HELP!!!!! Wilted tomatoes

nu2hydroMay 17, 2013

This Picture is a picture i took last night the tomato plant Doing great and healthy and this morning i woke up the plants were still Doing great i got home today from work and Two of them were wilted nutrient temp was at around 75 F 650 ppm and the Ph was at about 6.5 give or take and the only thing that i can think that could have happened yesterday when i got home i added about 2.5 ml of humic acid (because i read that it help promote a healthy root system) and i added about 6 drops of grapefruit seed extract because i read that it helped to control algae and i am not sure what went wrong and its only those two plants that are wilted i will post pics of the wilted versions so that y'all can see and maybe tell me whats going on or if it is just the other stuff i added to the res well i took the plants out of that res and got them in another res with a fresh nutrient solution it is at 1140 ppm in about 32 gallon res the other res was about 16 gallons any help would be greatly appreciated

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nu2hydro

Now this is as of today at about 1130. This is the big tomato plant

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 8:09PM
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nu2hydro

This is the little tomato as of yesterday.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 8:14PM
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nu2hydro

and the little one today.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 8:17PM
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nu2hydro

Alright strangest thing they have perked right up after the change so it was either the humic acid or the grapefruit seed extract does anyone have any experience with either one of these and if so. Good? Bad? Amount to use? anything would be greatly appreciated thank you in advance

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 10:30PM
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cole_robbie(6)

Is one of those lids clear? It's hard to tell from the picture. That would be a bad idea if it is. I think even the dark blue would heat up in the sun. 75 is hotter than the reservoir needs to be.

I would try to make the reservoir container both white and light-proof, which is not especially easy to do. You can use aluminum foil to cover the hydroton to prevent algae.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 10:56PM
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nu2hydro

It was clear until i got an algae problem and then i changed to the blue one an i have been running my rez anywhere from 65 to 78 degrees and have had no problems except in the clear container i started getting some algae formation and then the wilted tomatoes yesterday but today they are standing tall and strong ready to take on the day

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 7:17AM
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nu2hydro

Ok so once again the tomatoes plants have wilted so it has to be the heat of the resivoir causing the problem so now i got to figure out how to fix the problem i have bought some supplies to make a makeshift chiller type thing that way i have something cooling my water in the heat of the day.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 2:56PM
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grizzman

buy some spray adhesive and glue some aluminum foil to your container. That will block the light so algae won't grow and it will deflect the bulk of the radiant heat from absorbing into the nutrient.
75 degrees may be warm, but it won't wilt your tomatoes. All those extra "additives" are not required to grow healthy plants. just give them a balanced nutrient and let them grow.
Is that a drip irrigation system? In one of your pictures, it appears you're directly saturating your rockwool cubes. Maybe they're staying too wet and causing problem. Try sticking the feeder line down into the medium so it gets the hydroton wet and not the rockwool so much.
Can you post some root pictures?

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 12:03PM
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nu2hydro

Ok these are the only roots that are sticking down into the nutrient thru my net pots and i have pump running to an 8 port manifold pumping nutrient to my plants and it does constantly run should i run it at intervals on a time maybe? i am a definant noob all i know is what i have researched and i jumped in head first no testing the water nothing just dived right in and right now it seems like everything that can go wrong is going wrong it is very frustrating

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 5:19PM
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nu2hydro

so in the evening the plants perk back up and look great but during the day they wilt kinda like around 9 to 10 am don't know if it is disease related or if i am doing something majorly wrong when i first planted everything they were doing great took off like weeds and now i have this first it was the tomatoes now it seems to be everything else as well except my other two tomato seedlings the are doing good thinking about taking them out of the greenhouse and moving everything to the garage where i can control every aspect of everything because it is getting very frustrating shoul i just chalk this up as a loss? and start again or is there hope for these poor plants? if there is hope someone please tell me what i can do to fix the problem i have built a homeade apparatus to try and work as a chiller it is not complete but it will run and i have not been able to test to make sure it is going to do what i want it to but it uses a pump and some 4" pvc and i am going to use frozen 20 oz bottles in the 4" pvc pipe the pump is going to run the nutrient solutiion in there and that is going to cool the nutrient solution the way i have it set up right now it will run for 30 minutes and be off for an hour i have a 16 gallon rez and the pump pumps 6 gallons per minute so at thirty minute intervals it will have cycled the 16 gallons 11 times so i am figureing that that will cool the rez down to the optimum 68 F temp for the most soluble oxygen and the optimum temp for the roots and plants so i hope it works the way i want it to.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 6:55PM
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nu2hydro

Could my problem be humidity what should the humidity in my greenhouse be with my Hydro setup in it so i think that could possibly be part of the problem the temp in my greenhouse right now is 75 and the nutrient solution is 75 as well and like every evening the plants have perked back up i also went in and took off the bottom leave stems because they were curled up and pretty dry and kinda had some brown spots on them and looking at what roots are there they look healthy to me but i don't know roots that well being this is my first hydro setup

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 8:19PM
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thegoat

I can't tell you exactly why but I had the same problem. They say tomatoes love the sun but I think the heat kills them fairly quick the sun was beating down on my tomatoe plants and almost killed them I don't keep them in direct sunlight anymore and they are doing great in my opinion tomatoes don't do well in high heat/humidity and when the sun starts to set my perk right up as well.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 8:54PM
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cole_robbie(6)

Tomatoes can't use more than about 40% of intense summer sun. You could build a canopy over them with partial shade cloth. You could also dig a hole and bury the reservoir bin in the ground. Or stack concrete blocks around it.

