Grow Tomatoes on your roof top without soil using simplified hydroponics by Pritham 'metal farmer' D'Souza
Tomatoes are the most widely consumed vegetable in India, where it is used in a variety of cuisines. it is also very popular as puree, sauces & ketchups. however it has always been very challenging to grow tomatoes in the coastal belt as soil becomes the most important factor.
it grows well in black soils not in the coastal red soils.
since hydroponics doesnt need soil, half the battle is already won. following is how i have grown tomatoes without soil, successfully.
in the field, tomatoes are soaked in water or curds for a few days and when the seeds start to sprout, they are braodcast in raised seed beds.
the above pic shows germination just 4 days after sowing. photo taken on feb 5 2009
the above 2 pics show 99 percent germination. even i didnt expect such an amazing and excellent germination percentage. photo taken on 9 feb 2009.
even though it has reached transplanting stage, i decided to wait for some more days to see if over crowding the plants will have any detrimental effect. the only problem i had was the occurence plant hoppers which ended up spreading mosaic virus. i managed to control the problem with neem sprays daily till i didnt see any further spread.
a close up of a tomato plant with distinct leaf structure. bothe the above photos were taken on 25 feb 2009.
after 1 week on march 1 2009, i decided to transplant tomatoes in sepatate growers.
since the grow bed was wider and deeper, i decided to utilize every space available to me. so i transplanted 3 plants together in the same grower as seen above. tomato has fibrous root system, so the roots will produce a number of lateral roots & spread like a very thick network in the grower.
immediately after transplanting i supplied nutrient water till the substrate was saturated and excess water started draining as seen below
transplanting was done on 1st march 2009
20 days later, the growth has to be seen to be believed. the above pic taken on march 21, 2009.
tomato successfully grown without soil.
all photos and data by pritham dsouza. to view photo in original size, click on photo to enlarge