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First Tomato Setup


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  #21  
Old 03-18-2015, 02:06 PM
finewoodstudio finewoodstudio is offline
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Default On the right track

The tomatoes that were not producing were they a different variety than the ones flowering? I have noticed that some varieties do not do well and i also yank them out.

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  #22  
Old 03-18-2015, 02:18 PM
JHazzardB JHazzardB is offline
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Yeah they were 2 different varieties. I have 8 buckets and try to keep 4 different varieties to see which are better. My new little plants are going to replace what I have now when they get big enough to give me some decent suckers. Obviously not all types love hydro...
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  #23  
Old 03-24-2015, 01:19 PM
JHazzardB JHazzardB is offline
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Blossom end rot continues. I've bumped my nutrient EC to 2.5 with a base of .5 for a total EC of 3.0. I have also started using CalMag for supplemental calcium last Friday. Fruit is setting amazingly well though! Growth is good on leaves and such. I have a little fan that is putting in a nice breeze. Average temps while the lights are on is about 83-85 degrees with humidity settling between 37-50%.
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  #24  
Old 04-07-2015, 12:27 PM
JHazzardB JHazzardB is offline
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Yay for updates with pics!

Blossom End Rot continues. I know they say this is an easy thing to cure but I don't believe it. One variety of tomato (not sure what it was but it doesn't exist in the setup anymore) literally got BER on every tomato of my beautiful clusters. When I saw that, I said screw it and ripped them out. I left some others (Black Zebra I think) that hadn't been exhibiting BER so much, but they are starting to show up with it. Not every fruit, but a significant amount. This fruit is the largest I have grown to without getting BER though. That has to count for something.

I planted 4 new varieties which are doing very well. They are Brandywine, Genuwine, Roma, and Super Sweet 100. Growth is fantastic and clusters and flowers are already forming. the average bottom leaf is over 12" long and very lush green. Super Sweet is doing the best as the clusters have already started their flowering.

So the laundry list of changes.
1. Bumped nutrients to about 2.6EC + .5EC Tap water =3.1EC overall.
2. Began adding 60mL of CalMag to help. I think I'll bump this up to 100mL soon though.
3. Added Brandywine, Genuwine, Super Sweet 100, and Roma.
4. Vented my HID lamps with fan and duct work.
5. Instead of mylar for the sides, I'm using a foam board that has a reflective surface.
6. Temps are about 79F during the day and about 55-65% humidity.
7. Moved my lights up to the ceiling. This gives the plants about 6ft to grow.
8. Have a fan gently blowing in the give them some air flow.
9. Fruit set is awesome, BER sucks.
10. Watering is set every hour for 15 minutes.
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  #25  
Old 04-14-2015, 07:02 PM
JHazzardB JHazzardB is offline
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Thought I'd throw up some pics. New tomatoes are doing well. I've noticed some leaf spot virus thing that isn't very wide spread so I'm just clipping of those leaflets/leaves.

Super Sweet 100 variety seems to be a very big producer. It's going faster than any of the others. It's the only one with fruit set. All of the varieties have flowers though.

The nutrients are hovering around 2.82EC and a pH of 5.7. I think I might actually lower the nutrient concentration next time I remake the reservoirs. I don't know if I'm feeding them too much nitrogen for the Calcium uptake or whatnot so we'll see. I might reduce by about 5-10% strength.
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  #26  
Old 04-14-2015, 11:43 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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What size reservoir (water volume) are you using?
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  #27  
Old 04-14-2015, 11:51 PM
JHazzardB JHazzardB is offline
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Thanks for responding GPS!! Felt like a ghost town in this thread...

My reservoir is 30 gallons but I have it filled to about 25-26 with a water fill valve attached. I know this is very small for this amount of plants (16) but the reservoir is getting remade about every 6-7 days. It stays fairly constant through the week.

Once again, thanks for stopping in
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  #28  
Old 04-15-2015, 12:17 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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How much does your water level fluctuate? What water are you using?
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  #29  
Old 04-15-2015, 12:40 AM
JHazzardB JHazzardB is offline
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The fill valve won't let the water level drop further than a half gallon low. So it's pretty much always at 25-26 gallons.

Don't hate me. The water is city water.... .52EC depending on season.
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  #30  
Old 04-15-2015, 12:53 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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I don't hate you. Don't hate your plants?

How much water is being replaced by the fill valve in the reservoir daily?
And what does that .52 EC in your city water consist of?
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  #31  
Old 04-15-2015, 12:36 PM
JHazzardB JHazzardB is offline
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You know GPS, I actually don't know how much water gets refilled per day. That's a good question. I'll close the water valve tonight and monitor water levels till I redo the reservoir Friday. I'll also watch the EC levels too just to see whats going on.

As far as what is in my city water...I'm not really sure. I've never done a water test. The City Water Report here lists some stuff but its not very easily digestible to me if that makes sense.
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  #32  
Old 04-17-2015, 03:55 PM
JHazzardB JHazzardB is offline
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Okay got the low down for the water consumption. I shut the water off to the reservoir Wednesday afternoon about 2pm. So it's been roughly 48 hours.

