Hydroponic tomatoes are the tomato plants that are grown and catered to while in nutrient solution instead of being in the soil.
All the same, the tomatoes grow healthy and well in an environment that can support and sustain them well.
A look at growing tomatoes in hydroponic gardening
Ideally, the yield from growing tomatoes using hydroponics is around 40 pounds per square foot yearly. But you must use the correct nutrients and take really good care of your tomato plant.
With all conditions meet, a hydroponic farmer will harvest about 45 to 50 pounds for every square feet, this is according to A & G Agrilife based in Texas.
While practicing hydroponic gardening of tomatoes, there are three systems that can be used to sustain the tomato plants.
The original method that was in use at the beginning was the ebb-and-flow method from the 1930s to the 1970s.
After then, a new system was introduced known as the Nutrient Film Technique (NFT).
Later on, the drip irrigation system was invented and offered to the farmers.
Ebb and Flow System
The ebb and flow system are often used at home for domestic use. It also the most preferred for amateurs who are just getting into the business.
This is because they are simple and also cheap. Important to know is that this system can also be used to grow hydroponic lettuce.
In this system, the solution is usually pumped from the reservoir to the grow tray until it is flooded.
The pump is then turned off and the grow tray is drained completely. The only problem with this is that the nutrient that each of the plants takes in is not in the control of the farmer.
Nutrient Film Technique
The Nutrient Film Technique changed the original concept in that the rooting medium was no longer essential and instead the roots of the tomato plants were bathed in a flow of nutrient solution.
This was made possible because the tomatoes were suspended on a slightly slanted surface.
The nutrient solution was then slowly pumped gently or let to trickle down the slope from the reservoir.
Since the roots of the tomatoes would be hanging down, the nutrients could easily be absorbed by the plant.
This system was often used commercially.
On the other hand, there could be an issue as the plants higher up could receive more nutrient as compared to the plants at the bottom of the slope.
When drip irrigation was introduced, water, as well as a nutrient solution, are placed at the roots of the tomato plants in bags or even buckets, learn more.
Although this system works similar to the ebb and flow system, it is more convenient.
This is because the solution is pumped from the reservoir through a network of tubes and eventually drip-fed to the plants.
Here, you can easily regulate how much each plant absorbs.
This system has turned out to be quite convenient and well-designed to the farmer.
However, in the recent time, there are numerous selections that farmers can use.
Tomato Hydroponic Grow Guide
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The hydroponic tomato growing guide is quite detailed and straight forward.
The language and style does not make it complicated even for a usual farmer or even a newbie in the industry.
The guide is essential as it will pinpoint the areas that need close considerations.
These will include the best conditions for growing the tomatoes and all other details necessary.
It will let you know which hydroponic system works efficiently as well as the best type of tomatoes to grow.
All you need to do is to carefully and strictly follow the hydroponic guidelines.
You can decide to grow tomatoes in whatever way you deem best. However, the tomatoes are specific to the terms in which they grow best.
The best aspect of hydroponic tomatoes is the fact that you can manipulate the conditions so that they can be produced in the fastest way possible.
These includes the conditions that make the tomatoes grow faster, have maximum nutritional value as well as taste delicious and juicy.
Guide on the items you need to growing tomatoes hydroponically;
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The best way to grow hydroponic tomatoes is by taking into consideration the following areas:
Soil Mixture starting seeds
Step one of learning how to grow tomatoes is creating the right environment for your seeds by ensuring the right soil mix.
The soil mix you should be a standard soil-less potting mix, add to it a worm casting of around about 10%.
Standard potting mix is usually done with equal parts of:
Then one teaspoon of hydrated lime for every gallon of soil mix is added to help adjusted to the right pH.
When it comes to tomatoes, adjust the pH the soil-mix this way because the lime is a good source of Calcium (which prevents blossom end rot in the tomatoes later on).
Using plain water and thrive alive B1, moisten the initial potting mix little by little.
To get the right mix a handful of potting mix is enough then make just a few drops.
