Growing Tomatoes With The Kratky Method Continued!

By Robert C. Newkirk, Jr.

In my last blog post, I introduced growing tomatoes with the Kratky Method. In this blog posting, we will look at some of the things that can go wrong. The top picture on the left shows a very promising and very healthy tomato plant. I was very proud and excited about this tomato plant. This plant was growing in a 20-gallon storage tote. The nutrients that I used for this plant were General Hydroponics Micro, Grow, and Bloom. I have used General Hydroponics nutrients for many years, and it has always performed like a champion. (Awesome Nutrients!) About a week ago, I noticed the reservoir was getting low, so I decided to add another 5 gallons of nutrients.

The one thing I always worry about when adding additional nutrients to a plant is that you can easily drown the plant, especially if you submerge the roots that the plant uses for the air supply. So I went ahead and added the 5 gallons of nutrients and kept an eye on the plant. After a couple of days, the plant remained healthy looking. We had a couple of very hot days here in this part of the state, and my big mistake was not checking on the plant. The plant went through the 5 gallons of additional nutrients and began to dry out and wilt.

How disappointing and frustrating it was for me to see my beautiful and healthy dying right before my eyes. The question that comes to my mind is: can I save this plant? I went the Google to research the answer. I am still hoping to find an article that will give me hope and insight on what to do to save my plant. Unfortunately, I could not find such information. I will have to try to save the plant on my own. The first step I took was to add water and nutrients to the reservoir. I did that over 24 hours ago, and there has been no change to the plant, but I am still hopeful. I will give it a few more days before I will mark up this plant as a complete failure. I guess the moral to this story is that we can learn from our mistakes. Next year I will try this method on another tomato plant, and I will increase the size of the storage tote to a 50-gallon one.

Thank you for reading!