Hydro outdoors with rain

gardenweb88(9)May 10, 2013

I'm planning on growing some tomoatos outdoors hydroponically, but recent rains here in So Cal have reminded things could get difficult. I don't have a green house. So, I'm interested to hear how other people manage to grow hydro outdoors with rain.

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You can cut a hole in your reservoir near the top to act as a overflow of coarse you would have to remix nutrients after your solution becomes diluted so if you have a lot of rain it could be wasteful. I would provide some sort of cover from the elements maybe a sunshade setup over your system with some wood or maybe have it against your house.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 1:01AM
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I live in San Diego and don't think you will have a problem, I never have. It doesn't really rain enough days to mess things up that often. Just adjust your ph and EC after it rains if needed.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 1:46AM
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Some things I've learned:
using the smallest net pot possible will help limit how much water enters the reservoir.
try to use a flat top and put a slight slope on top to shed water rather than let it into your reservoir.
If you have just recently added nutes, as SD said, readjust pH and EC. Adjusting the EC takes some time to get used to. you generally have to estimate how much water is now in the rez, then figure how much of a higher EC to add to achieve the result you want. if the nutes are around two weeks or so old, it may be easier to simply replace them.
I have, previously, cut oversized rings out of styrofoam and silicon glued them to the lid around the net pots to keep water from migrating into the rez but that is when I don't have a flat surface to work with. If you look at my current systems, they are both set up to limit infiltration of rain water. In the last two weeks we've had somewhere along the range of 2"-3" of rain and neither system has shown a significant increase in water levels.

1 Like    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 7:54AM
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I collect Zero PPM Rain water and use it in my Reservoir. Here in Florida we get 55 inches a year and it all comes during our Rainy season. But the hot sun uses so much water each day that the rain is a welcome replenishment of the Reservoir. Fact is I still have to add water.


    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 8:59AM
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I'm using 8 and 10" net pots for my drip system and I'll have 10 or more of them so rain water has the potential to be a real problem. I plan on getting a little stiff plastic and making a shallow cone that I can put around the trunk of each plant that will shed the water off without letting it get to the bucket.

I have the buckets sitting out right now but they are empty at the moment and with all the rain, they are easily filling up a 1/2 gallon or more per rain storm.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 3:18PM
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nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

i doubt you will see enough rain between now and harvest to make a difference.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 12:13AM
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i live on a tropical island. during the rainy season, it can rain weeks on end, nice downpours. i found an old vinyl sign, cut it in sections large enough to drape over the trays and add grommets. i then placed these over my grow trays, and made small cut outs (shape of an X) and had my starter plants grow thru these small holes. it seems to be working out well, plus im sure it keeps the rootzone a bit cooler, and the reflective white cranks on the plants by reflecting the sun upwards.

good luck

1 Like    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 3:56AM
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"i doubt you will see enough rain between now and harvest to make a difference."


I'm growing stuff in rain gutters and I still need to top up regularly, even after heavy rain. There's just not enough surface area to collect much water (most of the rain is blocked by the foliage)

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 2:42PM
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