Here's the Deal
So, I went on hiatus with my podcast and it wound up that I went on hiatus on the blogs as well.
The tomatoes were just chugging along.
But then, some of the LEDs on the lights went out.
See? That's why my plants on that side started to do wrose.
I contacted the company and I thought they were going to send me a new light.
See that box down there?
They sent me a whole new Aerogarden, new seed pods, and some more nutrients.
I was going to set it up right away, but I think I'm going to hold off.
I will probably put just a few tomatoes in next time, or a combination of tomatoes and other things.
I have more pictures but I think I'm going to process them and make another post. Possibly once I'm off hiatus on the podcast.
Keep watching! More is coming!
Thinning the Herd
I don't have too much to say. Except that I had to prune the tomatoes again. And I thinned them out. I got rid of three tomato plants. I hope I kept the right ones.
It was way past time to clean out the reservoir again. So, while I was doing that, I took the time to take all the tomatoes out of their places. I also wanted to see if the roots were getting into places where they shouldn't go again. I had to pull the plants' roots apart to get them all loose. After I had them loose, I trimmed their roots back. I read somewhere that it is good to do this for tomato plants now and again.
I also made some discs to cover up the empty spaced in the Aerogarden.
After trimming, I put them back in some spots, took the reservoir back to the base, covered the empty spots so that the light wouldn't make algae grow in the water, filled with water, and there you go. I decided to wait to put plant food in the water. There's only a few days left until it's time to put some in anyway. I figure they can go for a little while without the plant food.
So, there it is, some sick and one dead plant is out, hopefully this will free up space for the remaining plants to grow healthy for a while.
I do think they're not going to last much longer, though.
Well, that's it for today, I hope they survive my brutal treatment! Happy Tomatoing!
Well, my toe is still not doing that great. I may have really broken it. If I rest it, it's OK. But if I walk around at all, it starts to get bruise-y again. I finally did chop back my tomatoes, though, on Saturday. I was brutal.
You can see I pruned a lot. That poor tomato plant in the lower left....have you ever seen the King of the Hill episode where Peggy is hired to sub for a sex ed class, and she's practicing saying a certain word and Hank's getting all bothered about it while he's pruning the tree? That poor little tomato wound up that that. It's a goner.
I'm thinking that if I was this brutal in the beginning I wouldn't be where I am now. I think that's what everybody needs to take away from my experience so far is that you need to go ahead and be brutal with your tomatoes in the beginning to get them to go where you want them to go. Don't wait until they're way up in the lights. Or, if you do, go ahead and prune. A lot. Early.
I've decided I'm going to thin these plants down, keep one or two that are doing very well, and get rid of the rest. I may try to re-pot one, but due to the problems with a plant surviving the switch from hydro to soil I don't think it will end happily.
I'm going to order some more seed pod things, maybe some peppers, maybe some without seeds that I can plant some of my seeds in. It would be interesting to see how the Echinacea does in the Aerogarden. I might try to start a pomegranate seed again, as a backup for the one that finally sprouted and seems to be doing OK. I want to eventually bonsai that one. That will be a project years in the making. From seed to bonsai tree. Wish me luck.
At any rate, the tomato thing is going to go into a new stage pretty soon. I don't think I'm going to give up totally on tomatoes, but things are going to have to change a bit, I think.
By the way, I decided the quilt I had under the Aerogarden needed a wash, so I put the aqua crochet doily under it again. I think it looks very nice.
The jelly bean quit washed up very nicely, by the way. I was trying to decide whether to give it a light press or steam and forgot about it until just now. Ah well, that's a project for tomorrow.
And that's it for today. Just remember: go ahead and be brutal with your tomatoes in the beginning so you don't wind up where I am, with a bunch of gangly hard to prune tomato plants that are driving you up a wall.
Poor, poor toe
Sorry guys, I super duper stubbed my "furniture finding toe" aka my little toe on my right foot and didn't get anything done. Good news, though, it's doing much better now. I haven't even pruned the tomatoes this week and they need it.
See you next week!
I think about my tomatoes a lot.
Usually because I walk to and fro in front of them all the time. They are in a prominent place in my house. I have been thinking especially a lot because people have been saying I should plant them outside or in pots. Here's why I'm not going to do that.
But first, here's a couple of pictures. You got your plant there, and you got a lonely little 'mater on the windowsill. Which I ate immediately after taking that picture.
I do feel like as time goes on, the tomatoes are not as sweet. I'm not sure what's going on there. I do think I have to prune the roots back again.
Sorry, the promised pics are not going to appear today. But we will have a short discussion.
Well, I'm going to type some things, share a link, and try to let you know what my thoughts are, and you can read them if you want. I guess that's not really a discussion, but that's what we've got just now. So, it's all good.
At any rate, I am seriously thinking about transplanting the tomatoes into pots. I don't want to put them outside, my horseradish seemed to be going great, but then it was ATTACKED by green caterpillars. [insert sad face here] I have another root to try. **Sigh**
So, I am not very thrilled about putting the tomatoes out there to be devoured.