I don't think your design is that bad, but fwiw I like to pump into a pvc manifold that is suspended above the water line inside the reservoir. Drill holes in the pvc and make the water crash down into itself. That would give you better aeration. And aeration problems are compounded as temperatures rise. The amount of oxygen that water can hold will fall exponentially as it gets hot.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 10:40PM
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nu2hydro

thank you for the replys i think i will build a shade i was think about that at one point already because there have been times that it has gotten over 100 f in my greenhouse so thanks for the input and what does FWIW mean?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 4:44AM
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grizzman

Just take them out of the greenhouse. mid day wilting is often caused by excessive ambient temperature coupled with high humidity (typical in the summer). Greenhouses typically amplify those conditions, more so in the summer.
You cooling apparatus may work great, but why not just drop frozen 20 oz bottles of water directly into the rez? It'll serve the same purpose and spare you the extra plumbing.
Again, 75 degree water is not so high it will impair your plants.
You roots don't look terrible, but they are stuck together and don't have any side roots so you may want to improve your aeration. Are you aerating the solution at all? if your roots are growing down into the nutrient solution, your system is more of a deep water culture than a drip system. If the system is DWC, then just lose the drip lines and focus on aerating the rez. if you already have a water pump then create a water fall to aerate. Cole's suggestion of a manifold is ultimately creating a bunch of tiny waterfalls.
If you're not aerating at all then oxygen depletion could be adding to the temperature and humidity issue.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 8:09AM
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nu2hydro

I have a dual port air pump with 2 i think 6 inch air stones i am thinking about getting some longer air stones to get more aeration throughout the rez the main reason for the drip lines was to water the plants until the roots got into the nutrient solution so will the hydroton wick the moisture up to the plants or will have have to water from the top till the roots get into the nutrient?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 8:25AM
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grizzman

Ah, okay. I've done that before myself. If the roots are getting into the reservoir fluid, you don't need the top water anymore. If they're not there yet, put it on a timer. something like 15 minutes every hour. you want to encourage the roots to grow down and give them time to get some air too. if you leave the dripper on all the time, they'll actually get less air.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 12:16PM
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nu2hydro

Ok Didn't know that will be sure to do that today when i get home

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 1:10PM
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nu2hydro

Another question that may or may not pertain to my wilted tomatoes. I have not made a practice of checking my PPM before i add my nutrients to my reservoir how Critical is that to the Continued growth of my veggies?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 4:08PM
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nu2hydro

i went out to look at the roots on my tomato plant and i took my fingers through them and i had roots falling off with ease like the roots had been cooked so can the plant recover from this or is this tomato plant hopless?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 5:41PM
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grizzman

tomatoes are hearty plants. they'll recover if you fix the problem. If they're "cooked" then your water is getting hotter than 75 degrees. if they grow too long with water constantly pouring over them, they tend to rot and fall off easily, but then they will feel kind of slimy.
If you're topping off your reservoir with more nutrient, you should be checking your ppm. Another alternative is to top a fresh rez with water only until you have added as much water as your started with nutrient.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 7:06PM
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nu2hydro

Ok well one big thing i am going to take the greenhouse down and take and put my rez and what not on my back patio under the roof that way it is in shade for the hotter part of the day and it should be easier to control temp under there

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 7:22PM
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nu2hydro

It posted the same thing twice not sure why it did that

This post was edited by nu2hydro on Tue, May 21, 13 at 5:13

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 7:45PM
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cole_robbie(6)

Yeah, you got pythium, aka root rot. It's caused by high temps and poor aeration. When your roots rot, they can't uptake the nutrients in your solution. The exact ppm of your reservoir will be a moot point if the plants can't use it anyway.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 11:37AM
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nu2hydro

I am not sure what your trying to say about moot point. but the big question i have if i fix whats causing the problem will the plants continue to grow and recover?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 3:42PM
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nu2hydro

Well my tomatoes were wilted again today so I moved my reservoir to my back porch and they are already perked back up and looking lively again which is great cause now they will continue on there fast growing like there were thank you all for the continued help and advice I am sure I will need more down the line but as of now I have this problem licked

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 5:01PM
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nu2hydro

Well after moving my tomatoes onto my porch and watching them like a hawk and putting ice bottles in the rez about every hour or so the tomato plants are more healthy and the big tomato plant has thick healthy roots again now just waiting on the other plant to get its roots back and then they will all be in great shape thank you all for the input and the great help and advice.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 8:42PM
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