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When to move rockwool seedlings to dutch buckets


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  #81  
Old 03-04-2019, 06:18 PM
Stan Stan is offline
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Lemon juice, vinegar or citric acid will bring ph down.

I wouldn’t worry so much with water temps i’ve grown mine with reservoir temps at a steady 85 degrees. When water starts going above 90 drop frozen gallon to get it back down between 80-85. If you go way down to 60 you’ll be shocking the plant. Last summer we had so many consecutive days in the 90’s I kept nutrient temps at 85 didnt cause any damage to the plants at all.

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  #82  
Old 03-04-2019, 09:37 PM
gdgdad gdgdad is offline
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Default Update, problem discovered & fixed,temps to plunge!

Plants are thriving – I think you caught the “chemical mishap” in time.. Checked plants at end of day yesterday and the first plant hand some branches (with flowers) badly drooping. I took off the lid and the perlite was bone dry 5 / 6 in. down. Pulled up hoses, ran pump, and discovered roots had completely blocked the tubes. Replaced hoses, watered manually, and the next day the limp branches had sprang back! Concern now – a “freak” cold snap – Wednesday could drop to upper 30’s overnight. Moving them into garage is no longer an option. I have a small heater working it’s butt off, and so far I’m able to maintain low 60’s. I’ll probably plug in the water heater, warm water may help. Pump is still running 30 min off 5min on, 24/7. My temporary greenhouse is being put to the test. I may add old blankets around the bottom tomorrow, possibly some on top. I’ve been here over 12 years, never seen a cold snap this late. Fingers crossed - will keep you posted.
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  #83  
Old 03-05-2019, 07:17 AM
Stan Stan is offline
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I’ve also had that happen. The plants will droop almost looking like it’s over for them. When they receive a couple hours of water they spring up back to life but might find a branch or 2 or 3 that might need to be clipped off. The rest of the plant thrives.

Tomorrow we will be getting temps in single digits crazy for this time of year for us. As long as the plants themselves are not exposed to 32 degrees or below they should be fine.
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  #84  
Old 03-06-2019, 03:11 PM
gdgdad gdgdad is offline
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Default Another “harvest”,green house worked,1 more cold night…

Stan, pulled 2 tomatoes today – nice and red with barely discernible yellow at top (see pics). I was going to wait until they were 100% red and slightly soft, but my farmer neighbor said they should be picked now. One was 7.69 oz. 3-1/8” tall, 2 ¼” wide, and the other 5.4 oz., 2 ¾ tall, 2” high. I’m keeping a “harvest log”. I purchased another (albeit small) heater for the green house. I could not find a decent size space heater – stores down here stopped carrying them a month ago. BUT… though we went to 31 f, the lowest the green house got was 51 f. The digital thermometer I have saves minimum / maximum temps between resets. I tried to keep temp above 55, I read blossom drop occurs at 55, but I didn't see any obvious changes to the blossoms (and there are many). The PH I ordered is scheduled to be here today so I’ll bring that down to around 6.5. Since the “chemical mishap” I’ve only been adding straight water (from well) to top off the tank. I think I may start adding nutrients at 50% in a day or two – your thoughts? Thanks again for all your help! GDG
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  #85  
Old 03-06-2019, 06:05 PM
Stan Stan is offline
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If you have temps in low 50’s in the greenhouse that’s fine. Even the upper 40’s won’t kill the plants. Blossom end rot will only form on the newest of tomato blossoms or in other words the infant tomatoes but won’t be noticeable until they get a little larger. So if you get maybe 4 tomatoes with blossom rot you’ll still have 30-50 that won’t.

I usually wait until the tomatoes are red and a little soft before I pick them off in the beginning. When I have a ton of tomatoes starting to change all at the same time I will pick them when they are ripe and ready to eat. Most times I’m giving a lot away to the neighbors so they don’t go bad. If you know how to do canning this would be perfect for that.

Do you know what type of variety plants you are currently growing?

Did you cut the tomato open and try it out? Should be really really good.

I forgot to ask you what brand of PH down did you buy?
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  #86  
Old 03-07-2019, 09:00 AM
gdgdad gdgdad is offline
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Default Still cold, tomato types and PH chemicals

Stan, temperature in my “greenhouse” went to 49 f briefly, early this morning. Little heaters simply couldn’t keep up. I’m definitely upgrading when I build the more permanent greenhouse. Plus the next greenhouse will be much better sealed. But - now we're in the warm up phase, into 80's by Saturday and the foreseeable future.

I agree on waiting until tomatoes are fully bright red and soft before picking, I’ll wait it out next time (should be soon). On my varieties – I know one is a Florida 91 (plant is obviously smaller than the rest) , the other 3 are either Big Boys, or Heatmasters (both Beef Steaks). During the aeroponic “stage”, I lost track, moving them around and replacing ones that didn’t make it. I’m getting tags for the next batch. I haven’t cut the 2 tomatoes open yet, I wanted them to get a little riper.

As for PH down, the first brand I used was Root Farm®, the most recent (1 quart size) is Hydro Crunch General Hydroponics® which just came yesterday. Not sure of the differences in brands, I usually went with whom ever could ship it the fastest. If there’s reasons to change or use another, let me know…

So… I’ll let you know when I slice into the two recent tomato picks and take pics, describe taste. Thanks again GDG
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  #87  
Old 03-18-2019, 03:00 PM
Stan Stan is offline
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Sorry I’m posting late.

