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Tomato Plants are not producing....


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  #101  
Old 08-27-2011, 05:49 PM
T'Mater T'Mater is offline
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Well before i changed my last batch i put in some H202 and that's when i started getting the foam, sitting on top of the water along with a wierd film. That's when i changed my nutes and did a big flush ordeal, then i ran out of PH down, cause the stuff that was supposed have been here Monday didn't come till Thursday.

I did find out why my PH just went up so quick, i didn't give it time to flush through the system and flush out the high PH water in the Bato bucket's(they have a decent amount of storage at the bottom of them) Soooooo maybe if i'm lucky here they'll come back to me if not i'll chalk it up to one hell of a learning experience.

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  #102  
Old 08-27-2011, 09:25 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
I did find out why my PH just went up so quick, i didn't give it time to flush through the system and flush out the high PH water in the Bato bucket's(they have a decent amount of storage at the bottom of them) Soooooo maybe if i'm lucky here they'll come back to me if not i'll chalk it up to one hell of a learning experience.
I had a feeling it was mostly related to water volume, and/or the flushing process. Not to mention the change from adding the daily water that wasn't pH adjusted first. That's why I suggested taking accurate notes and readings, and precisely logging them. I figured that would be the best way to show it through patterns if it was. I know you didn't have time to do that before the other problem with something in the water, but I guessing somehow you made a connection to the residual water in your system and the flushing process (or actually lack of flushing it out completely). That's also why early on I was asking about the total water volume, not just the reservoir, but also how much the buckets hold. I just had a feeling it wasn't getting flushed out completely. That also means that the build up of mineral salts in your growing medium never actually got flushed out thoroughly either.

I attached a few of pictures of the mineral salt buildup on my past growing mediums. The first ones are of the build up on some coco chips, the others are the build up on some grow rocks after a grow, and how clean they came out after I cleaned them by soaking them in a white vinegar solution for a few days.
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  #103  
Old 08-27-2011, 09:56 PM
T'Mater T'Mater is offline
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well i took one of the plant's in there 6x6 and pulled it up. That's how i PH tested the water. And while i was in there i was looking for any salt build up and wasn't seeing anything close to that.

When i flushed i was great about ending the flush and making sure the PH and EC/PPM was equaled with the water in the tank to the water coming out of the drain before i would stop flushing in hopes i was getting as much junk out of the container's.

BUT what i wasn't doing was after i would start a new tank i wasn't circulating the system near long enough(not thinking about the little holding) to get the PH and EC/PPM equaled....live and learn that's for sure.


How funny that i would remember the holding area's in the Bato bucket's when flushing but not when i would add the new nutes and adjusting the PH.
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  #104  
Old 08-28-2011, 11:59 AM
Freshwater Freshwater is offline
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Hey T'Mater,

Haven't been around much lately, but as soon as I was catching up on your thread you answered your question yourself!

Quote:
Originally Posted by T'Mater View Post

I did find out why my PH just went up so quick, i didn't give it time to flush through the system and flush out the high PH water in the Bato bucket's(they have a decent amount of storage at the bottom of them)
I will usually slam my P.H. down to low 5's, let it run a day (knowing my P.H. was mid 6's), and by the time they turn over the bato res. my P.H. will be close to spot on (5.8's) I always let my P.H. travel a little bit from mid 5's to mid 6's, depending on the system of course.


Not sure why you where testing your P.H. by pulling up a plant, not sure that was needed, unless you where trouble shooting. The Bato res. I would think at least, would have a much greater P.H. swing than the main res.

I know you mentioned the maters are not huge, but how is your harvest?

Let me know!

Todd
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  #105  
Old 08-28-2011, 05:18 PM
T'Mater T'Mater is offline
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Harvest is dead i'm pretty sure anyway's, atm i have one plant that was a runt that seem's to be kicking back into gear we'll see what happens with him the rest seem to be on the outs, but we'll see i'll def. keep playing with them. More then anything i can chalk it up to exp.

