Author Topic: My hydroponic tomatoes and peppers experiment  (Read 1608 times)

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Offline Wolvenar

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My hydroponic tomatoes and peppers experiment
« on: September 12, 2015, 04:28:05 am »
I will add more here soon, but to start this off since I brought it up in a public forum.
Mostly I'm just jotting notes to clean up later at this point.

May 17 2015 Tomatoes


Jun 11 2015 Tomatoes



June 11 2015 Peppers




July 4th 2015 Tomatoes



July 9th 2015 Peppers



July 23 2015 Tomatoes as the near the 8 foot ceiling



August 13 2015 A little before the tomato plants decided to go nuts and take over the entire greenhouse.

EDIT I just realized how tiny these seem compared to now, I gotta get a pic when its light out :-)

About this time things were beginning to offer a bounty



The tank and some of the pipe while first setting up.


Quick summary:

For those wondering, no one can seem to tell any taste difference between the hydo and normal tomatoes
The peppers included yellow red and green bell peppers, and a couple of habanero
There are 6 Tomato plants here. 3 New Girl, 2 Better Boy, and one unknown name of cherry tomato
They are WAY to close together.
Even at that they have WAY out produced 15 of the same two varieties outdoors in normal fertilizer enhanced soil.
Better yet they are FULL of flowers and fledgling tomatoes yet showing no signs of stopping.

These did very well at first, set and offered a couple dozen peppers total.
The entire time they would be attacked by aphids. I tried as much as I could to use only "natural" "organic "control methods, which would get them under control for a time. After a couple applications of each method it became ineffective.
First was a mix of crushed tomato leaves mixed with garlic cloves crushed and filtered, sprayed on.
Next was Neem oil, that worked well for quite a while.
Then when they seemed to grow immune to that, I went to less natural or organic methods with a spray that had among other things, sulphur. That worked again for about 2 weeks. At this point they multiplied like the stuff was aphid fertilizer. Clear of them one night, completely covered till you could hardly see the plants the next morning.
Nothing after this point seemed to work, the plants were also quickly damaged beyond the point they could be expected to produce so i removed them from the hydro system.
Something about the hydroponic grown peppers seemed to make them more susceptible as well. Granted the nutrient mix was not optimal. But the same plants outside about 300' away fared a bit better, still had the infestation but to no where near the same level.

If anyone has seen me complain about being sick of canning.. I have harvested almost 150lbs of tomatoes with the largest amount being hydroponic. I lost count of how much we have given away, and canned, thought I would only count the jars after we are done for the year.

Some of this went into making and canning chili.
I have made a bunch of pickles, had the first 18 jars of dill come out terrible :( all mush.
Had more luck with the next batch which of 23 quarts, 5 cracked while the canner was cooling down.
We had a terrible year for onions, all tiny.
Corn also did terrible, not enough to can. Just got a few meals with some fresh.
Zucchini was great this year, giving LOTS of that away too.
Choke cherry trees are still little after having to move and restart them due to foundation drainage work 3 years ago.
Maybe next year

Trying to make power from alternative energy any which way I can.
Just to abuse what I make. (and run this site)

Offline Wolvenar

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Re: My hydroponic tomatoes and peppers experiment
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2015, 05:09:25 am »
I will edit the above soon, but its a start.
Trying to make power from alternative energy any which way I can.
Just to abuse what I make. (and run this site)

Offline bj

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Re: My hydroponic tomatoes and peppers experiment
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2015, 07:36:17 am »
Nice crop Wolv--I am most envious of the peppers.  Our tomatoes, potatoes, and yellow beans did best.
Carrots, beats were a disappointment.  Swiss chard fair.
The green house got started this year, and if snow holds off, we may be using it in the spring.
"Even a blind squirrel will find an acorn once in a while"
bj

Offline oztules

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Re: My hydroponic tomatoes and peppers experiment
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2015, 05:47:21 pm »
Now i will have to get me act together...  Good looking stuff there... and details on the growing gear would be fine too when you edit.

Last year the tomatoes were months late.... zucchini was poor, cucumber great, peppers good, beans ... what beans....lettuce --bug disaster.....

It was a mixed year to say the least..... this year will be different.... he said.


....oztules
Flinders Island...... Australia

Offline bj

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Re: My hydroponic tomatoes and peppers experiment
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2015, 07:03:48 am »
Most of this years problems were caused by lack of moisture.  But in general I have found that
saving my own seed where I can improves both germination, and growth rates.  But, of course
if it won't grow, no seed.  I've found that saved seed, properly stored, will out-perform bought
seed even after 4 years.
Just what seems to work here.
"Even a blind squirrel will find an acorn once in a while"
bj