.1 4 18
Flushed with water ~15 mins in the morning.
Initial EC of flushing water is: 0.4 After: EC~0.5 - not worth doing.
Changed to 4 gallons of new 1100 PPM
Flower casings appeared on two plants

15 6.8 2.1 3.5 18 79 50
Adjusted PH to 5.8 (did not verify)
Added H2O2 (slime is back just a little)

16 6.5 2.1 3.05 18 81 54
Adjusted PH to 5.8 (did not verify)
Cleaned out slime Added H2O2

Here is a link that might be useful: More Pictures

    Bookmark   March 11, 2008 at 10:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

in one picture, your temperature is 74° and humidity is 68%. if that temperature goes up much and the humidity doesn't go down, you plants may be temporarily wilting because their transpiration efforts are being hindered from the high temperature high humidity combination.
you plants look fine though, so I wouldn't really worry about it.
As far as flowering goes, I have to agree they seem small and were they indeterminate I'd probably cut them off. I don't have any experience with determinates, but my understanding is all the fruit comes about at the same time. In that case I'd be very wary of cutting off any flowers.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2008 at 7:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What kind of water are you using for the system? If you are constantly battling pH climbing, my guess is that your water is kinda hard and it's natural buffering is causing your pH issues. My well water (after out gassing CO2, before letting it air, it will test around 7) tends to a pH of 8 and was causing me all sorts of trouble with my Hydroponic systems. I started collecting rain water for the Hydro systems and the pH was much easier to control.

Perhaps the constant additions of the pH down has helped to trigger the early blooming. I've not really grown toms in hydro but one of the seedlings I started in a small pot has started blooming (and even setting fruit) and it is only about a foot high. It was being pretty horribly neglected other than getting regular irrigation so perhaps lack of nitrogen might have triggered my early blooming.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Hydro

    Bookmark   March 12, 2008 at 1:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

grizzman: when the temperature climbs to a daily high of around 79 - 80 deg. F, the humidity dips to around 50%. I agree with you that the leaves don't droop so much now and I think all is well in this department.

tclynx, thanks a bunch - great insight. My water is around 0.3 - 0.4 (150 - 200 PPM) on a Truncheon meter. I'm not sure what that is composed of. It comes from a tap but it is a private well here in Florida (my community manages their own water supply separate from the city).

So yes since I am using phosphoric acid perhaps the plants like it and since I seem to battle pH, perhaps too much is in there and forcing flowering. However I have also seen tomato plants at home depot and the likes that have little flower buds -- not to say that is good!

Rainwater is a great idea - I need to collect some and see what the EC / pH is. You may not believe this, but according to these calculations the pH of my water is around 9.7:

- The bottle of PH Lower says it takes .25 tsp / gallon to drop one point.
- I have a gen. hydro pH tester (bottle of tester that you put some drops in and it changes color).
- I haven't documented this part yet but after adding nutrients to water, the water seems to hang around a pH of 8 or so.
- That works out to .55 tsp of PH Lower to drop down to pH of 5.8.
- It is hard to figure my water's initial pH because the tester does not go up that high - I am sort-of guessing... try to take the value after nutrients are in there and go from there. I am going to start recording this part (PH adjustment) to get a better idea for it, without having to buy an electronic meter to measure such a high value.

Looks like my light setup is pretty much the same as yours. Next time around I'm trying to decide what to grow: micro tom tomatos and similar miniature varieties, I can probably get about 25 or more plants in there is my guess, or, about 12 heads of lettuce. It's really exciting, but I hope that rainwater will exhibit better properties.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2008 at 9:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You can check at a pet store or someplace that has aquarium supplies for a high range pH test kit. The kind with the test tube and drops you put in the water. The electronic meters require calibration fluids and stuff and the one I got quit working pretty quickly too. I used to think the drops were tedious but I've found that the test strips aren't very accurate and at least the tester I had wasn't reliable enough either so now I think the drops are just fine (at least for AP where the water is fairly clear.) If your nutrient changes the color of the water much, then the color changing drops might be a little harder to read, I don't know.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Hydro

    Bookmark   March 13, 2008 at 10:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

tclynx: What is "AP"?

I am nearing the end of another week and according to the water level in the res. and the EC reading, the toms have yet once again drank all the water and ate all the nutrients. It seems like the perfect setup because as water level drops, nutrient concentration stays constant.

