Need advise on growing indoor cucumbers/tomatoes

cucumberloverAugust 29, 2013

Hi there,

I recently took at an attempt at growing some vegetables inside under LED lighting with hydroponics. I am using General Hydroponics nutrients with 1 TS per gallon which comes out to about 400 PPM (suggested nutrient levels according to GH). I been growing mainly tomatoes and cucumbers. So far, it's been about close to two weeks since I moved the plants to the hydroponics system. I been flooding it daily once for about 5 minutes, just enough to touch the bottom of the pots. Everything was going well until this morning. A few of the plants, mainly the mature ones are slumped over (see the attached image). My PH level is right about 6.0. Lights are on 16 hours a day. I also have oxygen bubbling about 30 minutes prior to the flooding everyday. What am I doing wrong?

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You'll probably should post this question in the Hydroponics forum. However I believe that you should definitely flood them a lot more often than just for 5 minutes once a day :) Are your roots dry?
Also are your roots hanging out of the baskets yet or are they barely out of rockwool?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 12:15PM
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Hey there,

Thank you very much for your input, Slimak.

The roots are not hanging out of the pots yet, almost there though. They don't seem to be dry either. I will start feeding more often and see how that goes though! I'll keep you posted :)

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 12:50PM
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Sure let me know how it goes :) is this your first time growing in this system?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 4:24PM
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Yes. I wanted to grow outside, but it we're averaging over 100 and it gets up to 115 sometimes.

I watered it twice this morning, the plant seems to be doing good! Thanks a ton for your suggestion!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 4:30PM
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:) you're welcome, I'm happy to help.
I can't tell from your pics exactly but it looks like you have an NFT system. Have fun getting the roots out once the plants mature lol

One of these days I'll try one of the hydroponic systems but for tomatoes I'll go with a dutch bucket system

Anyways good luck with your plants and let me know how it works out!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 10:38PM
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Thanks again for your input. The plants are doing much better, now that I've increased the flooding frequency and time. It's at 3 times a day for 15 minutes, it takes about 4 minutes to flood, so total time the roots are in the solution are about 11 minutes. They seem to be doing fine now, I'm wondering if I should increase the time.

The system I actually built myself. I have 2 8 foot square 5x5 fencing posts with 3 inch net pots (19 in each). The reservoir is 15 gallons with a submersible 350 GPM pump. The lights are 25 dollar 4 band panels off eBay. Attached are some pics of the setup. It's an older pic, made some changes to the lighting.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 2:46PM
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another pic.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 2:47PM
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Nice system man! :) Sorry but I don't know much about NFT systems yet so I can't give you any advise on flooding frequency. But I did come across some information in the past about those systems and from what I remember people flood their systems much more often than you do. I remember a guy writing that he's doing it every hour.
Checkout the Hydroponic forum section on this very website, other forums or google something like "NFT flood frequency for tomatoes"

Either way I'm sure if you post a question on the forum someone will sooner or later help you out.

Also you might want to try to look at youtube videos about growing tomatoes in NFT. I got a lot of usable info from that place.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 4:03PM
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Thank you man! :)

I read up and down the forums about flood frequency, but cannot find a definite answer. Though everything seems to be going well, I will wait for the next scare before I mess with the frequency.

Here is the same plant (it's a persian cucumber) a few days after changing the flooding frequency. Thanks for the tips my friend!

I'll post some more pics as I go.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 4:44PM
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I think the best way for you to find out is just to experiment because just like in soil gardening no one can really tell you how frequently you should water. Your plants can actually show you a lot better what they need than anyone in the forums. Definitely show some updated from time to time. I'm curious how those LEDs will do the job :)

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 11:24PM
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