Tomatoes are the most common plant grown in conventional and hydroponic gardens. Many gardeners, however, are unhappy with the size of their homegrown tomatoes. This article shows how gardeners can improve size of their harvested tomatoes by focuses on the single most important element responsible for plant growth-carbon dioxide.
Carbon dioxide is essential for the continuous growth of plants in a hydroponic garden as this supplies the photosynthesis needed. Tomatoes are no exception. It may be unknown to many gardeners, especially those with very large hydroponic gardens that the size of the garden determines the required level of CO2 needed for the plant to breath. The larger the size, the bigger the amount of carbon dioxide needed.
In what way can you improve the amount of carbon dioxide present in your Hydroponic greenhouse? The amount of carbon dioxide needed to improve tomato growth in your hydroponic garden can be boosted using these four approaches:
- One method is using dry ice (solid carbon dioxide) in gas production.
- Carbon dioxide can also be produced by fermenting organic waste.
- Compost, a decomposed organic matter can be used to produce carbon dioxide.
- Lastly and the most common method of producing gas for desired plant growth in a hydroponic garden is compressed carbon dioxide gas.
Small hydroponic gardens, particularly those that desire a chilling atmosphere can make use of dry ice. Dry ice, a solid carbon dioxide works better in a tightly closed area. It can be used in solid form or gradually use in small portions. Dry ice can also be placed in a holed resilient polystyrene container (Styrofoam plastic) for slow evaporation. Due to the CO2 weight, it is essential to positioned it over the plants for a downward flow around the plants.2
Fermented Organic Waste
The level of carbon dioxide in your hydroponic garden can also be boosted using Fermented organic waste. This approach is done by using materials like water, corn sugar, small jug, brewer’s yeast and a big jar. It has same procedure as that of making a lot of alcoholic drink like beer or wine. The fermentation process ends immediately the bubbles stop and another round is started to continue carbon dioxide production.
Decomposed Organic Matter
Decomposing organic matter smells badly and it’s also unhealthy as it creates germs hence, it’s seldom used indoor as a method of creating carbon dioxide. While it can be used in a greenhouse placed outside, the issue of the bugs and the infections it could cause should be sorted to prevent it affecting your plants negatively.4
Compressed Carbon Dioxide
Compressed CO2 system of creating carbon dioxide for greenhouse is the most used approach. This is because it is fairly cheap; around $500, with a low cost of operation. Compressed CO2 is also easier to regulate as compared to other methods of creating carbon dioxide as it doesn’t produce heat. The interval at which the gas is released into the hydroponic garden is controlled by a flow meter.
As you can see, there are a number of options you can take to increase C02 levels in your hydroponic tomato garden. Personally, I feel compressed carbon dioxide provides the best price and control, but no matter which method you use; boosting the carbon dioxide level in your hydroponic garden will cause a great improvement to health of your tomatoes. Success only requires proper planning, supervising and management of the CO2 gas.