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Tomatoe nutrient problems?


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  #1  
Old 05-12-2010, 07:49 PM
superman superman is offline
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Default Tomatoe nutrient problems?

My tomato plants have been growing for about a month now after having a black thumb for some time i added some more lights and that seemed to fix my problem and my plants have started to take off root growth is now crazy in comparison to before.

However i think i am have a deficiency in some nutrient, but i cant determine what exactly it is. I am using the receipt for success starter kit for nutrients.
After sometime the top leafs seem to develop little yellow dots. Also some of the bottom plants leaves seem to be quit small (i think this is because there is not enough light reaching them).





Any Suggestions would be great.

Thank You

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  #2  
Old 05-12-2010, 10:00 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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I cant say what the problem is off the top of my head but. Though I do know that tomatoes usually require added calcium, and that a lack of enough calcium can look like many other problems so it is hard to distinguish that as a problem. But here are a few links about nutrient Deficiencies and Toxicity that may help you.

Nutrition (this is probably the best help for hydroponic tomato's)
Nutrient Functions and Deficiency Symptoms
Informative Articles - Common Problems
Symptoms of Deficiencies and Toxicities - Greentrees Hydroponics
Nutrient Concentration and Function in Plants
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  #3  
Old 05-13-2010, 11:07 AM
superman superman is offline
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okay i am going to do a reservoir change today and i will added some additional calcium and see how it goes
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Old 05-13-2010, 12:47 PM
widespreadpanic widespreadpanic is offline
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Default Calcium?

I'm wondering if my GH FloraMato has sufficient calcium in it.

http://www.generalhydroponics.com/ge..._dry_1.5lb.pdf

If not, what should I use? Calmag or Organicare Calplex Natural Calcium Supplement
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:28 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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A while back I e-mailed GH the question "Do tomato's need extra calcium" this was there reply;

"Calcium effects the plant's ability to uptake all sorts of nutrients. This is why it is recommended to supplement with Calcium when growing plants that consume a lot of it (such as tomatoes). You most likely won't be able to pinpoint a Calcium deficiency on the plant, because it can appear as a plethora of other deficiencies. Nutrition in Hydroponics is a building block philosophy. Once you have low concentrations of one element, the rest react differently to other elements, and this can start a chain of lockout. Very few growers will know that this all started with Calcium. In your particular case, I would recommend using a CaMg product from the beginning of their lives to the end. That way you won't have to play the guessing game of nutrition manipulation and you will be providing them with the CaMg that they require."

This is the CaMg that GH recommends, I forget exactly how much they recommend using but I would e-mail them at: tech@genhydro.com to find out. I never did get any (I had no money) but someone gave me some calcium nitrate, and I've been using that. Though I still don't know exactly how much of it to use, I'm currently adding it at about 5mL (1 tsp) per gallon. Any calcium supplement that you use should made for hydroponics, or it wont be usable to hydroponic plants.
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Old 05-14-2010, 11:50 AM
widespreadpanic widespreadpanic is offline
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Default Talked to GH tech

The tech over at GH said that if I'm using Floramato I shouldn't have to worry about adding more calcium.

He told me that running the system with that nutrient at an e.c. of 2.5-2.75 there should be plenty of calcium available.

He said if I had blossom end rot problems, then I should use BOTANICARE's CalMag product b/c GH similar product is organic and needs to be broken down---not so good for hydro.
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Old 05-17-2010, 05:27 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by widespreadpanic View Post
The tech over at GH said that if I'm using Floramato I shouldn't have to worry about adding more calcium.

He told me that running the system with that nutrient at an e.c. of 2.5-2.75 there should be plenty of calcium available.

He said if I had blossom end rot problems, then I should use BOTANICARE's CalMag product b/c GH similar product is organic and needs to be broken down---not so good for hydro.

Just wondering, who was it the signed the reply. Was it Jim?
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:29 AM
widespreadpanic widespreadpanic is offline
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Default I don't remember his name

I called via phone and I don't remember his name.

I was quite surprised that he recommended another companies product over GH.
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Old 05-18-2010, 03:37 PM
joe.jr317 joe.jr317 is offline
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I know this is kind of old, but for anyone just looking here for the first time. . .

I've learned through trial and error, research, and a friend that worked with Purdue University in Ag that calcium is rarely lacking so much as the plants ability to use it is. The most common causes are supposedly hot reservoir temperatures which affects the water's ability to hold oxygen and too high of EC which inhibits hydration. Calcium doesn't move without the water and it has to be constant since calcium is not mobile. Once it's in place the plant can't recruit it in reserve. Low oxygen also means low uptake. Can't recall the technical explanation, so if someone knows then please jump in.