The ph you bought is fine.

Yes pic those tomatoes when they are red and soft to the touch they will be juicy and amazing tasting due to epsom salt. When you have a load of tomatoes that’ll ripen at the same time pick some offbefore they are ripe so you can have them later or if you know canning then pick them when they are all ripen.

I wish I could grow in my area in the winter months but it gets way to cold up here.
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  #88  
Old 03-25-2019, 12:34 AM
2Easy 2Easy is offline
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Thanks, my plants are looking good and healthy.
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  #89  
Old 03-26-2019, 11:22 AM
gdgdad gdgdad is offline
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Default Possible bug / parasite issue? and status…

Stan, Plants are MASSIVE and super thick, they require thinning and trellising regularly (good problem to have). There are MANY tomatoes – some easily a pound or more, though very few turning red as yet. Problem: I’ve notice yellow spots and even “snake like” yellow trails on some leaves (see pics) so I sprayed plants with Neem today. The spots and lines look more like the pics on post 11/20/18, rather than the pics posted on 1/5/19 (nutrient deficiency). The bushes are so thick it’s difficult to spray with my “windex type” sprayer, so I’m picking up a small pump sprayer today. I’m still running nutrients at about 50%, and I add about 5 grams of Epsom Salt to the 55 gallon drum once a week – Question: is it time to back off on nutrients? You would not believe the nutrient mix they’re consuming – from 3/15 through 3/23 I’ve added 55 gallons to keep the barrel topped off!!! I’m keeping PH at about 6.5, reservoir temp varies between 69 and 70, and I add a frozen jug when it goes over 70. Appreciate your assessment of the yellow spotting and lines. Also – I’m battling Lubbers (https://www.tampabay.com/features/ho...hopper/1223224) - they’re small grass hoppers that eventually turn into Locust – the largest grasshopper in North America, and they’ll decimate a garden. They’re in their “larve” stage now and I seem to be keeping up with them. They cluster in groups and Spectricide is effective at this stage. I’ve not seen any on my plants as yet. I’ll keep you posted and thanks again. GDG
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  #90  
Old 03-26-2019, 05:33 PM
Stan Stan is offline
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The trails on the leaves might be caused by slugs. They are not easy to see just really look around that area and pluck’em off. The spots I’m not sure what it could be. Possibly water that was on the leaf getting baked and burned by hot sun? I would clip those leaves off.

Yes it’s incredible how fast and full of fruit these get when growing this way and the amount of water they drink is unbelievable. You can start to gradually cutting back on nutrients. Start with the 50% you currently use per week and make it last 2 weeks with only that 1 dose. If plants look fine drop down to a 40% dose that will last for 2 weeks. Again if plants look fine just keep on reducing by 10% and have it last 2 weeks until you’ve gone to 10% or if you feel the plants have reached their limit just give water till the end.
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  #91  
Old 04-11-2019, 03:51 PM
gdgdad gdgdad is offline
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Default TOMATOES GALORE!!! and update(s)

Stan, the Neems® seemed to do the trick on what was ever ailing the leaves and the spotted leaves I removed. They seem healthy and WOW are they producing – I’ve attached many pics. I’ve already started handing out tomatoes to neighbors. I never imagined this outcome! I keep a log (spreadsheet) on adding water/nutrients, salts, PH levels and anything I do - and since putting in the 55 gallon reservoir on February 27th. The plants have gone through 260 gallons! I let them ripen until slightly soft and man are they juicy! (again see pics). I’m still running nutrients at about 50%, watering is every 20 minutes for 5 minutes (24/7). Temps here are starting stay high, with sunny clear days, so it’s been a challenge keeping water temp under 73 ° f. I’ll likely be adding water/nutrient tomorrow (typically 20 to 25 gallons) and I’m dropping nutrients to 40%. My neighbor is helping “train” the vines horizontal, and I’ve run so many trellis strings (and clips) to hold up weighty tomato groups that it looks like a puppet show. I’m not sure where the “limit” is – the top vines a still flowering. Gonna’ keep this going as long as I can! Wish I could share some tomatoes with you! I’ll keep you posted as we head into the really hot periods….
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  #92  
Old 04-11-2019, 04:54 PM
Stan Stan is offline
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Your plants and tomatoes look beautiful!!! I told you, you would have so many tomatoes you would have to start giving them away. Each plant must weigh a lot with all the tomatoes growing all over. You did an amazing job with your first successful grow, congrats!!!

I wouldn’t worry so much with temp of the nutrient water. if you are able to keep it in low 70’s upper 60’s great. I’ve had my reservoir in the mid 80’s and tomatoes were still doing fine.


Make sure you save the seeds from some tomatoes. Scrape them out of 2-3 tomatoes into a window screen type colander, rinse them off with fresh water until you get that gel off of them. Let them sit and dry on a cutting board for a couple hours. Use a butter knife to get the seeds that are sticking to the board all piled up and place them in a paper envelop for a few months and they’ll be ready to be used for a future grow.


I already have a couple seedlings growing won’t be able to get them in the 5 gallon buckets till mid May when there’s no chance of frost at night. We’ve had crazy fluctuations in temps the past 2 weeks up here.

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