How To Grow Hydroponic Tomatoes

Many people today enjoy eating tomatoes. They are a red or yellow edible vegetable that is grown on a vine during the warmer seasons. Although they are typically grown in the ground, or in potting soil and pots indoors, hydroponic tomatoes are actually grown in a nutrient filled solution in the absence of dirt. Growing vegetables hydroponically allows the gardener to grow and raise their vegetables in a much more controlled environment. This prevents the growth of weeds and problems with insects, allowing the gardener to have full control. Let’s take a look at why growing tomatoes like this is a much better solution than growing traditional ones in a common garden setting.

hydroponicWill The Tomatoes Be Different?

Tomatoes that are grown hydroponically are actually no different than ones that are traditionally grown. The only difference is that they are grown using a solution that has all of the nutrients necessary to grow healthy tomato plants.

Growing Tomatoes Hydroponically

The technology of hydroponics allows gardeners to use a solution that consists of fertilizers and water with or without an artificial medium such as sawdust, coir, peat, rockwool, vermiculite, gravel or sand. Hydroponic systems that are solely based upon this liquid really have no other supporting medium for the roots of the plant. If you would prefer, you can use aggregate systems that have a basic solid medium for support. They are actually characterized as open systems, meaning that the solution that is used is not reused, recycled or replenished. In most cases, a hydroponic system specifically uses only liquid systems for the delivery of nutrients. Hydroponic systems that operate in temperate regions are almost always enclosed in a greenhouse type structure. This allows for proper temperature control, the ability to reduce evaporative water loss and also, eliminates the possibility of pest infestations and disease.

Different Types Of Hydroponic Systems

There are actually three different types of hydroponic growing systems which can be used for growing tomatoes. These include the ebb and flow technique, the nutrient film technique, and what is called drip irrigation. The ebb and flow technique, also referred to as the flood and drain technique, requires a watertight growing bed that has sand or gravel as the rooting medium. It is periodically flooded for about 10 minutes with a nutrient solution every day. The nutrient film technique or NFT, requires the use of a germination cube that contains seedling tomatoes. They are placed in a sloping trough where the nutrient solution is provided.

It is a closed system which means the recirculated nutrient solution must be constantly sterilized, filtered and reconstituted with nutrients. Finally, there is the drip irrigation technique which is the one most used for growing tomatoes hydroponically. The seedling tomato plants are either placed in bags or sat on a rockwool slab. The nutrient solution is delivered at the base, providing the nutrients necessary without requiring its reuse. Thus, it is an open system which requires no reconstitution of the fluids, making it a very efficient way to grow tomatoes hydroponically.

Using these simple strategies for growing tomatoes hydroponically and it won’t be long until you see success. By using either the ebb and flow technique, the nutrient film technique or the ever popular, drip irrigation technique, you should be able to grow hydroponic tomatoes very easily using one of these proven systems.