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Tomato Plants are not producing....

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Old 05-20-2011, 08:35 PM
T'Mater T'Mater is offline
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Nixa,Mo
Posts: 159
Default Tomato Plants are not producing....

Hello all, the wife and i decided we'd give growing our tomato plants indoors this year and up till now i thought things were going great.

Our problem is they don't seem to be producing, just growing. And the PH has been coming up instead of going down.

The plant's are Burpee Beefsteak Organic Tomato plants. We have 12 plant's 24-36+inches tall. In a top drip recirculating system. They are at least 90+day's old. So i think they are mature enough. Since it was our first time we just went with the FLora Series and used a typical feeding regiment. For this last batch of nutrients i didn't add the FloraGrow, but did add the Koolbloom, cause i figured i was getting to much Nitrogen. I have also noticed that the leave's seem to be undercurling a little not to bad and were a tad dark on there green color. Another reason i dropped the Flora Grow. Temp's run around 60's at night and mid 70's at day. I feed them an hour on and an hour off. And i just swiched lighting back to 17hrs it had been 12hrs.

Any help would be very very appreciated.

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Old 05-21-2011, 12:22 AM
Freshwater Freshwater is offline
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: San Diego, California
Posts: 63

I am only responding because I LOVE your user name!!! LOL

OK, and I grow tomatoes using a top drip system with great results, but...outdoors. I also use a G.H. Flora product...FloraMato for flowering not for vegetative. FloraGrow is Veg only right?

What Flora series are (or where) you using? And/or what are your Veg. nutrients, what are your flower nutrients?

I am not familiar with KoolBloom, is that your flowering nutrient?

What P.H. are you running? My P.h. I try and keep 5.8-6.5, I am constantly pushing it down...daily almost.

What substrate are you using? An hour on, hour off seams a bit much unless you are running a Less-absorbent media. Are you running Hydroton (sp?) The clay pellet thingies?

Personally I run Perlite, 3 minutes on every hour, during daylight hours only, the commercial growers run on the half hour. (My buckets also contain a small res. on the bottom to whick up to the roots ((pretty sure that keeps them alive at night ;-)))

What are we looking at with your lighting? Watts? Type? Spectrum? Age of bulbs? Oh, and light height. Do your plants look leggy at all?

Any flowers yet? You should have flowers by now. I am running outdoors pure vegetative nutrients (supercharged) with about 14 hours of light, and not only flowering but producing fruit as well. I need to switch to my flowering nutrient but I am waiting for my pepper plants to catch up.

Fill in some of those blanks, and some of us might get a better idea of what might be going on. Pictures?

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Old 05-21-2011, 12:56 AM
T'Mater T'Mater is offline
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Nixa,Mo
Posts: 159

I'm using FloraMicro,FlorGro,FLoraBloom. I added the Liquid KoolBloom, say's it's supposed to help with giving you more blooms.

PH wise i keep it under 6.5, usually once it get's above that i tend to lower it down to about 6.2 and let it work it's way back up.

Substrate wise i'm using Sure To Grow, since it was new on the market and i was new at this. So far i love the product, it's nuetral and i figured the less i have to worry about anything adding to my water the better off i was.

Light wise is where i think i'm having problem's, mainly cause i don't fully understand it and partly cause i'm trying to stay on the cheaper end.

The bulbs i'm using are Sylvania Daylight 6500K, 32w bulbs,2700 Lumens and roughly 2months old not sure about the spectrum how do i find that out? They are Fluorescent bulbs. I keep them roughly 6-12"s from the tops of the plant's.

I have absolutely no flower's. I think they started off a bit leggy and now the main vines are starting to get thick. I dont think when i first started i was watering them enough or with enough nute's, i just started the 1hr on/1hr off program about 3weeks ago. Which only seem to push them to grow.

I have 3 plants that are only about 24"s tall the rest are ever bit of 3'.

