• Everything other than hot peppers. Questions, discussion, and grow logs. Cannabis grow pics are only allowed when posted from a legal juridstiction.

2024 GLOG

I started my tomato seeds 2-29-2024.

This is my third year growing tomatoes. Last year was very successful, growing in Bato buckets with 100% perlite. We had way more tomatoes than we needed. The tomatoes were good, but not quite as delicious as the year before when I grew different varieties, in the ground. I may have just preferred the varieties I grew the first year.

Flavor improved toward the end of the season last year year when I switched to Masterblend, increased EC with extra Masterblend, and increased EC by switching from RO to tap water.

I am going to try drain to waste this year, instead of recirculating. I will be using normal pots instead of Bato buckets, and 75 coco 25 perlite. Masterblend with drip irrigation.

The coco behaves more like a normal potting mix, so I should be able to underwater a little in an attempt to increase sweetness and flavor intensity.

I haven’t 100% decided on how to support the plants, but I am leaning toward using T-posts with a Florida weave, or something similar with T-posts. I might try the Florida weaves with my pepper plants too.

Listed below are this year’s varieties. Two years ago, Abe Lincoln produced my tastiest tomato ever, but it was a poor producer. I am hoping for better production with hydroponic technique. The other varieties are new to me.

Sudduth brandywine
Abe Lincoln
Lilian’s yellow
Aunt Ginny’s purple
Honey Delight
Mountain magic
I like sweet slicing tomatoes that aren’t too watery.

I wasn’t impressed by Cherokee Purple or Kellogg’s Breakfast tomatoes last year. Both were a little soft and watery. Cherokee Purple was good, but only mildly sweet, and didn’t really stand out. Kellogg’s Breakfast was sweet, but not as sweet or flavorful as the 3 slicing varieties I grew the year before.

I read about tomatoes online, and picked some of the most popular varieties to grow. Maybe my taste preferences are different than the internet consensus.

Sunrise Bumblebee was good, sweet, and productive both years - so that makes me think that my growing technique was ok for flavor, and I just preferred the varieties I grew the first year. Black Cherry tasted excellent last year in the Bato buckets, I liked it even more than Sunrise Bumblebee.
Last edited:
Tomato seedlings all sprouted.

Most look good. The brandywine seedling does not look healthy. I’m thinking maybe it got too much light but not sure.

When seedlings look unhealthy, I always worry that it might be a virus or fungus that could spread to the other plants. Sometimes I throw them out to avoid the risk. Last year I threw out a couple of varieties and then regretted it a little afterwards. I plan to wait and see if these regain some vigor.

A few of the tomato plants are looking less healthy this week. Growth has slowed, leaves are looking bad and some lower leaves are dropping. Peppers and basil look perfectly healthy still and are growing appropriately.

I think this is probably the same condition that I have struggled with the last few years. I know from prior seasons that they immediately recover upon transplant outdoors.

I think this is probably edema. My google search is telling me that edema is caused by lack of UV-B light. The idea that overwatering or lack of airflow are the cause seems to be a myth.

When my peppers get edema it seems to be mostly cosmetic - they continue to grow well and even produce pods. With the tomatoes they seem to stop growing and slowly regress.

Some of the LED fixtures advertise that they produce some UV, but this seems to be UV-A, while the studies on edema mention UV-B.

I have ordered a UV-B light. We will see if this fixes things. And maybe the UV will help harden them off ahead of time.

Last edited:
Tomato plants grew above the height of the shelf and above the lights. They had outgrown the solo cups and were top heavy. Plants are about 2 feet tall.

I did some re-potting into grow bags and slightly larger small plastic pots.

Last frost date is April 23 here. A bit annoying to repot this close to transplanting outside in anything other than their final pots.

The UV-B light seems to be working at preventing the edema and improving the health and vigor of the plants.

Last edited:
Plants are looking great SC!