Let’s talk about growing hydroponic tomatoes and why you should try it as a beginner gardener. Using a simple hydroponic system, tomatoes can be grown both indoors and outdoors. Taking care of them from the time you plant them until the time you harvest them is also simple.
So, if you want to grow healthy and juicy tomatoes hydroponically, here’s everything that you need to know!
What is Hydroponics?
Simply put, hydroponics is a technique in which plants are growing in a nutrient-rich water-based solution- aka no soil! In this case, the root system is supported by using other materials such as clay pellets, rockwool, or peat moss.
What Tomato Varieties Are Best for Growing Hydroponically?
Hydroponically, you can grow any type of tomato. There are, however, certain kinds that outshine others in terms of performance. For the best choices and yields, cultivate multiple of these recommended varieties found here.
Which Hydroponic Method Is Best for Tomatoes?
The majority of growers, especially beginners, prefer ebb and flow systems. You can either build your own system or buy an all-inclusive option by placing these in a straightforward way.
A reservoir, a water pump, a timer, and a flood or grow table make up an ebb and flow system, also known as a flood and drain system. The method operates by supplying nutrients to a plant’s roots on a regular basis.
Here are also some of the best hydroponic systems to grow hydroponics tomatoes that you can choose from.
How to Grow Hydroponic Tomatoes?
Because hydroponic tomatoes are grown in a nutrient solution rather than soil, they can be cultivated indoors, away from direct sunlight. As a result, the plant grows considerably more quickly and produces more fruit. It consists of the following steps:
- Choose a location where you’ll be able to grow your plants. Fantastic if you have a sunny balcony or access to a greenhouse! So long as you have easy access to a power supply, a spare room or even a cupboard will suffice.
- Instead of transplanting from a soil-based garden, it’s ideal to start from scratch. Use rock wool starter to start your seeds in a nursery tray. Before adding the seeds, the rock wool should be soaked and the pH adjusted to 4.5.
- Place your seedlings under a metal halide light as soon as they begin to sprout. Keep the light on for 12 hours a day, but avoid shining it on the roots, since this can harm them.
- It’s time to transplant the seedlings to individual pots once the roots have grown large enough to protrude from the tray’s bottom. Fill each pot with Exfoliators Premium Perlite after combining the plant and the rock wool.
- Water and nutritional solution should be dripped onto the plants. Majority of nurseries sell hydroponic plant nutrients. Fill a reservoir with water and nutritional solution and place it beneath the plants. To bring water from below, use a pump and irrigation lines to drip it into each pot. Allow the water to drop through the Perlite in the pots before draining back into the reservoir. Replace the solution once a week and run the drip for the entire day.
- Set up growing lamps and plug them into automatic timers if your hydroponic system is indoors so you don’t have to remember to turn them on. Allow the plants to be completely dark for 6-8 hours each day.
- Monitor the pH level. The pH of tomato plants should be between 5.8 and 6.3. Add phosphoric acid to lower the pH or potassium hydroxide to boost it.
- Maintain a temperature of 18-24°C during the day and 12-18°C at night by using fans or your home air conditioning.
- To safeguard the plant and increase its productivity, use a wooden stake and bind the main stem to it. Once a week, pinch off the suckers and prune the stems.
- As soon as the stigma forms, gather pollen from one plant and transfer it to the stigma of another with a soft paintbrush.
- Salt can build up around your plants’ roots. When you change the nutrient solution every week, leach them in clean water.
- Weekly inspect your hydroponically grown tomato plants. You’ll get the most abundant and gorgeous crop if you prune and care for your plants on a regular basis.