Wedensday: 26 gallons EC 2.87
Thursday: 25 gallons EC 2.99
Friday: 23.5 gallons EC 3.10

So my 16 plants are NOT drinking as much as I thought they would. This would mildly explain the BER as Calcium is not moving to the fruit as well (just a theory). EC is rising slowly. I'm debating internally whether or not to actually redo the reservoir because I'm kind of shocked at how little they are using. It's been 8 days since the last change. Each plant is drinking .07 gallons a day? (2.5gal/16 plants/ 2 days) Humidity has been high with the rain and has been at 75% during the day and around 55% at night/afternoon. I have a fan blowing 24 hours on them so air should be wicking moisture away.

Any thought or comments would be great throughout the afternoon and evening so I can assess if I should remake the res tomorrow morning.
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  #33  
Old 04-17-2015, 04:01 PM
JHazzardB JHazzardB is offline
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I took a pic just now of the plants. I put a yard stick in front. On average, the plants are about 26" tall. 14/16 have multiple flower clusters and about 5/16 have fruit set so far.
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  #34  
Old 04-19-2015, 06:27 PM
JHazzardB JHazzardB is offline
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Just a quick update. Turned the water back on and remade the reservoir. In 4 days, my 16 plants managed to drink 6 gallons. That comes out to roughly .09 gallons a day per plant which seems low to me. Anywho, no BER on the newly forming tomatoes yet. I've lowered my EC level also to about EC2.67 but am continuing on with CalMag supplement.
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  #35  
Old 04-19-2015, 06:57 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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What nutrients are you using?
How much are you using per gallon of water?
Where did you get the amount to use per gallon from?
How often do you check your pH?
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 04-20-2015 at 12:26 AM.
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  #36  
Old 04-20-2015, 11:55 AM
JHazzardB JHazzardB is offline
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Hey GPS!

1. I am using Masterblend fertilizer that was distributed by Morgan County Seeds. I also add Calcium Nitrate, Epsom Salts, and CalMag.

2. I am currently using 6g a gallon.

3. Here's the tricky part. Morgan County Seeds relabels Masterblend fertilizer and calls for roughly 9g/gal for mature flowering plants. After running my EC near 4-5.5EC, I knew something wasn't right. I contacted Masterblend and they sent me the correct label and couldn't understand why MCS relabeled and boosted the concentration. Masterblend label calls for roughly 2.4g/gal. If I run 2.4g/gal, my EC only hits .7EC or so. I fear this is too low. I've been adding enough nutrients to get me to my desired EC level.

4. I check my pH every time I check the nutrients. It stays roughly between 5.6-5.8.
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  #37  
Old 04-21-2015, 04:24 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Hello JHazzardB,
I have some suggestions for you, but I don't think your going to like them.


1. CHANGE YOUR WATER SUPPLY. Buy a small but good water filtration system. Hopefully something that contains a combination ion as well as carbon filter. Carbon filters alone can't take out dissolved solids. If you can afford it, get a small portable RO system. You should be able to get one for about $80-$100. You'll also have to change up your water fill system a bit. Have a water storage tank above the reservoir with fresh water in it, and have it gravity feed down to the fill valve to refill as needed.

2. Change the nutrients your using. Put the masterblend and all it's parts aside, as well as the cal-mag for now. Use a different brand of nutrients. Something like GH Flora series or the more cost effective Maxi gro/bloom series. Or the even more cost effective verti-gro F-combo (or larger quantity for best price). Or something in the JRPeters line like the "Jack’s Professional 5-12-26 Hydroponic". But try a complete hydroponic nutrient from a trusted brand. Don't use anything you need to add Epson salts to.

3. Switch to a larger reservoir. For 16 tomato plants you should be using a 80+ gallon reservoir. Again Your relying on your EC meter, and you think your nutrient levels are good because you can keep the numbers on that meter relatively constant. But there are two problems you are not taking into account, and your meter cant. The larger reservoir and good quality water fixes those issues.

4. Pack up the EC meter, and store it in a closet somewhere. At least until you get the hang of being able to do things withough't it. You don't need it, and your relying on it to tell you what to do. Your focused on EC level's, and you shouldn't be. Plants are adaptive and can take a range of nutrient levels. It's the levels of whats in that water that maters most, and your meter simply can't tell you that at all. The meter cant tell you what level any of the elements are at. As an example, your water supply may be high in calcium (most are), and your nutrients should have plenty of calcium, then you go and add cal-mag as well, your calcium levels may be at toxic levels, and you would never know it by the reading the meter gives you. That goes for any of the 13 essential mineral elements for plant growth, as well as anything else that may be in your water supply. Again one of the problems I referred to above.

5. Unless your desperate, after you make these changes, I would cut off any current developing fruit. That way there wont be any question's later and easier to tell if the new fruit are developing correctly or not. The BER fruit wont be useful to eat anyhow, and takes the plants energy to try and grow.
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 04-21-2015 at 07:18 AM.
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  #38  
Old 04-21-2015, 12:34 PM
JHazzardB JHazzardB is offline
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Ay caramba. I'll look over the list and get back to you.
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  #39  
Old 06-12-2015, 08:11 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Any updates?
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  #40  
Old 11-13-2015, 07:20 PM
Mmfd1375 Mmfd1375 is offline
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Default Light might be your problem.

Hey using the same set up with perlite,5 gallon buckets but mine are in a greenhouse with sun light. I'm also using masterblend and adding the other two components so the only thing I can think of is light. Temp did not bother my fruit set last year and at night it got to 40 inside. These plant were set out on Sept 26.

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