Growing Hydroponic Tomatoes

Growing Hydroponic Tomatoes

The Tale on Growing Healthy Hydroponic Tomatoes 

Who doesn’t love the freshness of vibrant, bright-red sliced tomatoes in salads, sandwiches, and veggies? Apart from providing a wonderful contrast to the dish, it does provide a savory flavor. But the favor shines even more if the tomatoes are home-grown. That’s when you need to grow tomatoes hydroponically. But why would you prefer to grow tomatoes the hydroponic way?

Why you should be Growing Tomatoes Hydroponically

  • Growing tomatoes hydroponically will give you an edge in growing them in a controlled environment. Simply saying, you will be around 80% master of the entire harvesting of the plant. The right environment can help you with 10 times the yield.
  • Growing them in a controlled environment will further protect them from any insects, critters, and other diseases.
  • Cleanliness all around. Why? Apply simple logic. Lack of soil, and growing indoors. Thus the operations remain mostly clean.
  • Water savings upto 90% than soil farming.
  • Also, regardless of the soil quality and the sunlight, you can grow them anywhere, as tomatoes are light neutral and soil is not even a subject of discussion here. So even if you have cloudy weather all time and an absolute level of coarse soil, hydroponics can help you cultivate tomatoes which soil farming cant.
  • Hydroponic tomatoes take less time to harvest when compared to soil farming. For the same duration, if you compare growing tomatoes in a hydroponic system and in soil, You will observe that the hydroponic system has a better yield. The growth rate expands from 30% to 50% when switching over to hydroponics.

Now since you have got 6 valid reasons to know why hydroponics will be the best method for growing tomatoes, let’s get started with what you need and then proceed to how to grow tomatoes hydroponically.

Tomato Cultivators

Tomato cultivators have an important role to play during the growth. If you want a bushy plant that can grow in a limited space, the Determinate varieties should be your choice. If you have already arranged for the frames, go for indeterminate varieties.

Apart from them, you can use breeds of tomatoes like the Roma tomatoes, Silvery Fir Tree, Celebrity, Patio, Tiny tim or the beefsteak tomatoes for your cultivation.

Getting started with how to grow tomatoes hydroponically

Like any other plant like basil or capsicum, tomatoes can be germinated or even cloned. That forms the very first step. Let’s see how.

Germinating seeds: A warm temperature is a booster in germination. 70-80 degrees temperature in a rapid rooster or heat mat and there you will see your seed growing into a seedling in about 5-8 days. It won’t take much time in the germination phase but yet there will be challenges ahead which you will come to know as you move forward with this blog.

Rockwool cubes make a perfect growing substrate for germinating. To do this, you need to add the seeds and wet the wool.

Cloning: One of the easy processes which help you transfer similar traits from the healthy plant to the child plant. So in case you desire a particular type of tomato breed, choose the one which is available in your local stores, use oxygenated water and rapid rooter cubes.

Choosing the right Hydroponic System to grow tomatoes

Just like a heavy hydroponic system is needed to support capsicums, the same is the requirement for growing hydroponic tomatoes. While growing tomatoes what comes into the picture is the weight of the plant. 

When it blooms into wonderful, healthy, and big-sized tomatoes, (that too many tomatoes on a single plant) the plant eventually tries to bend down and break. So a support system ought to be provided to hold up the weight of the system. This is applicable if you decide to give the indeterminate varieties of tomato cultivators.

So you can use hydroponic buckets or 5-gallon net pot bucket lids to grow hydroponic tomatoes. Also, Hydroponic systems like bubble buckets help you with the spacing as these buckets can be moved easily.

An ebb and flow system, also pouplarly known as the flood and drain system is the suitable one. Apart from being the best and simple hydroponic system for beginners, it has many many advantages. A surplus amount of water gets flooded to the roots in a timely fashion.

Placement of your system

Since tomatoes love the warmth of the weather and keep them sustaining all around the year, it is advisable to heat up the indoors in winter. Dampness and humidity should also m=be maintained.

Spacing requirements for growing hydroponic tomatoes

Your tomatoes need an ample amount of space to sprout into a lovely plant. The size will of course depend on how you are growing it. 

Also, keep in mind that during pruning and harvesting we space is needed so that you don’t destroy the other tomatoes hanging around. If you are wondering what pruning is, worry not, we will discuss it as we proceed.

So a spacing of around 12-14 inches is feasible. Hydroponic systems like bubble buckets help you with the spacing as these buckets can be moved easily.

The light needed for growing hydroponic tomatoes

Tomatoes are one of those plants that love absorbing light that contribute to their vibrancy and taste. But one advantage is that tomatoes are day-neutral. 

This means a specific wavelength of light isn’t required to bloom the seedling into beautiful fruits and flowers. So giving your plant daily 15-16 hours of light is great enough. Choose LED lights if you have an indoor setting.

Recommended pH Level for growing hydroponic tomatoes

 A slight acidic medium has to be maintained in the nutrient-rich water solution to ensure the healthy growth of tomatoes. A pHmeter can be used for the same purpose.