I am wondering, now that I have a slew of flower casings that have not yet opened, should I switch to the blooming formula on the next nutrient change in a day or two from now? Or should I keep with the grow formula for another week despite all of the flower casings.

I am using technaflora products, which includes access to the awesome blossoms product.

Thanks in advance!

So I take it that early flowering stunts vertical growth (especially in determinate varieties?), even when you're using a grow formula instead of a bloom formula? (and in my case maybe the excess phosphoric acid made it seem more like a bloom formula too early, I don't know)

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 2:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

New pics:

Here is a link that might be useful: Pics

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 11:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ever since our water filter started to die, i've been boiling some drinking water on the stove to get more chlorine out of it. This has left a white film on the sides of the pot, over repeated uses of the same pot, that you can scratch off like chalk dust with your fingernail. I suspect and hope that dust is my pH issue.

Tonight I am collecting some rainwater in a ghetto rainwater collection system (a bunch of rubbermaid bins setting out along my patio that doesn't have any rain spouting on it) -- gonna check the pH and EC of that water tomorrow and hopefully use it this weekend as the toms will need more.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 11:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I used rainwater today to change the nutrient. Was around 7.5 pH just plain ol' water, and it must be 50 PPM or less TDS because the truncheon wouldn't turn on at all.

After disinfecting with H2O2 (let it sit all morning), and after adding nutrients, the pH is somewhere around 5.7 -- WITHOUT adding any pH adjusters at all. How cool is that!

(I switched to the flowering formula now because even though the plants aren't very tall, they have tons of flower buds now)

    Bookmark   March 15, 2008 at 2:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Indeed, how cool is that? I live in south Louisiana, and our city (I use that term loosely) water is 60ppm hardness, 140 ppm TDS. Although new to hydroponics, I've had absolutely zero pH problems, and I test it weekly. Which one of us has the normal water? I'm thinking about getting heavily into lettuce production. If my water is especially adaptable to hydroponics, that would be a point in favor of doing it.

And what do you mean when you say your truncheon won't turn on? Isn't there an on/off switch? Forgive me if that was a stupid question.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2008 at 12:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

truncheon meters turn on and off automatically when they detect a readable EC.
It's not a stupid question if you learn something from the answer.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 7:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes with the truncheon meter you just tip it in and it'll turn on by itself. Because no lights turned on.

The truncheon's lowest measurement is 0.2 EC, which is 100 PPM on the 500 scale, and it has a resolution of 0.1 EC (50 PPM) so I know that rain water must be very near the PPM of the distilled water that I also tested the truncheon on. It's got to be somewhere between 0 PPM and 75 PPM or so. As I learn more about rainwater and its lack of minerals, I suspect it is much closer to 0.

So far the plants have responded GREAT. I hope to continue using rainwater as it is obviously very superior for my need. I just sterilize it with H2O2 before using, and throw some more in if I do see something trying to grow in the res.

Can't wait to try growing lettuce again now that I have good water -- the challenge of course is getting enough rainwater that is not polluted by the roof. Trying to figure out a better system to collect it (reading online, figuring what materials I have to work with here, etc.)

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 9:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ok here's the next update.

Got LOTS of flowers and with an electric toothbrush the pollen has been flying all around daily. Getting several little tomato buds now.

Each plant has about three clusters of tomatoes, with about five to seven flowers on each of these clusters.

Over in this thread ( It was suggested that in late fall light each cluster only keep about three tomatoes to actually develop.

1) Not sure if it would be beneficial to prune some top foliage and foliage hanging outside of the light zone in order to provide more light penetration to the lower leaves (benefits of less foliage vs. more light to lower foliage?). The camera took pictures of the lower leaves looking a little more dim than I believe they actually are. Most of the flowers/fruit and at least half of the foliage is right at the top where the light is most direct.

2) Not sure if these 54W HO Flourescents are the equivalent to "fall light" like in the other thread - and therefore, how many flowers should be left to develop.

Thanks for any help you can offer!

The tomatoes use about 1 gallon of water per day. Throughout the week they have gone from EC of 2.3 to 1.0 in 7 1/2 days. Will change it out tonight.

The light appears a LOT more dim in the closer now than it used to, but it is because there is so much plant in its way (a good thing).

I've got six tomato plants in there - you couldn't tell because of how thick they are, they're like a big bush wall or something. Even with three tomatoes per cluster, that's potentially 36 big tomatoes if this actually works, assuming only two clusters per plant. That's a lot of tomato in a small space! Possible?

