Cottage style greenhouse with polycarbonate sides/roof

by Dutch
(Hernando, MS USA)

I live in northern Mississippi and grow a variety of vegetables during the spring, summer, and fall; all organic. We eat our vegetables during these growing seasons and share with family/friends.

I would like to grow certain vegetables year-round, especially tomatoes. I have tasted hydroponic tomatoes and they were exceptional.

I am thinking about purchasing a 8'x10' (about 7 1/2'height) cottage style greenhouse with polycarbonate sides/roof. We get some pretty strong winds in our area, so something "solid" would be best.

Could you suggest the best type of hydroponic set-up I could utilize in this space which would grow mostly tomatoes?

I am fairly handy with tools/building things and wouldn't necessarily need something in kit form. Also I will have electric power at the greenhouse anticipating the need for a heat source in the winter months and anything else that may be needed.

Thanks for your consideration and efforts in answering my questions.

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Cottage style greenhouse with polycarbonate sides/roof

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Jun 28, 2012
Best hydroponics
by: Dean West

Polycarbonate is a good choice since you probably get some serious hail in your neck of the woods. My greenhouse has resisted hail up to golf ball size without any damage.

As far as which type of hydroponics, it’s hard to go wrong with ebb and flow. It’s relatively easy for a beginner and not terrible expensive to set up. I’m a little different than others in that I use individual 2 gal containers for my tomatoes, placed in an ebb and flow tray. If disease hits one plant, I can simply remove that container without disturbing the other plants.

As far as support, I use a strong cord attached to the top of the greenhouse and tied to the base of each tomato plant. As the plant grows, lightly twist it around the cord. In commercial greenhouses, the plants grow as tall as twenty feet and pulleys are used to lower the plants to a more horizontal position for ease of harvesting. Good luck.

Jun 28, 2012
Hydroponic Tomatoes
by: Larry

Hydroponic tomatoes are very tasty...but the problem of growing them hydropinically is not the greenhouse it is the hydroponics system you use.

Most tomato varieties grow large especially hydroponic tomatoes. Large plants tend to fall over easily so either an elaborate support system is needed or a heavy growing medium is needed so the roots can 'grab on' to something and hold the plant upright.

Your new greenhouse will work just fine (congratulations, by the way) and will be easy to maintain if you use an ebb/flow system with pea stone or a Mittleider system.

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