How To Grow Tomatoes Hydroponically Outdoors?
Tomato is an intensive savory vegetable that people demand to enjoy all over the year.
This made the evolution of the hydroponic system in tomatoes to grow them in the best way both at home and outdoors.
One can follow growing tomatoes hydroponically no matter what type of gardening experience they have. However, you will undoubtedly crave to try this method once you are introduced to its outcomes and benefits.
This system is all about adding completeness to the traditional soil system of cultivating tomatoes, which we will discuss today.
Is it Worth Cultivating Tomatoes Hydroponic?
The process of growing tomatoes at any place, anytime, and anywhere with less effort are some commons examples of growing tomatoes hydroponically (Link: easiest plants to grow hydroponically).
With less effort, it is not meant that the action is zero compared to the traditional system. But there are significantly fewer physically demanding tasks that are involved within this system.
Hydroponically grown tomatoes are entirely weather and seasonal-independent. In addition, the tomatoes are artificially controlled so that they can grow throughout the whole year.
The hydroponic system of growing tomatoes also includes a soilless system. There is no soil requirement in this process, instead of which nutrients dissolved in water are used as alternatives.
And in the case of heavy plants, inert substrates can easily be used. This includes sand, gravel, coco, or clay pebbles.
Tomatoes grown following this way can exceptionally be beneficial in terms of various reasons. The economic advantages of this type of tomato are worth mentioning. The never-ending demand for tomatoes throughout the whole year is also met by following this cultivation process.
Again, this system is eligible for both outdoor and indoor cultivation of tomatoes. Commercial growers can use them and those who want to enjoy fresh tomatoes at their indoor step.
What is the Best System That Can Grow Tomatoes Hydroponically?
As you know the best process by which you can obtain the highest outcome from your tomatoes, a further description of the process is also required.
And, when it comes to tomatoes, nobody would think twice other than the best hydroponic system available out there. This system allows all kinds of tomato production both for home and outdoor levels.
But the question arrives, what sort of hydroponic system is suitable for tomato cultivation?
At a basic level, almost all sorts of hydroponic systems can be considered to grow out tomatoes. That includes Aeroponics, NFT, hydroponic drip, ebb and flow, and deep water culture.
All those criteria mentioned above can be followed and implemented to grow tomatoes at any time of the year successfully. Interestingly, with these settings, you can grow spinach, Basils, and grapes. So, you won’t get bored at the end of any cycle.
With that said, the individual and the ultimate best system for doing so is still not covered. However, the ebb and flow methods are the easiest, simple, and highly beneficial way to grow tomatoes. Ebb and flow are also known by the flooding and draining system.
All the things that this process includes are a grown table, water reservoir, timer, and a water pump. The combination of the proper use of all these makes a complete ebb and flow system.
Water is flooded into the grow table couple of times throughout the day. The flooded water is generally the nutrients solution needed regularly for your tomato’s growth.
The rest of the waters are then drained back into the reservoir after the job is done.
How to Grow Tomatoes Hydroponically Outdoors?
After knowing the term hydroponic tomatoes and the best way to grow them, how to do so finally arrives!
We will discuss the best and easiest way to make the process very simple yet highly economical.
The most eligible way of growing tomatoes hydroponically is by following the ebb and flow system.
For the setup, it is entirely up to you whether you would go for a DIY or a readymade available model in the market. You can easily find the required kits for them in the hardware shops or local gardening centers
Complete lists of all the things required for the growth of hydroponic tomatoes by the ebb and flow method are:
The trays or grow trays are where the pots of your plants will be placed. These trays provide the required housing.
The trays should have enough sides to resist the overflow of water. But, again, a sound drainage system should also prevail so that the water can run back into the place from where it came.
The grow tray should be elevated from the ground up to a certain level. It is essential for a couple of reasons. This includes the sending back of the water into the reservoir. If the grow trays are high enough, then water can easily be transported.
Again, a comfortable working place is built when the grow trays are at a perfect height. The spacing for the placing of the reservoir is also made under the grow trays due to the stand.
The reservoir is the place where nutrient solutions for your tomatoes are stored. It is also where the rest of the solutions from the grow trays are drained back into it.
The water reservoir should be kept in such a way that they are not directly exposed to light. For this, a lid can help a lot to avoid contact with light with the solutions. Again, the top can also keep away unwanted particles from entering the reservoir.
Timer and water pump
One of the most important jobs of this ebb and flow system is carried out by the timer and water pump. They do the job of feeding your plants with the nutrients timely.
The pump ensures a proper supply of nutrients into the grow tray, and the timer makes this system automatic. The system is carried out according to a planned schedule regularly.
Pots of the plants
In a hydroponic system, either fabric or nets are used for the banks. The pool is allowed with ample space for the roots of the plants to grow well. However, precautions are taken so that the roots do not get rotten.
Substrates for the growth of plants
With time, your tomato plants will grow heavier and heavier. As a result, you will need a growing substrate to cover the process.
The best thing for this is clay pebbles which are completely pH balanced. They don’t even hold water which prevents the roots of the plants from rotting.
You need to check whether all the fittings are executed well. It would help if you had the correct fittings of the timer with your pump to work accordingly.
Again, the perfect tubing fittings are also needed. As a result, the ease of flowing nutrients into the grow table and the back of them to the reservoir are ensured!
Merits of growing hydroponic tomatoes
Out of a long list of advantages of this system, some widespread benefits of growing tomatoes hydroponically are:
Rate of growth
When all the things are correctly maintained, tomatoes can be grown more than 30-50% faster than the traditional system.
You cannot find a better cleaning alternative other than the hydroponic system. As there is no involvement of soil, your tomatoes get enough room to grow in a better sustainable condition.
The efficiency of water
The most critical factor for growing tomatoes in this system is the best efficiency of water. Water supply is perfectly ensured, along with minimized water loss.
90% better practical usage of water is ensured through this.
Independence of location
Tomatoes can be grown hydroponically irrespective of location. That is to say; they can be grown anywhere with less spacing compared to the traditional method.
Seasons for growing
Your tomatoes won’t any longer depend on any specific seasons for their growth. The hydroponic method builds an artificial environment for their sustenance. As a result, they can be grown 12 months a year.
How Much Time is Required for Growing Tomatoes Hydroponically?
The growth periods of tomatoes depend according to your growing selection.
Tomatoes in the hydroponic system can be cultivated from seeds as well as transplants. So it is really up to you which method you select for the cultivation.
Tomatoes grow faster from transplantation compare to seeds. But this process can be a little more expensive.
You can follow the standard conditions of growing tomatoes from seeds. It follows less expense and is easy to execute.
Seeds will take no longer than ten days to germinate. Another 4-6 weeks will be required to become suitable for the stage of transplanting. So you can understand that almost six weeks are cut down from the whole process if you follow the transplantation method.
Then, a further wait between 4-8 weeks becomes crucial for them to start fruiting.
The proper lighting in cultivating tomatoes through the hydroponic way
Tomatoes are hot temperate vegetables that need enough light for their sustenance.
In a hydroponic system, tomatoes will need an average of 8 hours of daytime lighting.
High-yielding variants will need 18 hours of lighting per day. As a result, besides sunlight, grow lights can be used to provide them with adequate lights.
Growing tomatoes commercially outdoors with hydroponic technique is the best business idea one can come up with. However, if you are a smart cultivator, you must choose the hydroponic technique to grow tomatoes that can rock the market with a blazing price.