Here is a link that might be useful: Some pictures were taken before the light came on, and some with it on.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 10:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

how has your system affected your electric bill?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 3:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a kill-a-watt meter so I know exactly how much electricity it uses. I forget the exact figures off hand - I eventually want to track costs on electricity and nutrients and everything, but if I recall correctly last time I checked electricity is about 6KWH per day ... need to confirm though. It should be around $20 / month for electric, so if you actually want profit you have to be careful what you grow, how much, etc. But in the end even a deficit would ensure partial payback for a hobby.

There are efficiencies I have yet to make - my main fan is an electric hog (says the kill-a-watt). I can eliminate about 80 watts per hour after I get a better fan.

I am gearing up to do some outdoor stuff too. Eventually my indoor light will be for controlled experiments and lots of seed starting for outdoors, and when it's not used for those, i'll still probably grow stuff just cuz it's fun.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 11:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You have the WEIRDEST tomato plants I've ever seen. Weird in a good way though. Weird height, weird color, and beautiful prodigious baby tomatoes! I just posted on a different thread that I thought fluorescent light was not amenable to tomatoes or peppers. Was my statement incorrect? Are you finding that fluorescent light is yielding satisfactory results for tomatoes? An equal to or better than HID?

Crap, I hate giving bad advice.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 9:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hahah, yea I guess they do look kinda funny how they've grown. They are kinda crazy looking but it probably has mostly to do with how they are spaced way too close together.

I'm thinking a minimum of 30 tomatoes off of these plants though, 4 - 6 oz fruits. I don't have experience with other lighting but I am told HPS is better for fruits than flourescent, if you must use artificial light. The best would be sunlight with perhaps an extended day via artificial light.

Next I am going to grow little mini tomatoes or something. And of course I"ll do lettuce again too.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 2:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Going to post more pics as soon as I can get batteries in the camera. There are about 35 or more fruits now, with plenty of flowers still getting pollinated.

Over the last two days, I noticed what experience from outdoor gardening in the past ended up being blossom end rot. I found this thread (see link) that was VERY helpful. I have been using the nutrient company's general recipe, which only calls for about 2.5 ml/gl of the calcium / magnesium supplement. Tonight I upped that to a little over 10 ml/gl and will see if it cures the problem.

(I should note that the calcium/magnesium supplement I'm using, magical, seems to be very close/identical in formulation to cal-mag, as I have a sample bottle of each and compared the ingredients/concentrations tonight. Just saying this b/c the other thread uses cal-mag).

Here is a link that might be useful: Calcium and BER

    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 4:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

See post above about BER. I trimmed the plants a lot today, and removed the fruits that had BER. Others seem to be ok so far - hopefully me upping the calcium/magnesium will work.

I am also going to add some nutrient when I replace water, when the EC falls, instead of waiting all week to add more nutrient. I am going to do this because my reservoir is 5 gallons and the plants go through a gallon of water per day. So if I notice that the EC will be low after putting in more water I will add a little.

Here are some pictures after pruning off a LOT of foliage today, and a few flowers. There are about 30+ tomatoes on there with some flowers still coming on. If these grow to the size they are supposed to be, they will be about 4 to 6 ounces each.

Oh, this is day 34 for these plants. The seed packet says it takes 70 some days. little tomatoes after pruning plants

    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 5:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I haven't had blossom end rot in hydro, but we have calcium poor soil in La, so I feel your pain. Upping calcium DOES work. In fact, I am assuming our water is calcium deficient as well, so I've been dropping a few grains of dolomite lime (mostly calcium (oxide) but with a little magnesium as well) into the reservoir every time I change nutrients. I heartily recommend it.

I didn't completely understand the language in that thread, so in case it didn't mention it, you should know that nitrogen in the form of ammonia (NH3+ or NH4) also increases the likelihood that you will get blossom end fruit rot. If possible, get your nitrogen from nitrates instead of ammonium once blooming has started.

Of course, if you are using store-bought nutrients, there's not much you can do.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 6:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yea I checked my nitrogen source - it is nitrates, not ammonium, so that's good.

Two days later and the tomatoes look great. I am going to keep the EC as high as possible and keep putting in 10 ml calcium like suggested while the fruits develop. I suspect this should be done from the very first flowers.

