Monday, October 3, 2011

Indoor greenhouse

I have, on occasion, seen grow tents referred to as indoor greenhouses, and that is probably an apt term to use in respect to the environmental control that can be achieved.

Today, I officially began using both of my new indoor grow tents to actually grow something to maturity. I decided that it would be much simpler to use single pot AutoPots in both tents, sharing a common reservoir, as the nutrient needs would be the same for both systems.

The system shown above will be growing a medium sized determinate variety called Balcony Hybrid, while the other tent will be growing a variety called Totem.
In addition to the nutrient reservoir, the tents are also sharing timers for lighting and ventilation,

The light, shown in the photo, is the light mentioned in my September 25th post. It is a 126 watt, 6 band Flower Series grow light. I measured the intensity of the light, in the position shown above, and the reading at plant level was in excess of 5,000 footcandles. In the tent containing the Totem plant, I will be using a 90 watt 3rd. generation red/blue/white LED.

In normal operation the valve is covered, however, I purposely left the cover off the AutoPot smart valve until I was assured that the reservoir was feeding nutrients to the tray.

My primary objective at this point is to become familiar with using the tents, while learning to control the environmental conditions, if the tomatoes are a success, that will be a bonus.


garverm said...

You have a very nice setup. I have done two basement grows of tomatoes in 2010 and 2011. No grow tent was used. Lighting was a 150 watt HPS grow light. In 2010, I used an EarthBox with three Tumbler Hybrid tomatoes. In 2011, I used an Easy2Grow system with two Tumbler Hybrid tomatoes. The EarthBox produced extremely bushy plants with a high amount of vegetative growth, and a harvest that started in May and ended in late June. The Easy2Grow system produced smaller, less bushy plants, with a larger harvest from April to August, with two main productions of tomatoes and around 220 to 235 total cherry tomatoes. Additionally, the Easy2Grow system was much easier to manage with its approximately 12 gallon nutrient reservoir, with DynaGro Grow nutrients. The Easy2Grow system stopped filling the tray around August, which I attribute to a inexpensive manual on/off valve that I inserted in the water line. Also, I would suggest a wire support system before things get growing, because of the weight of the loaded plants and also keeping the tomato vines flatter and closer to the light. Best wishes on your endeavors!

Jack said...

I have not decided on a support system as yet. I may opt for bamboo, or suspend twine from the light rails and grow vertically like I do in the greenhouse. I have grown the Totem in the greenhouse, however, I don't know what to expect from the Balcony Hybrid, but I know it will definitely need support as it is an indeterminate plant. Also, I have three inline shutoff valves so that I can turn off either system, or the whole shebang. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Warren Kirilenko said...

According to urban hydroponics growers union, they never were able to get a full sized tomato to grow with LEDs until they tried a 345 watt panel. Zach told me that even using multiple 90watt ufos didn't work.
It will be interesting to follow this grow as I never tried full sized tomatoes with LEDs.