ladyhawke6281
Full Member
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri May 13, 2016 9:59 pm
Location: Checotah OK-Zone 7A/7B

Anyone Else Have a Hydro System Outdoors?

Hello Everyone,

My husband and I are from Checotah, Oklahoma. We have always loved to garden, but last year we had so much rain (22 inches or so in two months) that we had to replace our garden 3 times.

So this year we had to do something different. We don't really fit any one forum on this site so I will share here. We have 143 Heirloom tomato plants and 30 some pepper plants in a DWC/BATO bucket hydroponic system.

We planted these one month ago and we already have 75 or so tomatoes started, tons of flowers, and some peppers started too.

We have planted Pink and Red Brandywine, Rutgers, Cherokee Purple, Big Rainbow, Mortgage Lifters, and San Marzano tomatoes along with Green and Purple Bell, Anaheim, and Poblano peppers.

I can't wait to see what they do. Good luck to everyone and happy gardening.

pepperhead212
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1707
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:52 pm
Location: Woodbury NJ Zone 6B

Re: Anyone Else Have a Hydro System Outdoors?

I hope you have better luck this year. After a disastrous year of record rainfall years ago, I started growing 15 tomatoes each season in upside-down 5 gal buckets, which would drain quickly - even after 4 or 5 inches in a day, they would need water in 2 days! Now I switched over to sub-irrigated planters (SIPs), which serve sort of the same purpose - giving me a good number of plants to survive, in case of another disaster rain year. Incredible production in those, as well, and similar to hydroponics, from which I incorporate some of my fertilizers and other additives. And something I do to every one of them, which you may be doing already, to prevent mosquitoes and fungus gnats, is break up a piece of a "mosquito dunk" and drop it into the reservoir. Only one of those is needed in a 10' x 10' pond, so only a small piece is needed in a bucket, just once a month.

I only use the hydroponics indoors in the winter, for herbs, but I have seen a number of posts in the past by those who have had them outdoors in summer, so check past posts.

Good luck, and hope to hear more about your setup!
Dave

ladyhawke6281
Full Member
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri May 13, 2016 9:59 pm
Location: Checotah OK-Zone 7A/7B

Re: Anyone Else Have a Hydro System Outdoors?

Thank you,
It's nice to hear that someone else is doing containers and hydroponics. I was starting to think this forum for hydro was dead. Not too much activity here. We are doing well so far as far as the rain goes. Our buckets are 50/50 mix of peat moss and pearlite. We use masterblend, Epsom salt, calcium, blood meal, seaweed, and humic acid in our reservoir. So far we have over 75 tomatoes started and a handful of peppers and we just planted one month ago.

Thought about maybe a greenhouse for over the winter. We'll see how that goes. Here are some pics.
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pepperhead212
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1707
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:52 pm
Location: Woodbury NJ Zone 6B

Re: Anyone Else Have a Hydro System Outdoors?

Looks great! What varieties of tomatoes do you have there?

One thing that I learned that helps tomatoes in those SIPs (found this on the earthbox forum) is to add a tsp of Ca(NO3)2 to the reservoir weekly, which is an easy way to get extra Ca to the tomatoes (I also add 2 c of dolomite per 2 cu ft of mix). I also add some things like Karma - seaweed and humic acids - which definitely helps when done indoors in
comparison hydro systems, though I was only growing herbs in those.
Dave

ladyhawke6281
Full Member
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri May 13, 2016 9:59 pm
Location: Checotah OK-Zone 7A/7B

Re: Anyone Else Have a Hydro System Outdoors?

Hello,
We are growing Cherokee Purple, Big Rainbow, San Marzano, Mortgage Lifter, Rutgers, and Brandywine. We also give them Calcium and we give our Tomatoes and peppers humic acid and seaweed on a regular basis. It is awesome.

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11678
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Anyone Else Have a Hydro System Outdoors?

Really nice. The system we use is aquaponic. The tomatoes are grown in cinder although the cucumbers were in a wicking system with coir. The pots are still supplemented with sustane and bone meal. We use 15 gallon tubs for the tomatoes

I have grown tomatoes successfully in self watering containers and it makes more efficient use of the water. .
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.



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