Hydroponic tomato systems – Perfect for beginner or advanced hydroponic growers

Hydroponic tomato systems to get control of the plant growing process.

hortomallas trellis net with vertical support system
The hydroponic tomato system provides a good development of the tomato plant.

Hydroponic tomato systems are perfect for beginner or advanced hydroponic growers. It’s attractive, easy to grow a versatile plant. Tomatoes are yummy to eat and can be eaten in your favorite salad or just picked off the stem and enjoyed on their own. Tomatoes were one of the first plants that were used in hydroponic set-ups and are an excellent choice for beginners.

Hydroponic systems:

Three main types of hydroponic set-ups are best suited for tomato growing.

  • The nutrient film technology. A system that will pump a solution rich in nutrients from a reservoir into slop called the sloping area. The solution will slowly make its way down the sloping part and into the tank over and over.

The plants will sit above the water; their roots will hang down only slightly in the trickle of the solution. With this set-up, you can run into slight problems like plants higher up receiving more of the solution than the plants that is lower down.

  • Ebb and flow systems. This is a system that is used by beginners as it’s simple to use and very affordable to buy. This set-up works by bringing nutrient solution up from a reservoir letting it then go into a grow tray that will flood.

Once the area ends up flooded the pump then goes off, and the nutrient solution will just drain away. It’s easy for beginners as it refines how much solution each plant gets.

  • The drip set-up. This is suited for hydroponic growers and they favor it a lot.

It is quite like the ebb and flow system, but instead of flooding the tray, the solution is pumped all around tubes where it then gets drip-fed to the plants. This will allow you to customize for the needs of the plants you choose to grow. This system is a little better looking as well that the ebb and flow set-up.

hydroponic tomatoes in greenhouse
This type of system is very adaptable, similar to the ebb and flow method.

Growing conditions for the hydroponic tomato systems

When using hydroponic tomato systems especially if it is one that gets used inside you can control the growing process of the plants. You can manipulate the conditions that aren’t possible when growing without a hydroponic set-up. This will give you faster growing and better tasting tomatoes.

Significant parts of the set-up

There are four areas that you need to pay attention to when starting off with hydroponic tomato systems

  • Lighting is important, and tomatoes love the light. Without light, the plants won’t grow properly and won’t have a taste. Set up your area somewhere with a good source of lighting.
tomato crops in  hydroponic system
This system offers multiple advantages for tomatoes, being a very accessible system.

Indoors or in a greenhouse is a good choice. Tomatoes need light for around 16 hours if possible and if not then a minimum of at least 8 hours is a must. An LED organic light will allow you to control how much light the plant receives each day. Hydroponic systems are about letting you have control. An LED light is worthwhile and quite affordable to buy and run.

  • The temperature for tomatoes should be resting at around 18-25 degree C; this is during the day or it should be 12-18 degree C overnight. Tomatoes can survive if the temperature is outside the recommended frame for a short time. It is better for the weather conditions to be hotter rather than colder. Greenhouses and hydroponics are perfect for protecting from the frost. The frost will kill them quickly.
  • The nutrients are where you will understand that plants need certain nutrients to survive and thrive well. The plants will absorb the nutrients from the soil. The nutrient reservoir which holds the solution that gets fed to the plants can be mixed up by you and mixed into the water. This is what the nutrient solution is, and this gets feds to the tomatoes plants. Tomatoes are the most popular plant for greenhouses. If you get control of the temperature well and give the plant the light, it needs you should be able to get two tomato crops per year. Indoor conditions do require more handling so be aware of handling the plants with care. Indoor plants require careful handling as well to pollinate the flower and to prevent disease.

What is a greenhouse?

crops in greenhouse with weed fabric
The shade house provides effective protection to stabilize the temperature in your crops.

A greenhouse or shade house is an area with walls and roof made of things like glass and mesh netting where plants that require regulated climates get grown. You can get different sizes from small ranging up to huge industrial sized.  A cold frame is a name given to a mini greenhouse. The inside of a greenhouse once it gets exposed to sunlight ends up warmer than the outside temperature which aims at protecting the plant in cold weather. A shade house can facilitate for flowers, veggies, and fruit. Greenhouses contain equipment like screen installations, cooling, heating, and lighting. More advanced set-up will have all this controlled by computers and timers.

Training your tomato plants

You will be plant training the tomatoes to grow upwards.  You can restrict their growth by netting that stops at a suitable height. Once the plants reach that height, they can be trained to grow horizontally. The plant will react to this by producing a floral growth at the point where the stem gets bent beneath the netting. You can do plant training where you allow the plant to grow through the net. Once they grow too tall, you can bend them underneath the net again and so on.

tomato crops using trellis net
It’s important that depending on the type of tomato you provide the proper maintenance.

When growing with hydroponic tomato systems there may be pruning/training needed, but this will differ from each type. Tomatoes are hard plants and being hard makes them easy to use with all different hydroponic set-ups. The results from using hydroponic tomato systems set-up rather than in the soil in the back garden will differ. There are specific tomato types that work better with certain set-ups, it’s best to talk to an experienced hydroponic grower to make sure you understand all about the needs of the plant.

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