Also, I have been poking around a little bit, and in and amongst all the glowing information about how great Aerogarden tomato plants are, if you poke hard enough, you find out that trying to get a plant to transition from hydro to soil is not the greatest process, and Aerogarden plants have weird roots that may not do so well in soil. I did find one thing on the Aerogarden website that seemed reasonable, though. This link HERE gives you some tips on replanting Aerogarden tomatoes. (I will also post it on the resources page)
I don't think I'm going to try and save all of them. What I may do is repot a couple of the best ones, discard a couple, and let a couple stay in the Aerogarden for a while. I am a bit anxious to try another kind of plant, although I might keep some tomatoes in for as long as I can.
That is another question: I know I can keep tomatoes and peppers together in the AG (I'm tired of typing Aerogarden), or possibly tomatoes and herbs, but what about other things? Like lavender? I am a bit fan of lavender. The light levels required are different, though. That is something to think about.
Well, that's it for today. A lot to think about. I'll get some more info together for you next time.
More Pruning, More Tomatoes
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As you can see, it's just the usual stuff going on right now. I actually took these pics on Wednesday, so I could get the blog ready, and have it published on Thursday. On time!
I have some ripening, some that don't want to ripen, and some that just insist on growing up into the lights. There's a before/after pic of the top of the tomato plants. And all the stuff I pruned. Wow!
I hope if I do have some Amazon links that they'll be helpful for you.
Back to Basics
So, at midnight last night, I happened to be doing a walkthrough of the living room and saw the red light blinking. Which means that adding plant food and cleaning coincided perfectly with Tomato Thursday. Obviously, I wasn't doing it at midnight! It did take me longer to get to this today than I thought. But that's ok.
I also just noticed in the picture that I really need to wipe down the outside of the Aerogarden. That's a task for after lunch and I can't have lunch until I get this blog done!
So here's some pictures from today's task. Not pictured: when I picked the seed pod tray up off the base, there was this dark thing in the roots! I thought to myself, "Did some of the roots rot?" Nope, it was just the little black filter thing. It had gotten pulled out along with the tomato plants and roots. I had to really clean that out as the roots had grown into the filter. And did you know the little "fill to here" thingy comes off? I didn't know until today. I took it off, there's this little thing inside, not sure what it is. A float to let the Aerogarden know the water level? I think so. That little spigot for the pump comes off too, but I forgot to take a picture of that. The middle picture is where I added a little water and the plant food after cleaning the inside and parts. And the far right picture? An impromptu fountain erupts when plugging the base back in. I filled it the rest of the way with water before putting the tomatoes back in.
Lots of roots now, of course. I trimmed those a bit (not pictured) and trimmed the plants a bit as they were (of course) growing into the lights again. Then back on the base and I tied the plants up to help them stay up.
Back on the base and the tinfoil replaced. There are quite a few little tomatoes on there but they are having a hard time ripening, so I feel like I am going to have to break down and make the tinfoil enclosure that I've been going on about for a while now.
It's difficult getting to the base now with all the growth, but it's necessary to clean the reservoir on a regular basis to make sure things don't get nasty and your tomato plants don't get sick.
That's all for this week, Happy Tomatoing!
So this is where we are so far
So, as I've said before, we've kind of settled into a comfy tomato relationship, so it's really just maintenance at this point. I still haven't made more tinfoil stuff to put around the tomatoes, I'm kind of avoiding it for some reason.
Really I just want to stop and tell you guys what I've been kind of thinking about. What works, what doesn't, and so on.
What doesn't work: as tempted a you may be when you first get your Aerogarden with all those seed pods that match up exactly with the number of holes in your Aerogarden, do not use them all. That was my mistake with the tomatoes and I really have way too many tomato plants in this thing, but my kind-hearted fiancé doesn't want me to pull any out. I may try to transplant some outside, but the caterpillars are hell right now.
What does work: the tinfoil. That helped 100%. It definitely makes a difference how much light tomatoes get, regardless of what I've read says. Make sure you keep up with watering. Clean out the water reservoir. All the little maintenance things make a difference.
Keep trimming, too.
I'm getting too many little tomatoes up near the lights because I'm squeamish about pruning.
Holy cow, some of the branches are tough to cut with the regular scissors.
I didn't do a before and after this time, just an after.
I didn't zoom in, but take my word for it, I have a lot of little tomatoes on there.
In between blog posts, I got some little tomatoes to ripen. When they get close I like to put them on the kitchen windowsill to finish ripening. It works pretty well.
They were eaten pretty quickly. Not in a salad or anything, just a little snack.
So, there you have it. Think happy thoughts for me that I'll get off my rear and make the tinfoil to surround the tomatoes so they'll ripen more evenly.
Just a person growing stuff in an Aerogarden