Dutch bucket tomatoes drooping, diseased?
by James C
First time hydroponic dutch bucket tomatoes. A couple of tomatoes plants are droopy and have minimal brown and yellow spots on first and second leaves. The droopy branches seem to bounce back and fourth but are not limited to just hottest times off day. Sometimes they are droopy in the mornings and get better throughout the day. I transplanted my tomatoes about a week ago.
I'm running a 50 gallon reservoir with 12 5 gallon buckets full of perlite. I am using a quarter inch line buried into the perlite supplying nutrients to the root ball At first they showed some signs of curling and stress but seem to snap out of it until I noticed some of my tomatoes starting to droop. 8 of my tomatoes are cherry and 4 are big beef so I'm hoping that this might be normal although I doubt it. I'm using 12 grams per 5 gallons each of 4.5-18-38 tomato fertilizer, and calcium nitrate, 15.5-0-0 with 6 grams per 5 gallons of epsom salt. Mixed separately.
I checked my ph, 6.3, my ppm, 1400 and they definitely get enough water throughout the day. I check to see if the buckets were draining right they seem fine. The only thing I could think of is that they got a disease from some algae growth during their indoor germination.
I am wondering if maybe the nutrients aren't hitting the affected plants riot balls sufficiently? I've exposed the roots on the two worst looking plants and they don't seem slimy or brown. The stock of the tomato at the very top of the grow plug seems a little thinner and a little bit darker but I'm not sure if that's a sign of disease being that it's been under perlite the entire time.
Does anyone think this crop is salvageable? It's early so I might be willing to trash this harvest and scrub it all down if need be... Any other suggestions???