In case the mix get too wet, add dry vermiculite or you can try perlite (just a handful) then remix.
Starting your hydroponic Tomato Seeds
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In growing tomatoes hydroponically, tomatoes starting seeds are crucial in the success of your crop yield. And when it comes to how to grow tomatoes the same applies.
Best way forward is to begin with a good nursery tray and fill it with the soil mix you have prepared above. Plant your tomato seeds 1/4 inch deep and about 8 seeds/inch.
So as to ensure your seeds don’t dry out, it is advisable to cover them for a few days. Use a seed starting tray that has a lid and in case you don’t have that get a plastic wrapper.
The right atmosphere for tomato seeds germination is 80 degrees for 5 to 12 days. Once the seeds begin to sprout remove any cover you may have on them.
The sprouting seeds need good lighting but make sure a distance of 4 to 6 inches kept from the fluorescent growing LED lights.
In order to maintain the right vegetative growth of your tomatoes seeds, your lighting should be kept on for 18 to 24 hours a day.
Once the sprout gets to 1 1/2 inches tall, transplant them carefully into a 6 inch container.
Proper use of Lighting in your hydroponic
This is among the most crucial things that you need to consider when growing tomatoes. This is due to the fact that tomatoes adore light in great abundance.
Learn why you need full spectrum bulb for your hydroponic garden. With enough light, you are guaranteed the best quantity and quality of tomatoes.
Tomatoes require that they are kept in a well-lit area for about 18hours a day.
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If you have to provide the tomatoes with light on your own, then LED lights are the best source.
With these lights, you can ensure that the tomatoes get the right amount of light since you are in control.
Hydroponics is all about the amount of control that you have on your tomatoes and therefore, it makes perfect sense to buy a grow light.
Review of the top 3 best grow lights
- New 1200W LED Plant Grow Light, with Thermometer Humidity Monitor
- NO REFLECTOR NO DANGER- Many others' grow lights are used led spotlight...
- MAXIMUM ENERGY SAVING- Compared to MH / HPS lamps, it generates less heat, more...
- EXTREMELY HIGH POWER- Adopt Dual-Chip(10W) LEDs which has highest PAR/LUMEN...
The unique design of this light makes it one of the most secure LED grow light solutions available today.
The LED light provides you with results, which you can rely on.
The Phlizon Newest 1200W LED Plant Grow Light has a unique design, which not only looks lovely but also includes all the lights required for plant growth.
It will also provide beautiful and cool light, providing your indoor areas a wonderful look.
Furthermore, the full spectrum illuminating system has been intensely tested to make sure it promotes the right growth at every phase of a plant’s development.
This product incorporates a double switch function for Veg and Bloom.
The Veg feature is for seeding and the growth of young vegetation, while the bloom switch is designed for flowering and further development.
The unit can replace traditional 400 watt MH/HPS while using just 108 watts of power, providing users a significant break in their energy bills while also offering their plants a complete growth system.
- Energy efficient
- Aesthetically attractive design
- Covers a bigger area than another models
- Includes a thermostat
- Great coverage
- Simple to daisy chain
- It’s affordable, which makes it a good option for people on a limited budget
- Not as strong as others
- Loud fans
- No daisy chain effect.
- The thermostat in Celsius only
- Reflector-Series 450W LED Grow Light Full Spectrum for Indoor Plants Veg and Flower
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This unit comes with many features that make it a must-have for growing indoor plants. It aims to strike a balance between coverage and PAR. Its lighting is very bright.
The Viparspectra reflector series is ideal for plants that are growing and flowering. It features the signature reflector style and the full-spectrum. It’s perfect for a garden of 2.5×2.5 ft.
This unit is perfect for plants in all growth stages. The grow light comes with an amazing PAR. Therefore, if your garden is well past the growing phase and you would like the plants to develop with healthiness; this might be the perfect grow light.
- It features ninety pieces of high intensity LED bulbs.
- It features an input voltage of 100 to 240 volts.
- It features a power draw of 200W.