I noticed you said you are having to push your PH down, i was under the understanding that when a plant is in it's flowering stage it's supposed to lower the PH, not raise it. Or is that something else i'm confused on? I will try to get picture's ASAP

Last edited by T'Mater; 05-21-2011 at 01:03 AM.
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Old 05-21-2011, 04:12 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Lake Havasu AZ.
Posts: 1,855

Hello T'Mater,
Deciding to stop using the "flora-Gro" was a mistake. Unlike in soil where mixing different brands, and/or lines of nutrients and additives is common. Growing hydroponically dosen't have the same buffer of nutrients in the soil to make up for compensations, thus is not nearly s forgiving. Use 10mL (2 Tsp) per gallon of all three (Gro, Bloom, and Micro) for your nutrient solution. Give your plants about 2 weeks to to show recovery. Keep the ratios basically even, but you can add a few mL more per gallon of flora bloom, and/or drop a few mL per gallon of gro if desired. But you need all 3 parts of the nutrient solution to work properly. Cutting any part out of the mix will result in deficiency.

Your lighting may be an issue too, but tomato's have been known to be successfully grown using florescence's with 'enough light," (keywords "enough light"). I need to look up the info again but I believe 6500K is on the high end of the blue spectrum (6700k the very top, and better for foliage), and the lower the "K" number, the more on the red end of the spectrum (better for flowering plants). But with enough light your plants should flower with either spectrum of florescent lights.

60 on/off may also be an issue. The Sure To Grow growing medium holds moisture easily (just like rockwool), and may be limiting oxygen to the roots.
You can get the same amount of water time by using a 30 on/off cycle, or even better 15 on/off cycle time. But may only need 15 on, and 30 off cycles. Do you have any pictures of your setup? You may also be able to get more oxygen to the roots with better drainage (regardless of cycle times).
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 05-21-2011 at 04:24 AM.
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Old 05-21-2011, 08:36 AM
halfway halfway is offline
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 79

I am a rank amateur, but I will add this if it helps.

I decided I could NOT grow tomtatoes or peppers indoors because of lighting constraints. Since I did not want to use HPS or MH, I felt I could not get even red spectrum flouros to penetrate deep enough to fully bloom the flowers and set fruit.

Maybe with High Output T5's, but not with my T8s.

Good luck with your grow...sounds like the plants are thriving minus the blooms.
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Old 05-21-2011, 10:49 AM
Freshwater Freshwater is offline
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: San Diego, California
Posts: 63

Originally Posted by halfway View Post
I am a rank amateur,
...and I'm a higher ranking Amateur! (or is it lower ranking!)

Either way halfway probably knows a bit more about it than I do, but I do know about growing vegetative only plants with High Output T5 lights underwater ;-) Figure that one out...

You need to figure out how many watts total you are running above your plants, add all the lightbulbs up multiply by 32 and you will get your total wattage for the system, now guesstimate how much wattage each plant is getting. T8's don't put out that many lumens (I think that's the term), or rather the amount of light they can direct at an object. We spend boatloads of money on bulbs and the housings which direct the light to maximize plant growth. A couple hardware store shop lights just waste over 50% of the light they create.

Trust me I understand the not wanting to invest in an expensive lighting system. Consider how much you have invested so far, for non-fruit producing plants. All is not lost though...you can supplement the light you have using additional spectrum. Now I am not sold on the LED panels quite yet myself, I think they need a few more years until they really get good. Though I have heard some running the red spectrum LED light to add the beneficial spectrum of light. Quite recently in fact...though not for tomatoes ;-)

I would guess you might have to double your lighting, add additional spectrum of bulbs, Add some reflectors, take GPS's advice on your nutrient program, and plant some basil to go with the yummy tomatoes you will be eating later this season.

FYI, I use the G.H. FloraMato nutrient for flowering and it may be used as a single part nutrient mix. I have had great results. That said, I still add additional supplements on top of that.

Good luck, and let us know if you get a picture of your setup.

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