From Abigail’s Desk: Hydroponic Tomato Producer Grows Big With Growers Supply
Hydroponics is a huge movement in the growing industry in recent years. Although as early as the 1600s scientists discovered that plants did not need soil to survive, it wasn’t until the mid 1800s that the correct nutrients needed for water-based plant growth were identified. Since then, universities and large-scale producers started using and teaching various types of hydroponic techniques and now growers all over the world are experiencing great success.
I have a customer that is located in northern Vermont who is an excellent example of how growers can benefit from hydroponic production. A large-scale tomato farm that has been in business since 1993, this company sells 10 pallets of the fruit to grocery stores and markets across the northeast each week.
Chris W., greenhouse manager for the company, sent in some photos showcasing their setup. Chris starts his tomatoes using a variety of great Growers Supply products. A typical cycle for Chris is to start the seeds in Grodan Starter Plugs.
Depending on the season, the tomato starts may need an extra “hug” of warmth, so Chris uses a piece of 6 mil 4 year Greenhouse Film over the starters, under the lights. This traps heat energy created by the lights and provides that extra “hug” the plants may need.
After a few weeks in the “nursery” Chris transplants each Grodan plug into a Jiffy Grow Block and grows to a fuller state under energy-efficient High Bay Fluorescent Fixtures with Full Spectrum Bulbs that mimic natural sunlight.
After a few more weeks, Chris then transplants the grow block into a Dutch Bucket that is filled with either environmentally friendly clay pebbles or water-saving Perlite. Here the plants will grow to full maturity and this is where Chris will harvest from. Dutch buckets are watered individually via a Stake Dripper system, saving both water and energy.
As you can see, we offer a variety of hydroponic setups and accessories that can be used by small and large growers alike. If you’re not sure where to start with your own hydroponic system, contact me, Abigail Tobey (1.800.476.9715 ext. 246), and together we can design the perfect system for you, from start to finish!