Ya i pulled the one plant up to see how the roots were looking, figured if it's dieing i'm not going to hurt it much more LOL. And ya just to see what the Bato bucket was looking like. Pretty clean to be honest, but when i seen all the water it just gave me that light bulb to check that water that's when i got hit with a stupid stick and realised all this time what one of my biggest issues were. Not cycling right. And yes had i remember'd the extra water in the bucket's i woulda done like you do and dropped the PH in the main tank down to 5.0 or so and let it roll. Live and learn.

Being green as green can get at this (literally took me 3yrs to convince myself to try this. I'd been reading and buying books and as you see it still didn't help it prolly hurt me more), i def. learned a ton. I think next year will be the year i have so many mater's it'll be insane(in a good way)

With having winter right around the corner to me there is no sense starting a new batch.

I do have some ?'s tho.

1. Do you go by the back of a tomato seed package to determine when you should start getting mater's? Like the plant's i planted said around 80day's, or do hydroponicly grown(if done right) seem to start producing sooner?

2. How do you know what phase your plants are in? That was one of my biggest problems. I come from growing them in the ground so i never paid attention to there size. I just added water and horse tea. So knowing what phase and trying to match that to nutrient strength had me for a loop and i didn't find you guy's till waaaay later in my process. Hell the plant's were something like over 100day's old before i got blooms.

Our goal is to try to have the plant's set up so that they start producing late March/early April. Temps stay up enough and i have a heating setup for my little tent and plan on either getting a bigger one(commercial size like mentioned earlier, but atm we got some stuff going on that may hender us from doing that right off the bat) or at least building a bigger one the cheap way for now so i'll have plenty of room for stuff. Also have plan's to build a storage box for my nute tank so i can keep it better temp. controlled and i'd like to buy a bigger RO unit for now. Unless we go big in which i'd get with a company like Crop King to test my water and build to suite.
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  #106  
Old 08-28-2011, 06:37 PM
jamromhem jamromhem is offline
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I just had a thought on a way for you to push earlier production. If you were to keep a tomato plant (one for each variety you want) over the winter. either in hydro or dirt. come time you would normally be seeding you could start rooting some cuttings. Even if the winter plant never produces for you for one reason or another. This will give you a few week head start on the new season. This is something I am going to be trying myself. I have a friend who is going to be dirt growning some plants, as well as I will probably want more once these get going.

I will be keeping my tomatoes in a constant cycle. I am planning on 3 plants of each type going at a time. Each at different ages. and probably 3 systems running separately to prevent total loses.

This is just an idea. You can decide if you are going to do anything with it :P
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  #107  
Old 08-28-2011, 10:50 PM
T'Mater T'Mater is offline
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I was actually going to do that with one of my tomato plant's that were pretty healthy looking and massive. Atm the only one i have left is a runt that's weak that i should've pulled along time ago but figured WTH i'm just learning anyway's.
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  #108  
Old 08-28-2011, 11:09 PM
jamromhem jamromhem is offline
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Yeah a tomato plant is something I think to be worth keeping over the winter. I am thinking that I will be rooting all of the suckers that come off so any set backs are covered by a replacement in another location :P Even if I don't want the cutting I know people that would :P

Once my tomato plants get going I don't plan on being without them lol. I know I will never be able to grow enough once my kids taste a real tomato. I have all I can do to keep them from eating the small lettuce plants I have right now. I let them taste some lower cuttings I did, and they both got the wide eyed look and were saying it was the best lettuce they have ever tasted lol. My 5 and 6 yo love their salads :P

I have to get my onions and bell pepers going soon as well. I can't wait till I have room for cucumbers.. I have a lot of things to get done :P
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  #109  
Old 08-29-2011, 09:55 AM
jamromhem jamromhem is offline
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I think this was the thread about needing a res. I saw a 125 gal plastic pond at homedepot for about $70 Not the cheapest fix, but it was only about 1.5ft tall so it meets your hight requirement.

