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How to Raise Vining Plants in Hydro

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Some of the most ambitious growers love trying to cultivate items like tomatoes and cucumbers, or even heavier for its like melons, in a hydroponic scenario. But these plants take some extra kinds of care compared to easy hydroponic plants like herbs and greens. Here are some of the essential steps to shepherding heavier vining plants to successful harvests in a hydro system.

Check the weight rating

You’ll need to understand the weight load of mature plants on hydroponic structures. Whether it's PVC, vinyl, wood, metal or anything else, you need to know whether the systems that you've painstakingly built will stand up to the pressure when those tiny seedlings become sprawling plants.

Try a sideways or down-growing system

One of the most popular ways to grow some vining plans in hydroponics is to invert traditional systems where vining plants are made to vine upward around trellises or stakes.

Of course in soil, you don't have any choice. Unless you want to take a whole lot of arable land just for one plant, it makes sense to train plans like tomatoes to rise upward. The problem? The plant’s structures really aren’t made to do that. It puts a lot of stress on the plant, and unless it’s completely right, things can end up getting messy.

In hydroponics, there are some easy solutions that take care of all of this. One is a sideways system -- letting hydroponic plants vine their way across a PVC or other structure. But another even more popular one is a strategy where plants grow down from their roots. Here, the roots are situated at the top, and the stem and vines wind their way down to the floor or to some other surface below.

Assess nutrient needs

Many of the larger vining plants are also going to need a lot more nutrients than some other kinds of easier hydroponic crops. This might be an order of magnitude of 3 to 4 times more than what you would give a plant like basil or lettuce. You have to be sure to invest the money in the volume of nutrients you'll need to raise these plans the right way.

Avoid contact

One side effect of the sideways or down growing method is that plant fruits might end up lying on some surface. Hydroponic growers don't have to worry about is as much as soil farmers do, because if it's a clean, dry surface, there's not likely to be a lot of rot. Still, you always have to look out for rot in terms of tomatoes and other types of vining plants.

For more, talk to Dealzer about how to set up your own modern and innovative hydroponics systems.

 
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