Help! No luck with hydroponics

dconleeJune 27, 2006

I got excited about Hydroponics when I read an article on it that a friend passed on to me. I built an Aeroponics system based on a design that I found on a web site. It works, that is the water and fertilizer are sprayed on the plastic net containers containing the grorocks and plants. The problem is with slow growth! I thought and looked forward to rapid growth. That is what I came to believe would happen from what I read up on Hydroponics/Aeroponics. I planted several different vegatable to include pepper, tomatoes, basil and some other herbs. All of the herbs other than the basil either didn't germinate or died off right after they emerged. The Basil lasted 3 weeks and then died yesterday. The tomatoes are about 3 inches tall, spindly with only about 4 to five leaves each. The peppers are only two inches tall with four leaves each. It's been almost a month since I planted them. I started them from seed in the aeroponics unit I built and did not start them somewhere else and transplant.

I bought a TDS/EC? meter to keep track of the growth solution. The solution reads about 1000 ppm at 75 degrees farenheit. The PH is 6.5. I am using a single part commercial hydro plant food that I bought from a store on the internet. It is called DynaGro 7-9-5.

If anyone can give me some help, I am a novice at this and have read as much as I can on the subject. I am really interested in Hydropnics and want to be successfull at it. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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soundls like 2 factors going on-

first would be ligth- are they outside? inside? what kind of light are they getting?

second, it sounds liek you may have a somewhat unrealistic expectation of the "powers" of hydroponics. iguess the plants do grow a litle faster but somethign like a pepper plant is going to take 100+ days to harvest regardless of what media you grow it in. dont get discouraged. you have not failed, you have simply found a method that will not work. keep tweeking things (nutrient concentration, pH, light, timing of the pump (if applicable) until you get it. good luck and happy hydro-ing

    Bookmark   June 27, 2006 at 5:45AM
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The tomatoes are about 3 inches tall, spindly with only about 4 to five leaves each. The peppers are only two inches tall with four leaves each.

Spindly plants are almost always a sign of inadequate lighting.....this is pretty easy to fix.

Seed germination has nothing to do with hydro, you have bad seed or bad germinating technique.....this is easy to fix.

Hydro requires as much dicipline as conventional gardening, it just produces better fruit faster......

    Bookmark   June 27, 2006 at 9:22AM
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Hi Deconlee,
I have never been attracted to Aeroponics or NFT methods of hydroponics. These are high unit cost operations whether done on a small scale or a very large scale. They have the problem of having the pump running all of the time and the nutrient needs constant aeration.

Why not utilise a better system that emulates nature?
A system that needs a pump to run for no more than 30 minutes per day. A system where you do not have to worry about aeration. A system where you can vary plant spacings at will (eg, grow 6 shallots or one Cos lettuce in the same space). A system where you literally "set and forget".

A better system does exist.


Here is a link that might be useful: A Better System

    Bookmark   June 27, 2006 at 7:40PM
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Thanks for all of the responses so far. I have my container next to a window on the balcony of my apartment here in Korea. Maybe I need to try adding a grow light? It was also suggested to me that my PPM level is way too high for starting plants. I am trying a second set of plants that I am starting outside the growing container in perfect grow sponges using 1/4 strength nutrient.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2006 at 12:46AM
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you want to have your PPM's about 600-800 for small plants and after they have a few sets of true leaves, raise the PPM's about 100-200 every week until you reach about 1500, Give or take. Try that, my plants really like it.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2006 at 12:54PM
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