The shape is not a normal res shape :P but it might be useable depending on your situation. I just thought I would let you know what I saw.
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  #110  
Old 08-29-2011, 12:20 PM
T'Mater T'Mater is offline
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Ya, only problem is keeping it covered, algae would thank you tho.
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  #111  
Old 08-29-2011, 12:50 PM
jamromhem jamromhem is offline
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When I was looking at it I was thinking a wooden top with a hinged door to let you have access to the inside of the res. I had no intent of leaving an explosed res :P

But yes a lid would be the first priority with it. A painted sheet of plywood or OSB with perhaps a 2x3 runner or two along the top to prevent drooping would be more than adiquate for it. A couple hinges and a handle and you are set :P
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  #112  
Old 08-30-2011, 11:22 AM
Freshwater Freshwater is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T'Mater View Post
Harvest is dead i'm pretty sure anyway's
Aww, man.... I must have missed that... though yes you are right. You learned a TON this season. I too would have pulled a plant to check out the roots.

I'll see if I can answer these, or at least what I would do. Remember that I live in Zone 10, mother nature is very kind to me and my garden.

Quote:
Originally Posted by T'Mater View Post
1. Do you go by the back of a tomato seed package to determine when you should start getting mater's? Like the plant's i planted said around 80day's, or do hydroponicly grown(if done right) seem to start producing sooner?

This is a tough one and not surprising I have a point of view on it! I do not go off the back of the seed pack for much other than is it determinate or indeterminate. The plant will blossom, when it blossoms.

AND...IMO... Hydroponically grown plants will not grow any faster/better/bigger than a perfectly balanced garden...period. Although it is much easier to perfectly balance a hydroponic nutrient system than a soil garden ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by T'Mater View Post
How do you know what phase your plants are in?
With Tomatoes it's easy for veg. vs. flower. Are there flowers on it? No...it's in Veg. now there are flowers?...it's flowering...lol Remember you can also control when the plant does what with the use of different levels of nutrient and light. You effectively vegged your plants for 100 days primarily through light control in your garage.


Quote:
Originally Posted by T'Mater View Post
Our goal is to try to have the plant's set up so that they start producing late March/early April.
Plant your seeds mid-January indoors, under all those florescent lights you have. Build a little greenhouse in your garage, like 4 ft x 2 ft (you have 4 ft lights right?) by maybe 4 ft tall. Get a couple warming mats for seed trays, or even better yet run them in a DWC system once the seeds have roots and throw a fish tank heater or 2 in. and you should have a huge jump on everyone else. Just keep your lights really close to the tops of the seedlings. Remember we both learned that one this year.

Todd
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  #113  
Old 08-30-2011, 12:53 PM
jamromhem jamromhem is offline
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I just wanted to add one thing :P The keep the lights close to the seedlings part :P I learned that there is such thing as too close to the seedlings lol.. I have been keeping mine about 1 ft away from the plant though tomatoes can probably handle a little closer, i scalded a few of my other plants when I did try closer.

I am not sure just how close the plants can handle the lights, and the difference based on how your lights are set up. My lights are 128W in about 4sqft (4 32W 4 ft tubes all next to eachother) so it is a lot of light in a small area. That probably contributed to the scaled I recieved.
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  #114  
Old 08-30-2011, 08:31 PM
T'Mater T'Mater is offline
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Well when i mean phase, what i ment was, how do i know when to up the strength of my nutes. That's what i was alway's scared about. Do you just start with week 1 and give them 1/4 nutes XXXPPM and then week 2 goin up to the next level?

For the most part i stay'd waaay low i think for too long if that's possible.
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  #115  
Old 08-30-2011, 09:12 PM
jamromhem jamromhem is offline
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My trick so far is to take a step up in the nutes and if they show signs of curl under (some tomatoes curl their leaves under change so you need to be able to tell the difference). If the edges all the way around curl it is too strong. If it is the leave making a curl from tip in (like if you rolled a pencil ender the leaf from the tip) it is a normal stress reaction that some (like brandywine) do. The second has no effect on the plant over all from what I have been able to find on it. The first will kill it :P

Any way. After I up it and look for a reaction, I dilute it back to the previous strength if I get a reaction. If I don't I top off the res with the current new strength. (I run at about 1/2 res when testing so I can dilute back without dumping.)

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