The Hydroponic Journey Continues!
I hope by now some of you have your heart inclined to at least trying something in this space!
This week we will familiarise you with some of our learnings and experiences as we tried 3 different methods of Hydroponics for a single crop type – Cherry Tomatoes.
The preparation for this Journey began some time back; To be precise – In April 2018. It began when we sowed the seeds for these Cherry tomatoes (both red and yellow variant). And while we are only halfway there. We will be happy to share our experiences of our yields and its sizes shortly…
So once the cherry tomato seeds were sown we prepared ourselves to experiment with 3 basic types of growth systems in Hydroponics
The seedlings were ready to transplant within a month. So on 24th April 2018, we sowed the seeds and on 22nd May we transplanted them into these three mediums.
Dutch Bucket System:
At the onset after transplanting, we used City Greens NPK solution at a concentration of 1 ml each / liter of water.
Along with that, we ensured that the plants received sufficient sunlight and lot of love!!
After 2 weeks we increased the solution concentration to 2 ml of NPK per liter of solution.
This was also provided for a period of 2 weeks at regular intervals.
After another couple of weeks, the NPK solution concentration was increased to 3 ml of each per liter of solution. This has been maintained ever since.
Our Dutch Bucket System growing Cherry Tomatoes – No upper support required just yet. The plants have been growing well without many instances of pests.
DWC or Deep-Water Culture:
The happily growing, I’d say smiling😊 plants in our DWC system!
I’m sure it makes many grow green with Envy!!
But we are propagating Green .. So .. So be it! As long as its green….and it pushes you to start this green adventure…Envy is ok..
We prepared 45-55 liters of the Nutrient Solution at a starting concentration of 1 ml of each per liter of water. The saplings were then transplanted into the DWC rack. The concentration was again increased when we refilled the rack with the Nutrient Solution. (i.e after a period of 2-3 weeks). After another 2 weeks’ time the Nutrient Solution concentration was increased to 3ml of each ( i.e N, P and K) in 1 litre of water. Since then we have maintained the Nutrient concentration at 3 ml.
The DWC racks were aerated at periodic intervals and to ensure that the solution is not deficient of Oxygen. We also provided double support to the base of the plant in the DWC racks by providing it extra layers of support at the base. Furthermore, By June mid we supported the stems of the cherry tomato plants with ropes from above so that it received firm enough support to grow.
Soilless Medium (In a grow bed):
The cherry tomatoes were transplanted into the soilless medium and the same cycle and concentration of the Nutrient Solution as in the other two mediums. In this media, we also ensured that we alternated with Nutrient Solution as well as plain water from time to time to prevent any salt building up in the media.
If we were to compare the length and growth of the plants in each of these mediums, we can see very clearly that the plants in the DWC system have gained more height and vegetative growth compared to the other two methods!
However, they are also the only ones that have been provided with twine support for now. Also, placed at the periphery and being at a higher level than other two systems, they do get little more sunlight than the rest. So, we cannot say conclusively how much of the result is due to DWC.
We are waiting with our fingers crossed for the yield results. With yield results, we may be able to ascertain in perfection what medium did best help the plants. And so, maybe in another month or 2, we could share with you the results! So keep reading!!
As of now, DWC method seems to be doing wonders for the plants…We will just have to be patient till we reach the finishing line.
So take the plunge and begin somewhere. Don’t hesitate to contact us and we would be more than happy to do a training session for you so that your questions are answered, and you are more prepared to face the challenges of growing crop in this new method – Methodically and Successfully!! Join us…
Sometimes you choose your profession. Sometimes God chooses your profession for you. For me it was the latter – The quest to find purpose and expression came in the form of my work. A connection with soil, water, growth and life.
As a kid, I would secretly wish that grown-up life was just like my childhood – running around luscious green fields, feeding the farm cows, chasing and being chased by hens, goats, cousins, the wind in my hair, the rain on my face, the smell of the earth after a rain, and the sound of non-stop laughter.
It was a sad day, when I realised that my wish was just that – a wish! Its been a personal mission for me to recreate the magic of my childhood in any way possible and contribute to clean air, smiling faces, nourishing food, happier homes all with a sense of awe and gratitude. Thus I found my way to CityGreens – here I help people sow, plant, nurture, care and harvest plants. Through plants a better home and life.
When I was not running around and playing with my cousins and farm animals I also managed to do my B.Tech and MBA.