Hydro Tomato youngling issue

kdogg2010October 31, 2012

Tomato Hydro in Rockwool. these plants are about 20 days old. i attached a pic of a lower leaf branch that recently fell off and it shows purple coloring under the leaves. apparently its a Phosporus deficiency.

i started my youngling mix of around 250ppm mix, in RO Water, using GH flora grow/bloom/micro. i water them by hand 2 times a day with a pour technique. they get 18hrs of light (LED) and i have other cherry tomatoes that i had great success with but they started to develop this purpling about a week ago and has now shed an entire leaf branch.

i upped the PPM to 500, about 4 days ago and mixed to a gallon, which is basically 5ml of grow/micro/bloom with RO Water. Yet i am now seeing a curl and almost like a burn to these leaves. i don't see how 500ppm would nuke this plant at 3 weeks old. when 250-300ppm was not enough...

i always keep PH around 6.0. Just kinda purplexing how these plants are still having issues.

any suggestions?

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2nd pic

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 6:04PM
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3rd pic

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 6:08PM
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The GH Micro has nitrogen in it, which means you don't need the GH Grow, too. Try using equal parts of the Micro and Bloom, without any of the Grow. That gives you more control over the P without providing too much N.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 6:35PM
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The grow does have 2 parts N in it, but it also has 6 parts potassium that i would be losing out on. i research a lot of these elements and am trying to follow howard resh's formula for PPM of each element as well as get near his PPM number. Problem i have found is, with these GH nutrients, there calculator on the website, gives exact PPM of each element and i have measured accurately to the ML of each of these and tried to come up with an accurate total of each element per RESH's formula. BUT...the PPM is off by like 200+ if i follow it when i take a measurement with my PPM meter. i message GH directly and they say just use a PPM meter and don't follow the calculator...something is strange with there math because im adding it to RO WATER with 3 PPM and its so far off. but i guess i could try your method but i would be losing about 70ppm of K. so i don't know... i do know lucas's forumla that does not use GH Grow in it, but im skeptical on the loss of K overall. your thoughts? thanks

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 8:02PM
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Maybe GH assumes people will use tap water, and that accounts for that 200 ppm?

I also wonder if your cubes are maybe evaporating a little, since you're only watering twice a day. That would raise the concentration of nutrients and possibly account for the burn you saw. It could have also caused the deficiencies by nutrient lock-out or ph fluctuation within the cube.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 12:30AM
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Have you calibrated your ppm meter to make sure it's reading correctly? Most ppm readings are calibrated to either 500 or 750, so you have to make sure it's calibrated correctly.
If you're using the grow proportions of GH's flora series, that is not the cause of the phosphorus deficiency. I've grown tomato plants just fine using the 3 part flora series. I'm not saying it's perfectly balanced or anything, just that it's going to provide ample nutrients for your plants.
What are those other plants growing with the tomatoes?
A 200 point swing in the range of 500 to 700 isn't going to hurt most tomato plants. 200-250 is low (really too low for tomatoes) but the overall growth of the plant will be affected.
Have you looked at the solution in the tank to ensure nothing is precipitating out of the nutrient?
And whatdo you mean by the "pour technique"? are you simply poouring nutrient on top of the hydroton twice a day?

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 9:34PM
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thanks for the replies. My ppm meter is fine, calibrated 500 nacl. These are late additions to this system, so i put them in the system, but i am hand watering just these 2 plants with a 500ppm solution from the top yes. the solution in my tank is about 600ppm which the other tomato plants and peppers are DWC with there roots at this point. i also drip feed them but thats not doing much since the roots are completely submerged. Yes i have aeration in res.

as you can see in this new picture attached, i have some pretty decent leaf curl and small lesions on the lower leaves working its way up.

a little history i did have 4 other tomato plants that all had the same issue in this system with the leaf curl and eventual death. i never figured out why and it was only to a particular breed of tomato (tomosa). the cherries are doing fine and are fruit setting.

I am using a "Pour" technique for a few weeks twice a day from a gallon jug. i only use half a cup or so to get the rockwool remoist and some runs back into the resovior. i did not attach these 2 tomatos to the drip because they were too young to deal with the higher PPM of 600. so i figured a few weeks of this then the roots will probably be down into the water and itll be ok. Yet im getting this curl alredy and dont know if they will make it.


    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 11:07PM
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pic of curl upclose. notice the bumps as well on the leaves.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 11:10PM
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