The Business of Hydroponics 10-4
Leaning and Lowering
An indeterminate tomato variety can grow to lengths of25 feet or more. To keep the growing
part of the plant within reach, growers lean and lower the whole plant. When the plants are
leaned and lowered, the top 6 feet, which is the producing part of the plant, is left vertical and
the remaining stem is laid horizontally.
Other Greenhouse Jobs
In addition to the weekly jobs a hydroponic farmer does, there are several other processes that
need to be accomplished on a regular basis.
In an outdoor environment, the tomato flowers would be pollinated by
insects and wind but, since there are limited amounts of both in the
greenhouse, the grower needs to pollinate the flowers. There are polli-
nating wands that a grower can use. Touching this vibrating wand to
every open flower cluster will give adequate pollination.
||Most l arge hydroponic operations bring a specialized
bumble bee hive into the greenhouse and allow the bees to do the pollinating.
The bees are labor saving and more efficient than a person. Bees have virtu-
ally no tolerance for pesticides so, if bees are used for pollination in a green-
house, biological control must be the only means of insect control employed.
Most hydroponic cucumber varieties are self-pollinating so growers of cu-
cumbers do not need to pollinate the flowers.
Harvesting and Packing
Most hydroponic greenhouse growers who are close to the marketplace will allow their toma-
toes to vine-ripen. They harvest them every two or three days. Many growers of premium pro-
duce will label their product with a the brand name and brief description or the benefits of how
it was grown.
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