This project is going to be a learning curve for me, I want to say up front it's gonna be a 60 day project as I am not planning on running my AC to combate the heat from this grow. My goals are to learn how these plants eat (just how heavy a feeder is a tomato), how to train the vines to grow like the pics of greenhouse plants, how high a temperature can they stand, etc. I am wanting to give this system a trial run and if all goes well put it back into production this fall after the outdoor tomatos are finished.
My lack of planning for the outdoor starts gave me some plants to play with and since I had a system sitting idle I figured it was as good a time to experiment as any. These will be grown in the same chamber as I did the trial with the peppers back a few months ago and yes I do have an insect management plan in place this grow, a 30" x 30" x 6' tent DR80. Light is supplied from a 600watt HPS bulb. Difference for this grow is it will be an open bulb design where the bulb hangs down vertically in the middle of the tent. No reflector or glass or ducting just a bare bulb. Its a proven method if and only if there is adequate ventilation for the tent as HPS bulbs produce a lot of heat. Easily 50% more heat than a MH bulb. I'll ventilate the tent with a 4" Vortex fan which is rated around 150cfm's. What all those numbers mean is the air inside the tent will be exchanged every 15 seconds if my math is correct. There's enough negative pressure to pull the sides of the tent inwards.
The grow will be flood/drain utilizing the same system I had for the peppers except I re-designed the pots down from 9 to only 4. This is especially easy with the modular pots from an old Ebb & Grow unit. To my surprise 2 of the 4 plants placed in the system were started in STG and the other 2 in rockwool. This proves to me there is no difference in the 2 products after plants have germintated and are growing. It's only the germination part for the STG that is tricky.
My expectations for this grow are not about production but that would be nice, mainly I'm just wanting to learn a few things about how tomatos are grown hydroponically.
and the learning curve begins