Sunday, April 12, 2009

End of Hydroponics for Me

Here is a picture of my Burpee Sun Gold cherry tomato plant in my Hydrofarm after 2 weeks in the chemicals. The end of the leaves are curling up, drying up and falling off. The plant has plenty of moisture and I have followed the directions exactly. These symptoms probably can only mean too much fertilizer. I used the most diluted concentrations too for just establishing growth. The plant still may have been too young to take any food. It is now set back about 2 weeks to recover and I probably should start over again with a new plant due to the stress.

My other tomato seedlings in potting soil are doing wonderfully and they were incredibly easy. Hydroponics on the other hand is expensive, time consuming, power intensive (bubbler pump running) and high maintenance. The solution requires a full flush out and replacement every 2 weeks. You have to check the pH regularly. You know what? Forget it! The good thing about what I learned from this experience is that regular soil gardening is so much easier. "Feed the soil, not the plant..." says organic gardener, Eliott Coleman. Hydroponics goes completely against this philosophy.

This now convinces me to continue now completely in the direction of organic gardening, biodynamics, and permaculture which are all sustainable practices. I was never comfortable with all of the chemistry involved with hydroponics and it did not seem right. I guess I got caught up in the gadgetry of it all. I have to remember to always keep it simple.

I will clean up and put on ebay this week.

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