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Thread: Yellowing Leaves In Tomatoes

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014

    Default Yellowing Leaves In Tomatoes

    I am having some troubles with my hydroponic tomatoes. This is my first time growing. My bottom leaves are turning yellow and don't look healthy. I have planted all my tomatoes from seeds. The plants I planted in the ground are growing twice as fast as the plants hydroponically and look a lot healthier. From everything I have read it appeared I had a lack of nutrients. I purchased a TDS meter yesterday and tested the water. It was at 2200ppm. I thought this may have been high and was due for a nutrient change so swamped the nutrient out and adjusted to 1300ppm as it indicated it should be at on the nutrient bottle. I am using a 2 part nutrient with a third boost nutrient. From further readings it looks like tomatoes should be fine with a nutrient level of 2200ppm. I am running a dwc system. I have my tomatoes in rockwool surrounded by clay pellets. I have about 1" of the bottom of the rockwool sitting in the water as the roots are yet to protrude through the rockwool and dangle into the water. I have a 6" air stone in a 5 gallon bucket supplied by an aquarium pump for aquariums up to 80 gallons. I would hope this is enough air. Any idea on what the issues could be. The leaves are just yellow no droop or curl up.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Los Angeles, CA


    Although DWC systems are inexpensive to build, they are prone to root problems. Drooping and yellowing leaves are probably a sign of overwatering, possibly due to the rockwool you added to the rocks. It could also be a root rot issue. I would take a look at the roots and see if they are white and fluffy, or if they have a slight amber color with darker amber/brown tips. If they are not white and healthy and the root mass is still small you may be able to pull the plant, remove the rockwool and replace with straight pellets. If the root issue has progressed too far then it may end up being too late to save the plant(s). Also check the water temperature. If this is outdoors and the air temp is hot during the daytime then DWC will be a challenge for you this time of year. One of the problems with DWC is that the water temp needs to be within a relatively narrow margin; too hot and you will get root rot, too cold and the plants won't grow.
    David G.
    BGH Forum Moderator

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