I think the big issue to learn here is figuring out the relationships between reservoir size, number of plants, to determine the demand for nutrients there will be (e.g. to take the advice to not replace any nutrient throughout the week, or, to take the advice to keep the EC as close to what it was at the beginning of the week).

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 5:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What EC are you targeting?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 12:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Initial target with technaflora's recipe for success flowering formula was 2.8 (1400 PPM on the x500 scale).

Since then it has drifted to 3.1 to 3.2 - probably mostly because of the calcium/magnesium i've dumped in there. Going to cut back from the overdosing now that they've recovered.

Some leaves do have some chlorosis but I suppose this is normal during fruiting, don't know. It might be a little high but it seems like all is well so far.

I would just hate to stop adding cal/mag with new water and then have the BER come back -- will that / can that happen on the existing tomatoes? I am going to cut back now from the 10ml / gallon (recovery dose) to 5ml / gallon (normal dose).

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 5:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"can that happen on the existing tomatoes?"

YES IT CAN! I've had beautiful tomatoes blossom rot two weeks before they turn red. Talk about frustrating. [dirt farming experience] I've dosed the ground with dolomite lime for the last 6 years and have not had a problem since though. So just to be safe, I'm dropping about an eighth teaspoon of regular rock-style lime a week right on the EC. It raises the pH though, so you have to monitor it, as I'm sure you know.

I have never seen tomatoes suffer from chlorosis in any situation, fruiting or not. Is the calcium addition making your pH wicked high? That would be a good explanation for why you are seeing it. If so, cut back the calcium, but don't stop adding it entirely.

After stink bugs, BER is my most hated foe :).

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 11:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

PH stays stable no matter what it seems. I think the chlorosis is likely just old leaves that have had it. New growth coming on looks good.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 1:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

New pics: In a couple of days it'll be tomatoes for a good while...

Put the light back to 12 hours. New lettuce seedlings also started.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 12:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Why do you disinfect the rain water with H2O2? Were you able to take some kind of measurement or is this just preventive maintenance based on reading you've done?

The reason I ask is that I just completed my rain collection system (2 - 55 gallon drums collecting rain water off of my roof). My house's well water TDS and calcium are off the charts.


    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 3:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What I usually do is I have a 5 gallon bucket for the indoor system reservoir, and an additional 5 gallon bucket for adding water throughout the week. I set the water out in this second 5 gallon bucket and add 10 ml H2O2 for four or five gallons. If I don't I discovered that the reservoir will get funky in a couple days and then I have to scrape the slime off of the top after disinfecting the reservoir with H2O2.

I only tried rain water once and will definitely keep it up once I get a good system in place. I'm just a little skeptical of my vinyl shingles and water quality so I may try to rig up something on my metal shed instead.

So yea, the H2O2 is a preventive/standard procedure for me pretty much. Also, I noticed that even after four days of letting that water just sit there waiting to be used, when I pour it out it bubbles -- that H2O2 has put a lot of oxygen in that water.

This might be my last post on this thread as I am now harvesting the last of the tomatoes - on the EARLY maturity date I might add - and they are very good tasting before and after flushing. Here are some final pics of a portion of the harvest, some notes, and some random outdoor pics too...

Thanks everyone for your help on this thread -- the next time around I will be more vigilant to prune the sucker shoots and trim off deformed fruit to get the fruit bigger, but for the pathetic job I did this time around, this turned out GREAT!

Here is a link that might be useful: Here are the pictures.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 5:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You have very nice tomato plants. I am trying to grow also tomatoes hydroponicaly but I don't know what nutrients to use. I bought something from the shop but I don't know if it will work for tomato plants. On the bottle it says that it's specially meant for hydrocultures but also for plants that don't bloom. I write the elements that are in it:
N - 4,0%
P2O5 - 5,0%
K2O - 6,0%
B - 0,018%
Cu - 0,009%
Fe - 0,034%
Mn - 0,018%
Zn - 0,0018%
Could you please tell me if this is good or not? If not then probably I have yo buy something better.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 12:40PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Hydroponics Chillies Problems
Hi everyone. I'm growing some jalapenos and habaneros...
coco peat as a medium
I have been using cocopeat for a very short while,...
Nutrients and PPM
I'm new to hydroponics and have a question. I bought...
Is a Tower Garden really worth $500?
I am considering buying a Tower Garden (
Pepper Plant Fruiting
Hi, I am wondering if I can keep continuously fruiting...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™