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My second system


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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 08-07-2011, 07:15 PM
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I have heard that a couple times with the videos on youtube :P I have decided that my tomatoes will be in a bucket system with an in from the bucket before it and an out to the next in line with a pump in the res. That way everything circulates and the roots have enough room. It will probably take a bit more room, but the roots won't be a problem as much.

I hope you can get the roots sorted out and keep the plants going. It sounds like they are doing great and have a lot more producing to do.

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Old 08-08-2011, 12:46 AM
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I haven't grown tomato's in the 4 inch pipe, but I have grown some real tall sugar peas in them with no water flow problems, aside from the occasional roots getting into the overflow tube (that was simple and easy to clean out). I just popped it off from the outside, and stuck a knife in and cut them off. Then just stuck a small piece of wood in to push them back. I have learned that general rule of thumb, make the opening for overflow side twice as large as the inlet side. I attached some pictures of the root system in 4 inch tubing from my peas.
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:04 AM
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I have lettuce, bush beans, sugar peas, carrots, and peppers in the same system, only the tomatoes are overflowing system. I took off the end cap and just let it drain strait into the resoviour and they still overflowed. I think I am gonna go get a 6" pipe and cut it in half, put it under the existing 4" pipe and drain it back to the resoviour. That way it can overflow as much as it wants and I won't loose the expensive nutes on the ground. Temp fix, but it is the only way I can think to fix it for now. I don't think that I could move them to a different system without damaging them at this point.
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Old 08-08-2011, 03:09 AM
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I have an option that may or may not be viable to you :P. All depends on how much the situation is worth to you.

You couuld cut just before where the tomatos are (yep, cut the whole thing off) depending on what is infront of it and if the roots from that is tangled up with the tomatoes/if the plant is sacrificable.

Then you can splice on a new piece of piping to replace the cut off section. I think there wasn't anything else running through that part of the system if I remember the pics right.

Slice the cut out section doewn the center on the bottom with a rotozip/dremmel/other orbital cutting device to try to make only minor cut and minimize your damage to the roots. Repeat the task on the top and you have the plants free. Then you just need somewhere else to put them :P


It is an option. I don't know if it is a viable option for you or not, but it is a possibility, and might prevent problems with water not moving properly and causing other problems with the plants.
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:29 PM
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I have been trimming the roots on our tomatoes and peppers and have had no ill effects. i am gonna start trimming the top of my tomatoes as theyre pushing 4 ft plus and going strong. they are in bloom now.
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:26 PM
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So I went to Home Dopey and they do not carry 6" pipe. So no fix today as I got called into work and had to get some sleep. I tried running a smaller pipe down it to let some of the water run thru freely but it was too tall for the net pots. The system is doing good, but is starting to show the effects of low nutes and high ph as I am unwilling to add those so they can go straight to the ground. I hope to have a fix tomorrow, but also have to work some OT from 1600 to 2000. So anyway here is this weeks growth....
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 08-08-2011, 10:43 PM
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I'm not sure what shops you have in your area, but the pluming supply houses we have here sell 6 inch PVC tubing. You could also try sewer supply places, I understand they generally carry tubing larger than 6 inches. Is the tubing 100% clogged at the tomato end? I'm wondering if you reduce the water flow into the tube, it would be able to drain out before overflowing (at least for now). Another option is if the clog is only at the end with the tomato's, you could cut one or two holes for a new overflow in the 4 inch tubing before it gets to the end of the 4 inch tubing tomato's. Then use that as the overflow. The water should still flood the tube at both ends, but the overflow tube wont be obstructed by the tomato roots anymore.
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Old 08-08-2011, 11:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GpsFrontier View Post
I'm not sure what shops you have in your area, but the pluming supply houses we have here sell 6 inch PVC tubing. You could also try sewer supply places, I understand they generally carry tubing larger than 6 inches. Is the tubing 100% clogged at the tomato end? I'm wondering if you reduce the water flow into the tube, it would be able to drain out before overflowing (at least for now). Another option is if the clog is only at the end with the tomato's, you could cut one or two holes for a new overflow in the 4 inch tubing before it gets to the end of the 4 inch tubing tomato's. Then use that as the overflow. The water should still flood the tube at both ends, but the overflow tube wont be obstructed by the tomato roots anymore.