Now, I'm not an expert and what I wrote there may not be completely accurate. I didn't write the stuff down like I should have. Just remembered the fix. See, the reason I did so much research was because I was having serious issues with deficiency. My tomatoes were in waterfarm type systems and the buckets were exposed to direct light outside. Plus, behind them was a white wall. The water temps always stayed high. Consequently, the CalMag I kept putting in did no good. I was at a loss. Now I realize that it didn't matter how much CalMag I used, the plants simply wouldn't have ever been able to take the stuff up. I cooled the reservoirs by shading with insulation left over from putting up siding. Guess what, the blossom end rot went away. . . The tomatoes were San Marzano Romas, by the way.
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Old 05-19-2010, 02:41 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
I've learned through trial and error, research, and a friend that worked with Purdue University in Ag that calcium is rarely lacking so much as the plants ability to use it is. The most common causes are supposedly hot reservoir temperatures which affects the water's ability to hold oxygen and too high of EC which inhibits hydration. Calcium doesn't move without the water and it has to be constant since calcium is not mobile. Once it's in place the plant can't recruit it in reserve. Low oxygen also means low uptake. Can't recall the technical explanation, so if someone knows then please jump in.
Do you recall the optimum temperatures for calcium uptake? I try to keep my reservoir temperatures between 68-72 degrees, that doesn't mean they are all the time but that's what I aim for. That's what I understand to be optimum temperature for the root systems of the plants, and constancy is important. I am not sure how the uptake is affected by oxygenation (I am no expert), but that makes scene. I've learned about the importance of the right nutrient temperature myself last summer, specifically because of my strawberry, and pepper plants.

P.S. Do I understand correctly that too high of a concentration of nutrients in the nutrient solution also inhibit hydration? I know that in warm weather they don't need as strong of a nutrient solution because they transpire (evaporate) much more water. I was thinking that this is because the nutrients become much more concentrated as the water is used up faster.
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Old 05-19-2010, 09:56 AM
joe.jr317 joe.jr317 is offline
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1) Yes, high EC reduces the uptake of water. Actually, it reverses it when bad enough. If the EC of the solution is higher than that of the root, water will be drawn out. I got that from "Gardening Indoors with Soil and Hydroponics," by George F. Van Patten. Page 168. Also, this is why it is important to occasionally flush your medium for optimal growth. Salts build up in the medium making the EC too high and leading to dehydration even if your solution seems fine.

2) I don't recall the optimum temps for calcium, but was advised to shoot for 70-75F in general and I'd be "golden". I'm back in school now for biotech, so I will be sure to share anything relevant that I learn.
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Old 05-19-2010, 06:48 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
Yes, high EC reduces the uptake of water. Actually, it reverses it when bad enough. If the EC of the solution is higher than that of the root, water will be drawn out. I got that from "Gardening Indoors with Soil and Hydroponics," by George F. Van Patten. Page 168. Also, this is why it is important to occasionally flush your medium for optimal growth. Salts build up in the medium making the EC too high and leading to dehydration even if your solution seems fine.
This is good to know, I don't have a EC/TDS or PPM meter, but I mix my nutrients according to the directions, and now I am starting to mix them weaker. My problem is that sometimes I don't keep up with replacing the water that the plants have drunken up. That leaves a concentrated nutrient solution to what water is left. I was adding 3 gallons of fresh water to my tomato plants every day, then after about 5-6 days I wanted to check the pH, so I pulled the lids up only to find there was only about 5 gallons of water in what was a 15 gallon reservoir. So I know that the water that was left was highly concentrated.

I also flush all my systems with fresh water in between every nutrient change to flush out the old nutes and salts. I don't have any more FloraKleen so I just use fresh water, then dump that before adding the new nutrient solution, and occasionally I flush it more than once.

P.S. that sounds like a good book I'll look into it. I also want this book "Hydroponic Strawberry production" by Dr. Lynette Morgan. But none of the library's have/or can get it, including the collage. Unfortunately all I can do is buy it and it runs about $60, that's a bit steep for me right now.
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Old 05-19-2010, 10:22 PM
joe.jr317 joe.jr317 is offline
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If I remember right, you mentioned using the Flora series. I have found the EC to be pretty high if I follow the instructions on those nutes, so I often reduce it by about 25% and even more in the heat of summer. I use rain water, so I start with an EC of 0.

If there is anything you want me to look up in that book, I'm more than happy. I use it as a reference all the time. I'm using it as a textbook for my son, whose learning hydro, too. He's 13. My 9 year old will be next.

Yeah, $60 is steep. Of course, strawberries aren't cheap and they're really good for you, so it might pay for itself quickly if you happen to run into some extra cash. I like strawberries, but my wife really eats 'em up.
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Old 05-20-2010, 02:05 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Ya I am using the Flors series, although recently I am testing another type from Vertigro that was given to me. I probably have been mixing my nutes a little strong at about 10mL per gallon of each, that was what GH had recommended for most of my plants (peppers, strawberry's and tomato's). I only have tomato's going right now and a makeshift drip system for some melons that I hope to transplant soon. The nutes for the melons are the virtigro nutes. The tomatos, I recently reduced the strength. I mixed as normal (10mL per gallon) for 10 gallons, but then I added an extra 5 gallons of straight water. I have no idea what the EC/TDS or PPM of my water starts out with, but I use Reserves Osmosis water, sometimes I add about 10% hard water from outside (after boiling to get rid of any pathogens).

I am planing a hydroponics farming operation, and my first main crop/s will be strawberry's and peppers. Not real large but it's planed for about 640-700 strawberry plants and about 40 pepper plants. I have already designed the system for the strawberry's that mimic's the system on the front cover of the book by by Dr. Lynette Morgan. Although I only recently found out that picture was from that book. Now I want to get all the details that I can strait from the horses mouth (so to speak). I love strawberry's and plan to make it a year round operation. We don't have any local farms here for strawberry's, not to mention year round berry's. I have even discovered that when I want/need to expand, a local nursery here on the north side of town is willing to let me set up shop there. He has getting into selling hydroponic nutrients (the only one in town) and has 9 acres of land, he said we could work something out.

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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 05-20-2010 at 02:12 AM.
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