IWS Hydroponic Flood and Drain System - Pepper/Tomato Grow

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It's about time now to start my hydroponic pepper grow using the IWS (Intelligent Watering System) Flood and Drain equipment.

I'll be doing this using my grow tent from this thread on here, all the details for the tent etc. are available on that link.

 

First off, some details about the nutrients and what I'll be growing :-

The main nutrients will be FloraMicro and FloraMato - I'll also be trying out some VitaLink Bio Plus which is a root stimulator to see how that goes.

The grow will be all peppers, makes it easy for EC levels, and will comprise of sweet, bell and jumbo bell varieties, there will be a total of six grown.

The grow will initially be in rockwool starter plugs, these will be transferred across to 3 inch rockwool blocks to grow on, eventually these will migrate to the IWS system which will comprise of hydroton (clay pebbles) entirely.

Nutrients and both rockwool grow cubes   The Peppers...

 

Weekly Pictures (Click to Enlarge) 

Week 0 - Starting Week (Saturday 16th April 2011)   Planted in the 3 inch grow block   The IWS System   Week 1   Week 2   Week 3   Week 4   Week 5   Week 6   Week 7   Week 8   Week 9   Week 11

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Ginger
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Gorgeous, Peat! The peppers

Gorgeous, Peat! The peppers look delicious, especially the red ones!

Could it be the tomatoes will have better flavor later? All my tomatoes seem to have vapid fruits at first, and bear better fruit with time. By this time of year, they look dreadful, but taste great.

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Week 11 - Sunday 25th

Week 11 - Sunday 25th September 2011

Getting a bit behind at the moment as I've not been here, so, an old picture of Week 11 and some updates...

The peppers are now ripe and are being eaten, still waiting on the 'jumbo' variety though. The peppers taste reasonably strong, probably wouldn't want them any stronger as the taste would be too much, they are absolutely superb when roasted though - very sweet.

Week 11   Week 11  - peppers are ready!   Week 11 - sweet peppers ready   Week 11 - gourmet pepper insides

 

Week 13 - Sunday 9th October 2011

No pictures but I'm now picking the first tomatoes. The taste - not as sweet as the outdoor ones which are the same but not bad. The EC really does need to be higher for the toms to give them that full-on flavour, I can't raise it anymore as the peppers won't like it, a compromise then.

Peat
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The 'gourmet' are eaten

The 'gourmet' are eaten orange, the sweet ones are red and the 'jumbo' ones can be eaten green or red, probably wait for red.

Ginger
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Nice, Peat! You've got some

Nice, Peat! You've got some decent sized tomatoes on that plant already.

Going to eat any of the peppers green, or going for red only?

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Week 9 - Sunday 11th

Week 9 - Sunday 11th September 2011

Nute change done this week and the feeding cycle has been upped to 6 during lights on, one flood about every 3 hours now. The plants are getting big and the demands are much greater, it's time to give a bit more boost oxygen and feed wise.

The tomato is now getting close to the tent top, I will remove the growing tip when it does. It's been 'trained' to one stem, side shoots removed to keep it more compact. A little annoyed as I missed a few pollinating days and didn't get to the flowers in time, I have a number of tomatoes that have not fruited as a result.

Week 9     Week 9 Tomato

The system is running with FloraMicro/FloraMato/Vitalink dosed to an EC of 1.8 and a pH of 6.0, lighting cycle of 16/8, six floods a day during lights on only (first an hour after the lights come on, the last an hour before they go off, equal spacings on the other two).

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Week 8 - Sunday 4th September

Week 8 - Sunday 4th September 2011

It's a bit of a jungle in there!

How I'm going to get to the back plant I've yet to work out...

Not much to say that's different this week, tomatoes and all peppers fruiting nicely - a picture of the bells below. Certainly no qualms about the IWS system production wise, the results of the flood and drain are plain to see.

Week 8     Week 8 Bell Peppers

Ginger
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Thanks, Peat. Your peppers

Thanks, Peat. Your peppers are so pretty...

Went 5.5 days without power and Internet, and the outdoor crops have seen better days. But nothing's dying that wasn't already halfway there.

Sorry, I forgot my gisette password, else I might have been on during one of my mooched-Internet runs.

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Week 7 - Tuesday 30th August

Week 7 - Tuesday 30th August 2011

The plants are doing well, especially the sweet pepper (below) which is nicely laden. The tomato is now setting fruit, plenty of trusses forming which is good to see. 

I did a nutrient change last week, the EC has been upped to 1.8, pH adjusted to 6.0 as usual.

Week 7   Week 7 Sweet Peppers

The system is running with FloraMicro/FloraMato/Vitalink dosed to an EC of 1.8 and a pH of 6.0, lighting cycle of 16/8, four floods a day during lights on only (first an hour after the lights come on, the last an hour before they go off, equal spacings on the other two).

Peat
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I hope all is well with you

I hope all is well with you after the hurricane and your plants aren't too damaged.

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, Peat. I envy you a flawless

, Peat. I envy you a flawless tomato - mine outside all look like roadkill these days.... And about to look worse, since there's a hurricane on the way for the weekend.

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