Humm, interesting thought there. Yes the tomatoes are on the last pipe but there are also 3 sugar pea plants after them just before the return pipe. I have put a smaller pump on and that worked for awhile, then I put a T on the tubing from the pump so 1/2 the water goes back into the resoviour and it helps airate the system more. That worked for about a week. I like the idea of an overflow pipe, but maybe more like an ebb and flow one just before the tomatoes running on the side to just after the tomatoes. I was thinking maybe if I shoved a smaller pipe (1")along the bottom where the roots can not invade that might help also. You've got me thinking.... I will show your thumbnail to my hubby. Thanks...

Last edited by fintuckyfarms; 08-09-2011 at 12:01 AM.
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Old 08-11-2011, 12:44 PM
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So my idea totally worked! I got a piece of pipe and cut it in half and ran it the entire length of the existing pipe sort of like a tray. The water overflows from the 4" pipe to the 6" pipe and it drains directly into the resivour which also helps to aerate the resivour more. BRILLANT!!! Temp fix but it's getting the job done and I didn't have to cut or drill into the existing pipe.

ps; my husband didn't think it would work either and was shocked.
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Last edited by fintuckyfarms; 08-11-2011 at 01:28 PM.
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 08-11-2011, 05:46 PM
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Just a couple of drawbacks to watch for. First, is any place the nutrient solution is exposed to light will begin to grow algae. Second, the system is now more susceptible to airborne pathogens and fungi. Every place that overflows, and/or gets wet is a spot where airborne dust (and everything in the air) will stick. Then with the next cycle it will wash down into the nutrient reservoir, grow, and then be able to infect the roots. Including soil born diseases from airborne dust/dirt. But I hope it works well for you. Where did you find the 6 inch PVC?
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 08-11-2011 at 05:59 PM.
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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 08-11-2011, 08:29 PM
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I found the 6" at Irrigation Specialist with is basically a plumbing supply store for farmers.

I have some foam insulation that I am gonna cut a lid for the new resivour and I am thinking about some sort of Plastic baggie to make a sock to cover the end and let the water run thru so there will be less exposure both to light and germs. I plan on covering the whole pipe with tinfoil which should help keep things cleaner and cooler. I'm just glad I could put the nutes and PH down back in the system. I already see the effects on the plants, things are greening up and in just one day the number of tomato flowers has doubled. Thanks for all the advise! Off to work I go (Mondays suck) and I have OT today on top of it.
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 08-13-2011, 05:54 PM
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Been too hot this week, the outside lettuce is starting to bolt. I've never seen it before but it is really obvious. The sugar peas are going crazy, getting at least a double handfull every two days with just the two plants. The third plant is catching up really fast and I picked the first pea off it today. The tomatoes section is almost yellow there are so many flowers now and I have tomatoes from pea size to just bigger then golf ball size. I have been pruning like crazy, but they are still really thick. From now on I will only do tomatoes in buckets because that offers more options from watering to placement to pruning and harvesting. I thought my bush bean plant was dead, but after I added nutes and got the PH down it took off again. I went outside and the largest branch with the most flowers was broke off; maybe a bird??? The bell peppers have several flowers starting, but I don't think the first flower pollinated, will have to wait and see. The system is working awesome now that it is not leaking everywhere.
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old 08-13-2011, 07:26 PM
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sounds like the heat is helping you more than hurting you right now :P if nothing else the worst case right now seems to be the lettuce, but you have more seeds for a while if you let them finish bolting.

might be time to start some lettuce seeds inside to have them ready to replace the others for some fall leaves :P
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old 08-30-2011, 12:14 AM
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So this last week was really hard on the plants. I was at fair and we had the hottest week of summer. I pulled the outside lettuce as they were bolting and the water was developing some sort of yucky slim. The tomatoes were doing so good, but now they are all droopy and wilted. Cooler weather is coming this week so I hope they bounce back. Did a nute change and stuck the hose up the pipe to rinse out the roots and added some bleech in this system also. The peppers are doing good but some of the leaves are wilted and turning yellow as are the sugar peas. I am hoping the nute change, rinsing and cooler temps will help them bounce back. I also harvested the carrots in this system. I think it was too early as they were short, but they were tastey!
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  #35 (permalink)  
Old 09-07-2011, 07:25 PM
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So I pulled out a lot of plants I didn't think would make it. Still have some of the tomatoes, peppers, 1 sugar pea and the bush bean is still going. I also moved a celerly plant from inside into this system just to see what happens as it was growing into the light.
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old 09-08-2011, 11:27 AM
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keep us posted sound like you are succeeding in your venture. did you keep any records of what you did?
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  #37 (permalink)  
Old 09-10-2011, 04:55 PM
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I'm seeing red!

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