Hydroponics - Wilma and Deep Water systems

Discussion in 'Edible Gardening' started by Ademission, May 10, 2021.

  1. Ademission

    Ademission Gardener

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    Hello all, I'm very new on these forums so I may be posting in the wrong place. If this is the case then please forgive me.

    I thought I would ask if anyone else uses hydroponics in the greenhouse. I have been using Wilma and Deep Water systems now for 3 years (4 this year). I dug out some photos to show you my system and how well things grow in them.

    P5310364 2000.jpg
    Picture 1
    This shows 2 Wilma systems, each with 8 x 11litre pots with clay beads as the medium. I should point out that this photo was taken in May 2018. The tank of hydroponic fluid below the pots is approximately 100litres and is pumped through drippers on the top surfaces of the pots for 15minutes every few hours during the day and less frequently at night. The fluid is adjusted to have a pH of 6.0 and the food concentration of 2000EC. I use Canna Coco food.

    P5310366 2000.jpg
    Picture 2
    This is one of my 2 Deep Water systems. I think it holds about 60litres of hydroponic fluid. The water is permanently agitated by an air pumped through air stones in the tank. The tomatoes are planted in a small amount of clay beads in a mesh pot hanging just above the surface of the liquid. The roots are in the water. Again the pH is set to 6.0 and the food concentration a little bit higher than with the peppers to 2500EC. I usually grow 2 Tumbling Tom plants in each of the Deep water Systems. Picture was also taken in May 2018

    P6170384 2000.jpg
    Picture 3
    Taken at the beginning of June 2018. The plants grow rapidly and produce a very large crop. I only have to top up the water every 5days and totally change the water every month. The pH rises towards 7.0 and needs to be adjusted back to 6.0 weekly.

    If anyone else uses these systems I would love to hear from you so that we can exchange notes. If anyone has any questions then just ask.
     
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    • shiney

      shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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      Welcome to GC :dbgrtmb:

      I know nothing about hydroponics but some of our members use it. I think @hydrogardener uses it extensively so this should notify him. :)
       
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      • JWK

        JWK Gardener Staff Member

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        Very interesting @Ademission, I can see peppers in there too, what do the tomatoes and peppers taste like? I used an Octogrow system for a few years mainly as a holiday watering system and ran into issues with salt build up. I have gone back to soil now and think the taste is better.
         
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        • Ademission

          Ademission Gardener

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          Hi John, thanks for your reply.

          I use both hydroponics and soil. I can't tell the difference in taste but the crop size is better with the hydroponics. I don't get splitting of the tomatoes with hydro (usually attributed to uneven watering). The nutrient solution is topped up as necessary and totally changed each month and I don't get salt build up by doing this. As you say in your email, its very handy to be able to go on holiday for a week without worrying about watering.
          I had one bad experience of hydro with the peppers, when I over fertilised them. I used a strength of 3000EC on both the tomatoes and peppers. OK for tomatoes but too strong for peppers. It resulted in an outbreak of aphids which stunted the peppers. 2000EC is now as high as I go with peppers and "touch wood" no problems since doing this.

          Ok on the Octogrow system. I didn't know they produced 8 x 11litre version but I have seen the Quadgrow systems. I assume they are made by the same people.

          I actually have a 3rd Wilma system that is bigger than the other two (8 x 18litre pots). When my new greenhouse is delivered (June 4th ish), I will be able to do some bigger plants, but I have missed the boat this season. The new greenhouse will be 10ft x 12ft and will give me lots of space. I will also use the smaller one 6ft x 8ft as well.

          Anyway, enough for now.

          Thanks again for the reply and stay safe.
           
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          • Tomhip

            Tomhip Gardener

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            '
             
          • Tomhip

            Tomhip Gardener

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            Hi there
            I have been into hydroponics for a number of years now and I believe I've tried almost every method except acuaponics and I have now what I believe to be the ideal system for me in my greenhouse it is basically a simple flow system for tomatoes cucumbers and peppers and a wick system for lettuce, spring onions, leafy vegetables and strawberries etc I found that it was getting to involved and labour intensive the methods I use now are simple and effective
            Good growing to you
            Tomhip
             
          • sandymac

            sandymac Gardener

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          • Tomhip

            Tomhip Gardener

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            Hi handyman
            An interesting post you have certainly pulled the stops out with as you say great results I have tried to simplify things and I now use vivigrows this method eliminates compost these are in my greenhouse on benches at waist height, (age and arthritis gives me little option) I only put two plants in each this gives the plants more more root room and they grow very very well for it in the case of tomatoes because of restricted height room I remove the growing tip and then grow on the first two sideshoots at an angle of about 45% they tend to grow naturally at this angle anyway the side shoots now allow me to to grow three or four trusses on each side shoot no problem with blossom end rot or anything else touch wood and the tomatoes are as good as any soil grown for taste in my humble opinion this works exceptionally well with short jointed plants like Ailsa Craig etc but I must admit it a little difficult with other varieties Sungold etc but it still works and I am very pleased with the results
            Kind regards
            Tomhip
             
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            • Tomhip

              Tomhip Gardener

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              Seems my post is to sandyman I think it should be riki101 and sandymac my pre emtive texting has overtaken
              Apologies
               
            • sandymac

              sandymac Gardener

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              i stopped growing varieties like Ailsa craig years ago they are fine plants with loads of fruit but no taste, I grow for taste having experimented over the years with numerous varieties.
              Using different methods and fertilizers and find the most important thing for taste is the variety grown. I had excellent results growing the Likes of Ailsa craig for healthy plants and abundant fruit but no matter what method of growing or fertilizing i could not get them to taste of anything much.
              Below is a photo of an Ailsa craig plant so you will see from the abundant fruit if you could get taste into the tom's it would be a winner
              regards SandyAilsa craig[1].JPG
               
            • Tomhip

              Tomhip Gardener

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              Hi sandy
              That surprises me I've grown ailsa Craig for a few years now and found them good to fair for taste they certainly come up trumps for fruit every time I would be interested to know your taste research and varieties you found good that is if you don't mind
              Regards
              Tom
               
            • sandymac

              sandymac Gardener

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              Hi Tomhip
              The varieties i grow are well posted on here in tomato taste test.
              Brief summary of my core of varieties I am always trying new varieties but grow the varieties below every year

              Steak sandwich best large tomato good tomatoey taste

              Brandy boy a large tomato with good flavour but can be tricky to grow up here.
              Yuanne Flamme a smallish orange coloured tomato with a nice fruity taste. probably my favorite
              Gardeners delight cherry tom (JWK's 2005 seeds strain) has that nice tangy taste.
              Sungold cherry yellow tom with nice sweet taste (or tangy if you eat them when fruit is yellow but gell around seeds is still green.
              Amish Paste a big plum shaped tomato grown for sauces
              regards Sandy
               
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              • Tomhip

                Tomhip Gardener

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                Hi Sandy
                I grow sungold always it's a lovely tomato and the gardeners delight I've given up on! never heard of steak sandwich I will do some research later also with yuanne flamme
                Thanks for your input
                Tom
                 
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