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How much variety can you have on one hydro system?

Posted by hyrdoboy (My Page) on
Tue, Feb 4, 14 at 13:50

I have past experience using NFT to grow various types of greens over the past couple of years but I now want to expand to a second system doors to incorporate vegetables. I was wondering how much variety I could plant in it. I don't want to make something with 40 sites when I can only grow one type of vegetable. So can I get away with bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, string beans, ect in the same system using the same nuts as they go from veg to flower?....

Thanks everyone!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: How much variety can you have on one hydro system?

Here is a good place to get a baseline of what types of plants want:
http://www.homehydrosystems.com/ph_tds_ppm/ph_vegetables_page.html

Lighting will be different too, if you're indoors.


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RE: How much variety can you have on one hydro system?

I think you'll be fine. When you read about one vegetable having a certain NPK that is optimal, that means optimal in the sense of not wasting fertilizer, especially in a commercial operation. In a small-scale home system, the extra cost in fertilizer would not be significant to keep the NPK at numbers all the plants could enjoy.


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RE: How much variety can you have on one hydro system?

I have attached a ph and ec guide which may help to determine the compatability of plants you wish to grow.
Personally I grow a combination of vegetables that use the same nutrient and ph levels with success.


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RE: How much variety can you have on one hydro system?

Hmmmm, I'm very curious about several of the posts here. I too am doing something similar... Right now I have two flood tables, one hosting lettuce, the other hosting peas and onions. CLEARLY, I am wanting to get as much getting along of the different vegetables that I can grow different foods in my limited setup.

First Question is from Cole Robbies post. "I think you'll be fine. When you read about one vegetable having a certain NPK that is optimal, that means optimal in the sense of not wasting fertilizer, especially in a commercial operation. In a small-scale home system, the extra cost in fertilizer would not be significant to keep the NPK at numbers all the plants could enjoy."

What exactly is "NPK"? I am defining all my parameters with TDS and pH and have never heard NPK be used so I'm a little confused. Could you clarify on what that is determined by? Thanks. Your thought DOES make me happy as I'd love to mingle some of my veggies.

The next question arose when I read Nekbet's post "Lighting will be different too, if you're indoors."

I have been using that website you referred to as my guide for my veggies tds, etc. Where would I find a resource that would outline the lighting variances?

Like I said earlier, I have lettuce, peas, and onions growing in two flood tables. The lettuce in about half the nutrients BUT all of it under the same 1000 watt bulb. I plan on expanding into cucumbers, etc. and am now wondering if I have TOO MUCH light for some of these plants? Is there such a thing? Am I good on light and don't need to worry? Thanks.


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RE: How much variety can you have on one hydro system?

NPK are the three primary macro nutrients in your fertilizer. Nitrogen potassium and phosphorus. they are also the primary dissolved solids that affect your EC readings. Calcium contributes a bit as well.
When you measure EC you're measuring the overall quantity of dissolved solids in your nutrient. When you build your nutrient, is should be based on (primarily) the desired ratio of nitrogen to potassium to phosphorus.
Did that help clarify NPK vs EC?


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RE: How much variety can you have on one hydro system?

Grizz beat me to the answer. NPK is the three numbers on any container of fertilizer, often separated by hyphens.

Too much light is typically when the heat of the bulb burns the plants, although different crops will have different optimal light intensities. Is your bulb a metal halide? The cukes and peas would probably like a little more red in their light. If you add tomatoes or peppers, they definitely do. Adding HPS light, even if in smaller bulbs, would probably help your fruiting and flowering by balancing out the spectrum of your light.

Here is a link that might be useful: wiki article on NPK


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RE: How much variety can you have on one hydro system?

Thanks for all the input guys! Here is the pic of the new system going in. 30 feet of 4" pvc. All I have to do now is plumb it this weekend and we are good to go. Also, What should my spacing be like between bell pepper plants going down the tube. The tubes run parallel 2 feet spar from one another.

Thanks again!


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