- It features the Daisy chain feature, which comes in handy if you need to manage a bigger garden.
- It remains very cool and quiet simultaneously.
- A good balance between coverage and PAR.
- High-intensity lighting that pushes light to the plants for absorption.
- It can only be utilized indoors.
- It is not ideal for young plants.
- The high-light intensity might be harmful to the eyes.
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This unit meets the demands of every user; it is good for veg and flowers. You will be delighted by the energy efficiency, power output and the balance it brings between the lumens and spectrum.
The good thing about this panel is that it will cover the full spectrum of 12 bands. In this way, you aren’t limited to the type of plants you can grow.
This product permits switching between bloom/veg mode for a customized intensity output. You will see a greater disperse of the light since it will penetrate deeper.
This product uses a 5W chip that transmits to 120 LEDs. The coverage is larger compared to what you would expect with a standard panel.
It’s ideal for all phases of growth and particularly in the flowering stage. You will also like it during the cloudy days since it will help you to avoid worrying about losing time in the growth of bulbs and wilting.
It uses a small fan for cooling. There are also side vents that pull in fresh air to aid the cooling.
The exterior bottom sheet never becomes too hot to the touch, meaning you can put it as approximately 24-inches from the plant for deep penetration.
- Daisy chain capable
- Veg/bloom switch
- Full spectrum
- Might be very bright for young plants and clones. Make sure you increase the distance from light to plants.
Best Grow Tent for your hydroponic tomato farm
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These grow tent enables you to close off the environment for the tomatoes to give you the ideal grow room.
These tents are made of fabric and allow the conditions within it to be refined for the best conditions for the hydroponic tomatoes.
They are important especially because the tomatoes desire complete darkness for about 8hours.
Usually, it is not very easy to have so much darkness but with the grow tent you can meet the requirements with ease.
The right temperature for tomatoes
Tomatoes desire temperatures of about 18 degrees Celsius to 25 degrees Celsius during the day and 12 degrees Celsius to 18 degrees Celsius at night.
These plants are warm weather plants and can survive high temperatures as compared to the temperatures dropping. Tomatoes can do better if the temperatures rise for short periods as when they are exposed to frost conditions.
Frost kills the tomatoes faster than you can imagine.
To keep your temperatures moderate, you can invest in a grow tent as it creates an environment that is sealed.
Ideal hydroponics nutrients for tomatoes
Every plant needs certain nutrients that will enable it to grow healthily. In every hydroponic system, there is a nutrient reservoir that stores water that is fed to the tomatoes.
Soluble nutrients are mixed into the water (for tomatoes Maxsea is the best to buy) that is given to the plants.
You can mix the nutrients in the water to make it desirably rich in the essential nutrients.
Once the nutrients are mixed in the water, it forms the nutrient solution that is fed to the plants.
The pH level as well as the electrical conductivity must be strictly put into consideration when growing tomatoes. Tomatoes love water that is slightly acidic that has a pH level that is between 5.8 and 6.3.
You can easily and cheaply buy a pH level testing kit to help you to be accurate with the pH level.
The most ideal electrical conductivity needs you to mix the correct nutrients into the water with adjusted pH. The best electrical conductivity for tomatoes is between 2.0 and 3.5 milliMhos.
Hydroponics tomatoes growing medium
When using the hydroponic system, the growing medium can easily be changed to suit the desired needs.
So far Rockwool is great as it has the ability to hold water well. This enables the plant to take in sufficient water as well as air.
This material is available in a variety of sizes and you can pick the best pack to suit your system. It is also prudent to use trellis for the tomato plant to hold on to as it grows.
What period of time will it take to grow tomatoes Hydroponically?
The length of time it’ll take to grow tomatoes using hydroponic will depend on these 2 factors;
- Whether you planted a seed or used a seedling
- If you used seed that does not produce a true-to-seed or cultivar
With all factors remaining constant, 10 days is what will take for your tomato seeds to germinate.
Then for your tomato seedling to be ready for transplanting it’ll take about 28 to 42 days. As for your tomato plant to start bearing fruit, you’ll need to give it about 28 to 56 days.
