OutdoorHydro
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Outdoor hydro under shade cloth help!!

Hi everyone.

I just had the worst vegetable season ever this past year. I moved to a new home and the soil is completely void of nutrients. I amended the soil but since our property is on a slope, the rains this year pretty much stripped and flushed away any good I did. Most of what I do live on is sand.

So next year I'm going to grow using hydroponics, forget about transforming the dead sand, we'll direct feed!

I've dabbled in indoor hydroponics before and so I've an idea of the different systems and how they work but anything that gets done will probably be built by me instead of purchased, not because I'm cheap, but but because I want the flexibility of drilling the holes to make sure it fits my setup instead of adapting to a setup.

I plan to grow tomatoes, squash, greens, melons, beans, and strawberries, and I do not mind adapting different setups to obtain optimal results.

BUT I NEED HELP and opinions:

1) since i'll be growing outdoors, I'm worried about the roots drying up and dying in minutes. I've thought about growing under shade cloth to reduce evaporation but will this hinder growth? We'll have direct sun for a solid 10+ hours in the Summer and some days can regularly get above 105F. Will this intense environment make one type of delivery system better than another? Which over which?

2) Tomatoes can grow quite big and create a huge rootball in the soil. Will growing toms in 6" wire baskets with clay pebbles provide enough support once the roots take hold? or am I going about this wrong?

Thank you!

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applestar
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Re: Outdoor hydro under shade cloth help!!

Where do you live? If it regularly gets above 105°F, summer is not the right season for you to grow tomatoes. Readjust your thinking and grow tomatoes when it's somewhat cooler -- when temperatures are between 60° to 85°F.

In the south, folks grow tomatoes in tow seasons -- fall-earlywinter and latewinter-spring. My understanding is that later msturing indeterminate varieties are best grown in the fall (seeds started in summer, sometimes indoors in the a/c) and hope for a mild winter, and spring growing is best dedicated to early maturing determinate varieties.

So depending on your winter climate, this might be the time to start some tomatoes NOW.

...tomato plants need a support system no matter what kind of growing set up you use.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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applestar
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Re: Outdoor hydro under shade cloth help!!

You said you are on a slope so you have to create level areas, right? Have you considered rain gutter/4" pipe sub-irrigated 5 gallon bucket planters and fabric pots? I'm hearing good reports for growing tomatoes and was going to try a version of that this year, but didn't get around to it.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

OutdoorHydro
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Re: Outdoor hydro under shade cloth help!!

applestar wrote:You said you are on a slope so you have to create level areas, right? Have you considered rain gutter/4" pipe sub-irrigated 5 gallon bucket planters and fabric pots? I'm hearing good reports for growing tomatoes and was going to try a version of that this year, but didn't get around to it.
applestar wrote:Where do you live? If it regularly gets above 105°F, summer is not the right season for you to grow tomatoes. Readjust your thinking and grow tomatoes when it's somewhat cooler -- when temperatures are between 60° to 85°F.

In the south, folks grow tomatoes in tow seasons -- fall-earlywinter and latewinter-spring. My understanding is that later msturing indeterminate varieties are best grown in the fall (seeds started in summer, sometimes indoors in the a/c) and hope for a mild winter, and spring growing is best dedicated to early maturing determinate varieties.

So depending on your winter climate, this might be the time to start some tomatoes NOW.

...tomato plants need a support system no matter what kind of growing set up you use.
I live on the edge of Death Valley on the California side on the side of the Eastern Sierra Mountains which include Mt. Whitney.

Wow, a split season, I never considered that for tomatoes (just greens). Thanks for the idea! At my previous property, I had great success amending the soil and even raised bed gardening over concrete. To be successful, I primarily purchased varieties from the local nursery where plants known for their heat tolerance are stocked. But even seeds from seedsavers which were out of region did well under the correct soil adjustments.

Yes, everything has to be leveled out before anything can be done. Our east property boundary is significantly lower than our west boundary.

" Have you considered rain gutter/4" pipe sub-irrigated 5 gallon bucket planters and fabric pots?"

I'm not 100% sure what this is but I can imagine it. The thing that irks me about container gardening is that now that I have property go grow in (1+ acre), the land is dead! lol. Never the less, after a night of videos, I'm leaning toward a medley of dutch buckets, PVC tube, floating rafts, and Mr. Kratkey method all depending on the plant to be grown.

I also learned that a lot of hydro is done outdoors, and got an idea about a buried res to keep it cool.

But I still have the question: how much will shade cloth negatively affect my growing efforts?

OutdoorHydro
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Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:56 am

Re: Outdoor hydro under shade cloth help!!

I called a local hydro shop today and they were pretty adamant that I would need a hydro chiller for the system for the outdoor application. Anyone agree?

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