Hydroponic Tomatoes

dennis123gOctober 1, 2008

I live on a 125 acre lake in Florida and am thinking about growing some hydroponic tomatoes and am inquiring if it is possible to grow in a 5 gallon bucket with holes drilled near bottom maybe 1 inch up and set the bucket at the shore edge in two inches of water .... would the plant draw enough water and would the lake water negate the need for added nutrients, ... is this possible.

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freemangreens(Zone 10 CA)

With God, all things are possible!

Not being God, here's what I'd do:
First off, the water in the lake will only support the plants' growth for a short while. Sooner than later, it'll need more nitrogen, potassium, calcium and other trace elements that just aren't in lake water.

Leaving a bucket stuck in the mud, buried two inches down, with holes near the bottom sounds like a really bad idea to me. What you'll have is a bucket of mud with a plant stuck in it. Why not just stick the plant in the mud and forget the bucket?

I'd go with a more proven method (drip, NFT or aeroponics) and use the water in the lake as a free source of water. I'd add nutrients to the water FOR SURE!

If you can keep the critters off the tomatoes, shy not just plant them up from the water a few feet? Start them from seeds and transplant them when they're about 6" tall. Dig the soil down to where it starts to get damp from the lake and heel the transplants in, laying them partially on their sides when you first stick them into the earth. This will force them to grow stronger and will be especially good, since they are at the mercy of the elements.

God bless.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2008 at 12:02AM
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If you grow anything next to a body of water, don't use any fertilizers. That's the biggest cause of dead spots in bodies of water.

If lake water was a perfect nutrient source, we wouldn't be buying fertilizers. We would be buying lake water.

With God all things are possible? Well, with science there are discernible rules that dictate what we can and can't do. Whether a God put those rules in place or not doesn't change the fact that it is true. Good luck getting God to help in impossible hydro applications. Better to look at the science.

Would it be inappropriate for me to start passively injecting my belief that God doesn't exist (or at least not the Biblical version) in nearly every post? Not at all. Not on this site, anyway. It is not a pulpit for atheists or Christians to subtly or not so subtly spread their messages. It is a gardening forum. Please do not make it into one by injecting something religious into so many posts. Not everyone believes the same and there are places to discuss such issues. This isn't that place. Next I expect someone will think it is appropriate to start talking politics or making campaign slogans as the previous one essentially was for God. I'll keep my humanist witticisms to myself out of respect for those that disagree since this isn't the proper place. I only ask for that same level of respect.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2008 at 8:33AM
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Let me clarify the dead spot comment real quick. I suppose the fertilizer is not a cause of dead spots. That's like saying wood causes fire. Fertilizer fuels algae and when it grows it blocks light to other plants that are in the water and need it and when it dies decomposition uses up the available oxygen. Especially in a small body that doesn't get as much water movement, but it's happening really bad in big bodies like the Gulf of Mexico, too. I realize one dose or the amount from one hydro unit isn't going to wreck an ecosystem, but keep in mind that it's likely not one dose. It's one MORE dose. It all adds up.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2008 at 5:40PM
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freemangreens(Zone 10 CA)

The "God" thing was more on the order of levity.

"God bless" is something that just rolls off my tongue. You'll find it at the end of my outgoing phone messages, etc. Blame that on the way I was raised.

In the future, I'll try to remember leaving out all the "God" talk. Goodness knows there's plenty of more important things to think about; like tomatoes and fertilizer!

Oh, one more thing: If you go to any of my Web sites and see a little thing called "Are You Ready?" (usually in red), DON'T CLICK ON IT!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2008 at 6:45PM
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Is it ok if I say "God, you are such a jerk?" I think you should chill out and let people express themselves.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 4:08AM
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greendude(Arctic Wisconsin)

Just to lend some support to Joe Jr., I also find it annoying when people have to be all "God this God that" on forums. But I figure that's no real reason to go off on them just because they believe something different than I do. [Insert any deity here] knows some people just feel the need to say these things.

Since this is a gardening forum, I kind of feel like the statement "With God, all things are possible" is about as relevant to the topic as exclaiming "Metallica rules!" before going on to talk about tomatoes. That being said, I have never been one to be against extraneous writing in forums; after all, look at this entire post! Enjoy your day.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 9:51AM
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Carolynp, nice double standard. You say, "let people express themselves" but seem, as many (and not all) religious folk, to only think that is okay if that expression is one you agree with. That is obvious because I also expressed my feelings on this issue, but your hostility shows you don't want ME expressing THAT. The entire reason I ask it to be left out is because Christians commonly express their "Godliness" or "faith", but when a non-believer expresses disbelief they are suddenly crossing the line. So it is sometimes best to leave expression to the forums that are for that purpose. Religion and politics are the two issues that incite the most hatred and it is almost always the followers of both that become hostile with a person that feels the subjects are being consistently inappropriately raised. I tend to automatically go on the defensive when people start making such comments because the results are always the same. Innocent comments are made. Others see it as an opening to make more of them. They start getting not-so-innocent. Then you have a group of people that turn a forum unrelated to religion into a good-ole-boy stump for the religious. A perfect example is a woodturning website I once frequented. A couple of us private messaged one another that it was getting a little overly religious for a woodturning forum for the public. We both chose to hold our tongues. Next thing you know one guy was constantly preaching in every post and anyone that disagreed with his preaching was attacked as being immoral because the preaching guy turned out to be some baptist minister in Kentucky. What the heck does that have to do with woodturning? So, call me names all you like. Express yourself as much as you like. Then we can have a bunch of back and forth and this can become a religious discussion forum instead of what the name indicates. OR you could keep your expressions of religion to yourself and I will keep expressions of non-belief to myself and we can concentrate on gardening. And to be clear, I'm no longer talking to Freemangreens, an obviously nice person that didn't have the intent of preaching or calling names. This is in response to the hostile name calling and following comment on expression. I admit, though, that the "God, you are such a jerk" comment was witty.

Dennis, I'm sorry for hijacking your thread. I'll not write anymore on the issue here.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 11:24AM
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I have to admit you're right on the double standard in my name calling Joe. Can I also state that I haven't disclosed my religious beliefs? The earlier poster merely said something in passing that was funny. To say that using the word "God" is somehow offensive is strangely childish to me. I also apologize for the thread hyjack, me twice as much because I'm really just a lurker.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 12:54PM
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freemangreens(Zone 10 CA)

Boy, this has really gotten out of hand. I'm 60-years young and it seems just being me has somehow pushed a few hot buttons.

Does anyone know how to delete forum entries? Is there a forum administrator out there somewhere?

Lets go back to what we all learned in kindergarten: be polite, share with others and remember that there's no problem in the world that milk and Graham Crackers won't solve.


    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 10:29PM
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