GROWING HYDROPONIC TOMATOES
Ripe juicy tomatoes! Everyone loves to grow tomatoes in their summer garden, but by growing hydroponic tomatoes, you can enjoy these popular fruits year round. Tomatoes are highly nutritious, range in variety, and bring color and flavor to that favorite dinner staple... salad.
Tomatoes are probably the most popular hydroponic vegetable, and are usually very successful. Hydroponic tomatoes can ripen as much as 8 weeks earlier and produce more fruit than soil-planted plants.
They also have superior nutrition and appearance, tender skin, firm flesh, delightful aroma and flavor, and surprisingly, they keep very well.
Proper Growing Conditions For Tomatoes
Temp: Tomatoes can survive at 55-85 degrees, but do best in the seventies, with a RH (humidity) of 40-50%. They can handle high temps on occasion, but prolonged 90+ degrees can damage them. And they will die if exposed to frost. Tomatoes like lots of light. Try Heirloom Tomato varieties like Brandywine for an adventure in culture and taste. We have an excellent article on growing heirloom hydroponic tomatoes here: Heirloom Seeds. (Also on that page are great instructions for drying and saving tomato seeds from your harvest). Keep a constantly renewed batch of seedlings, plants and harvest going for cycling and year-round production of delicious juicy tomatoes. Growing hydroponic tomatoes feeds your salad bowl year-round.
Full-grown tomato vines have a tremendous capacity for water and food, so watch your nutrient reservoir levels. Tomatoes also require high levels of nutrient concentration, So mix your solution on the strong side, or test with an EC Meter.
With a gently oscillating fan going, chances are very good that you will not have to do any hand pollination. I have never had to lend a hand to my tomatoes in this process.
GOOD VARIETIES FOR GROWING HYDROPONIC TOMATOES:
Staking (vining) tomatoes: Brandywine, Matusalah (rave reviews if you can find it), Burpee Big Boy, Giant Beefsteak. Tomatoes (Bush or Patio): Tiny Tim, Celebrity, Super Sweet 100. Cherry tomatoes are delicious! They make for an attractive salad bowl and are perfect for hydroponic gardens.
Popular Heirloom Tomatoes: Brandywine Pink, Mortgage Lifter.