Tomatoes are an integral part of the daily salads and most dishes. It is one of the easier vegetables that can be grown at home. With careful handling and necessary supplies, hydroponics tomatoes at home is no rocket science. The basic necessities for growing hydroponic tomatoes at home are the hydroponics unit, lighting, and ventilation system. A nutrient kit and pH adjuster make it complete. Setting up the readymade hydroponics system unit is simple and easy. One may even make a do-it-yourself home made hydroponics unit at home. With proper care one can develop healthier tomatoes which are bigger and juicier.
How to grow hydroponics tomatoes at home
Select the healthy tomato seeds and place them for germination. Once the sprouts appear, transfer them and place it under a low power incandescent light until they develop into seedlings. Until then it needs 12 hours of light a day. Once the seedlings develop leaves and root like structure it is time to shift it on to a hydroponics plant substrate. While placing on to a rockwool slab, the space between them should be even at a distance of 15 centimeters.
The watering of the hydroponics tomatoes seedlings should be done for about 10-15 minutes and 4 times a day. The watering frequency may be increased as it grows. The lighting for the growing vegetative tomato plants need 16-18 hrs a day. It helps them grow faster when they get enough dark period also. The dark period is estimated as 8 hrs for these growing tomato plants.
As the plants grow in this hydroponics unit, some plants will grow faster and higher. For effective light penetration from the light source, the plant canopy should be even. A stake or the net trellis comes to aid at this point. Tie down the higher plant parts to make it even with other plants. Pruning of these parts may also be done. The light source suitable for the vegetative growth is the metal halide light that provides the blue spectrum.
Most hydroponics tomatoes growing happen inside a confined and controlled area. Pollination is one aspect that is mostly neglected by the growers. In the controlled grow space, there are no insects to help with pollination of the flowers. The pollination has to be done manually. With the help of a clean and sterile paint brush, touch the pollens and brush it upon the pistil of each flower. Once the pollination is complete they will develop into fruits. Provide the red light band for flowering and fruiting, for which HPS lights or high efficient LED lights are the choice.
Nutrients are added regularly with each water change. The water in the hydroponics reservoir must be changed regularly, at least once a week. The pH of the nutrient water must be checked daily. The optimum water pH for tomatoes is 5.8-6.3. In case leaf curling occurs, the pH is higher so bring it down to 6.0. The pH adjuster kit to make it up or down is also available with the fully assembled hydroponics system.
When the fruits are ripe, pluck them up and eat this juicy fruits that is grown by you. They are ready to eat as there is no use of chemicals and since so soil is used it will be clean, so no washing is required. Leaving the hydroponics unit without nutrients for the last week before harvesting will remove all the accumulated salts from the plants and fruits.