Newbie grow log, Tomatos under a 400w HPS
Im new to the forum and am pretty excited about finding an actual gardening forum that has to do with growing, indoors, under lights. I have never grown anything green before in my life and am interested in setting up an indoor garden to produce fresh veggies year round for two people.
I purchased an HTG 400w HPS lamp. Its not any kind of special bulb, just the general hps bulb. Also, I have done a TON of reading on cannabis growing since it is reported to have such similar needs to tomatoes and until now I couldnt find much information at all on growing veggies under HID and the two plants are supposed to be so similar. Ive done my reading thoroughly and understand pollination, topping, scrog techniques, N-P-K ratios, etc, etc ... although I have no experience in any of it, just the knowledge gained from researching.
So here is what I have so far, I would really like some information and suggestions from you guys. At this point, I think I have made two mistakes. I believe my plants are suffering from nute burn (used a granular) and early on I think I severely overwatered them. To the point that a few plants are sufferring from stem rot, one of which I think Im going to toss since I could use the room.
Heres the pics of my grow, and then Ill ask some questions at the end. Currently I have three Totem Hybrid tomato plants and two bush early girl hybrids. They are both determinate varieties. Now that I know determinates will grow, flower, then die, I wish I would have went with indertimant so I could simply fertilize and manage the adult plants for a few years and get fruits the entire time, instead of having to start with new plants.
These pics are about a week old, They have all grown about 3" or so and most have flowered! Heres the deal though, the freaking totem hybrids are only about 11" tall! The seeds came from totally tomato and are quoted to mature at 18"-30" tall. The bush early girls are in the middle, and one has severe stem rot. Ill get new pics when I can.
The totem hybrids are in 3.7 gallon pots and the bush early girls are in 5.4 gallon pots. Lighting is on a 18/6 schedule. I used this potting soil which seems to be light and airy and has a good amount of verm and perilite in it:
.... and as per the package directions, I used 1/4 cup of this fertilizer PER POT, on each plant. The directions say for individual plants use 1/4 cup, but after the fact Im wondering if that means 1/4 cup for OUTDOOR plants, because I think they are burnt from to much nutes. Its all organic with blood meal, bone meal, kelp meal, greensand, etc, etc.
I also included a handful or two of composted cow manure at .05-.05-.05 and a pinch (1/8 cup or so) of pelletized gypsum per pot.
So my questions are as follows:
1 - at this point, all the plants are small (although about 3" taller then you see here in the pics) and are flowering. I think Im going to just go ahead and fruit them out. Since I used granular ferts I dont know if flushing will even help anything.
2- Preferrably, and nevermind the grow I have going on now, I would like some medium sized slicer tomatoes (4" or so) some plum or cherry tomatoes, green peppers, maybe some hot peppers, and some lettuce/spinach. I need a supply for two people. Is this single 400w hps large enough to produce this amount? I can construct a PVC grow area if need be, rather then using this spare bathroom as you see here as I cant add anymore pots. I do have a spare bedroom that I could construct a 3x3 or 4x4 area (to put the lettuce containers in the outskirts of the area to receive ambient lighting) out of PVC or something similar and line with mylar.
3- Since you now know my goals in question #2 ... I was thinking that I should use indeterminate tomato plants so they will produce continually over a long period of time. I was thinking I should get two 4" slicer type tomato plants, two plum/cherry type tomato plants, two green pepper plants, one jalapeno plant, one other hot pepper plant, and maybe a few containers each of lettuce and spinach (or one of each if necessary). Does this sound adequate and possible?
4 - Last but not least. I do have some lettuce going now and it just sprouted but seems very lanky and stretchy. The temps are in the 68-75 range, is this to high and they are "bolting" as I have read, or does it sound more like they are simply stretching for more light (the container is quite aways away from the light source). I guess Im just curious if growing lettuce/spinach is even possible with this type of set up since the temps will be higher because of the heat the lights produce in the first place??
Any suggestions at all would be greatly appreciated. Seriously a huge thanks in advance!
Right now I have the following seeds on hand:
Beefmaster hybrid tomato - indeterminant
Italian goliath hybrid tomato - indeterminate
Totem hybrid tomato (plum sized fruits) - determinate
Bush early girl hybrid (4" slicer) - determinate
Fat n sassy sweet pepper (green pepper)
Pretty purple hot pepper plant
Green ice lettuce
some mixed lettuce seed mixture (red and green types)
Thanks for any and all input!!!