The moment the tomatoes begin turning red, you may go ahead and harvest.
Best Tomatoes For Hydroponics Farming
There are different types of tomatoes but only selected few can do well in the hydroponic system.
The best tomatoes that can thrive well in the hydroponic system are the greenhouse varieties.
These ones are stalking and are known as indeterminate. These ones continuously grow upwards and need support from strings or stakes.
Apart from the particular type of tomatoes there are also various varieties. They are the beefsteak tomatoes, the cherry tomatoes, as well as the cocktail tomatoes.
Below we review one of the best cherry tomatoes.
RDR Seeds 50 Tiny Tim Tomato Seeds – Patio Tomato, Dwarf Heirloom, Cherry Tomato
- Dwarf plant does not grow very large, usually only about 12", though it can...
- Perfect for growing indoors, on a patio, in a hanging container, or in a small...
- Determinate bush type tomatoes do not require staking
Tiny Tim features a small, bush habit and yields lots of small cherry-sized fruits. An ideal heavy cropper where there’s a limit in garden space. It is great in on the window sill, containers and pots.
Plants are ideal for containers on your patio or deck, and early producing plants make these seeds totally ideal for the home gardener.
The Tiny Tim Tomato Seeds ripen quite very early when the plants just have a height of 12 inches.
You should plant the seeds sparsely (one cm deep) into a seed in small cells or pots or into a seed tray, covered a little, watered and at between 10-18 degrees Celsius. Once seedlings are big enough to handle, prick you should prick them out.
Transplant those seedlings the seedlings into individual compact pots, afterward they may have to be repotted if growing fast and big.
Ensure the leaves don’t overlap. This phase requires temperatures of 12 to 20 degrees Celsius.
Tiny Tim Tomato is usually relatively low upkeep and is usually quite simple to grow, provided that a basic care level is of given all year round.
- Always keep watering in dry drought, particularly when flowering not to mention when the fruit is setting.
- The plant is very productive and will produce a generous quantity of small tasty one-inch cherry tomatoes
- Determinate bush variety of tomatoes don’t need staking
- Great for growing in a small garden, on a patio, growing indoors, or in a dangling container
- The dwarf plant doesn’t grow huge, often approximately 12-inches, although it can at times become taller.
The truss tomatoes are half the size of the beefsteak tomatoes. They are harvested all together on the vine. And don’t forget that pruning ensure huge harvest, click here to read more.
However, it does not necessarily mean that you need to harvest all your tomatoes at the same time.
It is best to pick the tomato when it has turned red or has a color common to that particular variety.
The tomatoes that you plant should be in relation to the use and need. You may need tomatoes for a different purpose.
There are those that are sweet while some are not but have a strong tomato taste. You could get the big tomatoes or just the medium sized tomatoes.
There are also tomatoes that are grown in the specification of the environment or the area of growth. This is because of the temperatures of the area as well.
Best Hydroponic tomatoes nutrients
In order to harvest the best tasting and most nutritious tomatoes, you must have given the plant the nutrients that it desires.
In order to come up with the best fertilizer to be used on the hydroponic tomatoes, you must be sure of the nutritional needs of the tomatoes.
These nutrients aid in the growing of flowers as well as fruits. And in the end, you will have a great quantity of tomatoes that are big and juicy.
There are different nutrient needs for different plants. Fruit crops such as tomatoes must maintain low levels of Sodium.
For tomatoes, the nutrient solution is prepared in two or three levels that will sustain various stages of their growth.
The macro nutrients are the ones that change and become concentrated as the crop matures.
For the tomatoes, the micronutrients are maintained at a balanced amount. The first stage is for the seedlings.
This is the stage between the first true leaves to 24inches in height and the fruit is 1.5cm in diameter. During level B, you may need to add the amount of potassium and nitrogen.
The most acceptable pH of the nutrient solution should be maintained at 5.5- 6.0 or can be lowered using phosphoric acid.
Last update on 2022-05-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API