Ideal Tomato PPM??
I am new to hydroponics and am currently working on my first crop of tomatoes. The more research I do on nutrient concentration, the more confused I get. I have read many different forums and suggested nute concentrations range from "do not go above 1000ppm" to "the range for tomatoes is 1800ppm to 3500ppm", with every other suggestion falling between these extremes. Are there any experienced tomato growers in here who could help me find an ideal recipe?
I am growing 4 different types of tomatoes in an 8 site aeroponic sprayer system. I am using a 1000W HPS light (also providing light for 2 deep water hydroponic gardens with peppers and herbs).
Concentration of my tomato nutes was between 1000 and 1300 for the entire growth cycle. Changed over to Bloom nutes this past weekend (I have **** on each plant but no flowers yet) and increased the concentration yesterday to 1350ppm. My ph has fluctuated between 5.8 and 7.9. I have ordered some ph up&down but up to this point, I have not attempted any ph adjustment. How much of an effect does the ph actually have on the plants and at what ph (high and low) should I be worried about the health of my plants?
4 different kinds of tomatoes eh?
Well, each of the different kinds of tomatoes might like different nute strengths but as a general rule I think you have the right idea of about 1000-1300. When they are small, you can run about 500-600ppms, after a couple of weeks you can increase to 800-900 then up to 1000-1500. I would NEVER try to run above 2000 or so ppms. I have heard of people going above this but they were very very large plants and they worked up to that level.
In terms of PH, it is very important. The PH of your nute solution will dictate what nutrients the plants can take up, thus affecting your plants health and overall yield. The recommended levels are somewhere between 5.2 and 6.5 depending on what stage of growth you are in. This will allow for maximum absorption of specific major and minor nutes. I personally use a much lower ph (about 5.4-5.8) for veg and a little higher ph for blooming (about 6.0-6.4).
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