Fraoch's grow log

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I received an AeroGarden Harvest and a Salsa Garden seed kit as Christmas gifts.

I started the Salsa Garden and only now have I noticed that it is a 7-seed kit (2 tomatoes, 1 pepper and 4 spacers).  Oops.  Well one tomato pod is spaced properly, the other one has the pepper beside it.  Spacers are at the front and in between one tomato and the pepper.  Too late now, we'll see what they do anyway...

We have very hard water here, the hardest in the country, so I set myself up with two big jugs (the kind used in water coolers) of reverse osmosis water and a hand pump.

On day 4, I noticed one of the tomato seeds sitting on top of the peat plug was turning green and cracking.

On day 5, the first sprout started to appear from one of the tomato pods.  Only two hours later I noticed another sprout appearing.

On day 6, the other tomato pod sprouted and again within a few hours a second sprout appeared there.

The most developed tomatoes started touching the clip-on transparent plastic dome on day 7.  By day 8 they were touching both sides of the dome so I removed the dome.  As soon as the dome was removed it was apparent that the tomatoes were starting to grow adult leaves.

The pepper still hasn't done anything as of day 8.

Next step: dig out my unused aquarium air pump and use it in the tank.

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Ginger
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Your plants look great,

Your plants look great, Fraoch!

FWIW, I use a length of air tubing to siphon water out of my tomato Aerogarden - every week. Tomatoes really mess up their water...

Did you top-prune these tomatoes yet? You need to do that - just above the 5th true branch. (Seed leaves don't count.) That shapes the plant and encourages lower branches to develop.

You can do "Missouri pruning" (I think it's called) on tomato branches - clip off the final 3 leaflets, rather than the whole branch.

Moderator. Author of Indoor SaladEcigs 102, and the Calm Act climate apocalyptic series.

Fraoch
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Day 31 - the plants are

Day 31 - the plants are getting huge!!

On day 28 I changed the water.  I used a drill-powered pump to drain the water.  It was slow but it worked.  The roots are also getting very impressive.  I poured in new water with a tablespoon of Epsom Salts and the nutrients.  Next time I'll mix the Epsom Salts in the watering can - I ended up exposing the roots directly to undissolved Epsom Salts and it took them a while to dissolve.

The plants are growing fast and the stems are getting thick.  The tank is becoming a mass of roots.  The water in the tank is getting consumed pretty quickly and I'm topping it up every few days.

The dry air is having an effect, many of the new emerging tomato leaves are turning yellow before they even open.  And I am still misting the plants several times a day.  However the leaves do end up developing and there certainly are a lot of them now.

The right tomato is getting so close to the lights that I had to raise the light dome for the first time a few hours after this photo was taken.  The manual indicates I should prune before raising the light dome, but I would have to prune ALL the developing leaves.  That's too much right now, I think.

The pepper is growing lots of leaves and the leaves are getting quite large.  As I suspected, it is competing with the right tomato.  I did trim a few large leaves off the tomato to space them apart, but days later they're interfering with each other again.

So, huge progress!  I'm looking forward to blossoms next.

Fraoch
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On day 19th or 20th I cut off

On day 19 or 20 I cut off all the starter leaves that were dead or dying and probably just sapping energy from the plants at this point.

The tomatoes are putting up lots of new leaves and their stems are getting thicker.  The pepper has put up a second set of new leaves.

I have removed the wine glasses at this point because the plants are getting so large they are being stunted by the wine glass sides.  The dry air is having an effect - you can see some leaf damage at the edges of older leaves, but the tomatoes are putting up so many new leaves they're staying well ahead of the damage.

I'm misting the leaves every few hours to keep the leaves hydrated.  The pepper might be showing damage due to this, the damage there is in the leaf centres, not the edges - which might be caused by water droplets acting as magnifying lenses and burning the leaves.  However the damage is limited and the pepper is growing fine.

These photos are on day 22.

Fraoch
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I'm trying to acclimatize the

I'm trying to acclimatize the plants to the dry air.  The tomatoes can withstand up to 2 hours now, although one of the emerging adult leaves on one of them has been damaged (I guess they're more delicate when they're just forming, the largest leaves remain unaffected.)

They will need full exposure shortly, they are getting wider than the wine glasses and the leaves are curving inward as a result.

However the pepper was severely affected by the first hour of exposure.  All its leaves died off!  Fortunately it's still alive as it's putting up new leaves, but the first ones it had are all dead.

Fraoch
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Does the reservoir hold more

Does the reservoir hold more water? Is it LED?

More water compared to an AeroGarden 6?  I'm not sure, they don't list the capacity of either.  Just looking at them, the Harvest is a rectangular tank shape while the 6 is more of a bowl shape, though it is a wedge shape from the top.  So I'd say the Harvest does store more water than the 6, provided the tanks are the same height.

It's LED.

MaryL
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"The AeroGarden Harvest has a

"The AeroGarden Harvest has a hole pattern that will cause one of the plants to be next to another.  I've attached a cropping from the manual."

Aaaaah, I hadn't realized that about the new Harvest.  How interesting.  I see from your diagram (thanks for posting that) that the water hole is in a different place too.  I didn't look into these new units, deliberately, to avoid temptation!  Does the reservoir hold more water?  Is it LED?

Fraoch
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You might want to harden them

You might want to harden them to room air at this point. Like take the goblets off for an hour one day, two hours the next, sort of thing.

Good idea, thanks!

Ginger
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Looking good, Fraoch. You

Looking good, Fraoch. yes You might want to harden them to room air at this point. Like take the goblets off for an hour one day, two hours the next, sort of thing. Dry air isn't death to tomatoes. They're just not adjusted to it.

Moderator. Author of Indoor SaladEcigs 102, and the Calm Act climate apocalyptic series.

Fraoch
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On day 12 one of the tomatoes

On day 12 one of the tomatoes was tall enough that it was time to weed out all but the tallest plant.  I cut two little seedlings out.

The other tomato was stunted a bit from the exposure to extremely dry air.  By day 13 it was still under 2" but the adult leaves from all the seedlings were starting to crowd each other out, so I cut off two of the less bushy seedlings, leaving the largest one.  I also cut off a small pepper seedling.

Day 14 was the day for adding nutrients.  My AeroGarden Harvest reminded me as it should even though the power was interrupted several times a few days after it started.  I also cut off a third pepper that had started.

The plants are growing so fast they are touching the sides of the wine glasses now.  I'd rather keep them under for a few days longer, humidity in the house has dropped even further to 22%...

The tomatoes' adult leaves are getting bigger and bigger plus new ones are sprouting.  The pepper is starting to grow a second set of leaves.  Today, day 15, the tomatoes' stalks are getting noticeably thicker.

I haven't managed to dig up the aquarium air pump.   I should do this soon as it will be harder and harder to put this in without disturbing the plants as they get larger.

Things are still going very well but I must do battle with the dangerously dry air shortly.

Fraoch
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If memory serves, the 2

If memory serves, the 2 tomatos go in the back on the far right and far left, and the pepper goes in the front center hole.

The AeroGarden Harvest has a hole pattern that will cause one of the plants to be next to another.  I've attached a cropping from the manual.

With the tomatoes in the back two holes, there's nowhere you can put a third plant where it won't be next to one of the tomatoes.  I've put it in the right centre hole, but it probably will interfere with the back right.

Oh well...lesson learned.

 

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