Nutrient Requirement for growing hydroponic tomatoes

Different phases of growth in tomatoes require different nutrient mediums. When you’re starting off with seedling, it is basically directed towards vegetative growth. Look out for a package that is rich in nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K), commonly referred to as NPK.One part nutrient solutions like Dyna Go Grows are good to go unless the plant enters the flowering phase.

That’s when you need to switch to a nutrient regimen with less nitrogen. A 1 part nutrient like Dyna-Gro Liquid Bloom or  Dyna-Gro’s Pro Tekt is good for this stage of growth.

Assisting in pollination for growing hydroponic tomatoes

Just to remind you in case Class 8th Biology isn’t in your grey matter anymore. Pollination is the transfer of the pollen grains from the male part of the flower to the female part and helps in producing offspring. SInce Tomatoes are bisexual flowers you need not set up a plant of the opposite sex near your originally growing hydroponics tomatoes.

But if you are growing the plants indoors, neither will you see bees hovering around the plants, nor will the winds enter from nowhere and aid pollination. As a result, you need to go with hand pollination. We would prefer you not to do it directly with your hands.

However, you can use a small brush to transfer the pollen grains to the flower. Or if you have a small table fan, it can also be used. You need to do this about every alternate day during the flower growth.

Pruning Tomatoes

Once you see considerable growth in the size of the plant, they need to be trained and probed before they get out of hand. Just like any teenager these days. You need to chop off the less important stems, branches, and leaves as in the later future, all you want are the fruits and not the leaves and stems. And it is especially important for the indeterminate variant.

Time taken to harvest tomatoes hydroponically

Growing tomatoes hydroponically will be much faster as compared to growing them in soil using traditional soil gardening. This is because you can customize the temperature, pH level, nutrient regimen as per your requirement. 

The smaller varieties can take up to 45 days to grow, whereas the larger variants can take around 75 long days to bloom. If you love taking care of things, surely it can continue bearing fruits for up to one year.

Simple Steps to get started with Hydroponic tomatoes

Step 1: Choose any spacious area to grow your plants. No need to worry about weather and sunlight.  Raise some tomato plants from seeds. Put the seeds in a nursery tray making use of a rock wool starter which should be soaked in a pH adjusted to 4.5 before adding the seeds.

Step 2: Place the seedlings under the light.  Use the lights for 12 hours daily but don’t let it fall directly on the roots as it can burn them. Transplant your seedlings to individual pots when it’s big enough for the roots to break through from the bottom of the tray.

Step 3: Assemble is a top-down drip system, the simplest way. Place a filled reservoir below the plants. Use a pump and irrigation lines to pump water from below into each pot.

Step 4: Ensure exposing the plants to 16-18 hours of light and in complete darkness for 6-8hrs daily. If fans are available, use them to maintain the temperature at 18-24C during the daytime and 12-18C at night. Monitor the pH level, for lowering the pH, add phosphoric acid, and for raising, add potassium hydroxide.

Monitoring the growth of tomatoes grown hydroponically

Once your plant is good to go, to ensure its sustainability, you need to take these measures for a fruitful year. 

  1. Leaching the pots

 With time, salts can pile up around the roots of your plants. So consider them Leaching in clean water weekly when you add the nutrient solution.

  1. Change the solution

You need to keep an eye out for the reservoir water level. Drying up can cause a lot of harm to the entire system. Consider doing this weekly.

  1. Checking pH level

pH level monitoring is important since it’s the pH level that determines which nutrients need to be absorbed. Rather than using baking soda or citric acid for increasing and lowering the pH level respectively, you should use special pH higher and lower solutions that can offer a longer stable pH.

  1. Pruning

Check on your hydroponic tomato plants weekly. Regular pruning and care will help you get the most bountiful crops in your own garden.

Challenges of growing Tomatoes hydroponically

The evergreen reason for any hydroponics system prevails, i,e initial cost spent on setting up the infrastructure. However, if you are growing it’s a hobby and have considerably small areas, you can choose to go for a DIY hydroponic system where you can get a replacement for actual equipment used.

In case you have a huge garden where you actually want to cultivate tomatoes on a  comparatively large scale, then you should opt for a proper hydroponics environment. Even though the initial investment would be high, if taken care of properly, you can enjoy the benefits of the fresh and vibrant tomatoes throughout the year. 


Do hydroponic tomatoes taste good?

Ans: Yes. but mild changes. There are many factors that change the taste of hydroponic peppers like controlling nutrient level and light.

Can you grow tomatoes with LED lights?

Ans: It is possible to grow tomato plants all year round under the right conditions and equipment. With LED and a warm environment, you can grow tomatoes indoors all around the winter as well.

What color light is best for tomatoes?

Ans: For a tomato plant, use a light that has bulbs both cool-colored and warm-colored. The warm-colored lights will allow your plants to produce healthy flowers.

How Many Tomatoes Will One Plant Produce?

Ans: Average indoor tomato plants in ideal conditions can yield about 200 tomatoes, or 10 pounds, per season! 

Leave a reply:

Your email address will not be published.