Hello all and thanks for letting me join the forum. I am very new to Hydroponics gardening and am looking for some advice. I decided to pick this hobby up and am so far having a blast. Last weekend I set up my first system. I have a 4x8 flood table and 70 gallon water tank that I have hooked up as a drip irrigation system. The pump is set to water my peppers and tomatos every 1.5hrs for 30 mins starting at 7am and stopping at 8pm. The plants are sitting in nothing but hydroton clay pellets and the tubes are set near the base of the plants to allow for plenty of hydration. I have added some liquid plant food to the tank as well and they seem to be doing nicely the first few days. They are getting direct sunlight from about 6AM to about 5:30PM daily. When I first set up the system I had the water running over the roots at a cotinuous rate for the first 24 hrs. They were starting to wilt a bit so I took it down to watering for 30 mins on and then one hour off from 7am to 8pm. Yesterday we had a torential rain storm for about 12 hours. I never got a chance to turn off the water supplied by the pump throughout the time the rain was occuring. I was able to get away and check the plants on my lunch break today and noticed that they were quite wilted than compaired to how they looked before the storm. I changed the watering pattern to the 30 mins on and 1.5hrs off as of about an hour ago thinking maybe they had just been exposed to too much water. Any advice on if this watering schedule is wrong for the type of grow medium I am using (Clay pellets) or will it work. The daily temp is about 90 here and the tomatos and peppers are in full sun for most of it. Also these plants were pruchased from Lowes and are about 4-6 inches high. all I did was take them out of the dirt, washed away the dirt and planted the roots in the clay pellets. Thanks for all the advice.
I guess you are from US. If so, I suggest you post your question on http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/hydro. You probably would get better responses over there as the weather conditions in India are very different.
Let me try and answer the question. When you transplant the plants from soil to hydro directly. They will go through some transplanting shock. But you said they were fine during the intial days. I am thinking that there could be root rot or they arent getting enough water.
Symptoms of root rot are:
1. slimy roots that come off easily
2. Plants look fresh in the morning and look wilted in the noon or hot times of the day.
3. roots become brown in color.
I dont see anything wrong with using just clay pellets. Are the clay pellets directly exposed? A picture of the the setup would help. 90 is not too high for tomato or pepper.
I would suggest you check the roots of the plant and post a picture or two about the setup and the plants.
that will help.
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