Aerogarden Lightscreen Cherry Tomato, the Rematch

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Moved this little guy into the Deluxe all by itself yesterday - a sweet baby girl cherry tomato. The last grow of this tomato in the lightscreen was really promising. Huge early yield, of the best-tasting cherry tomatoes I've ever had. (Note, that's not "best from an Aerogarden", but "best I've ever had". I don't usually much like cherry tomatoes. These tasted more like my outdoor mid-size tomatoes.)
 
Still being fed Beth's Floramato formula. The lightscreen is around the Deluxe, but not turned on. Already pruned off the 5th branch.

Harvest:

104 : first at age 11 weeks! ripe and delicious, too
Died suddenly at age 19 weeks. Best guess is driveway snowmelt chemicals got into the rainwater supply.
104 harvest above doesn't count how many green-to-scarlet fruit become edible after plant death. (Over 35 ripened in bowl.)

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Ginger
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Yummm - 21 excellent cherry
Yummm - 21 excellent cherry tomatoes this week. It is so unfair to be harvesting these at the same time as those dreadful dwarf cherry tomatoes. (Total 58 tomatoes harvested this week, from 5 plants.) The plant is looking lackluster, and whatever this fungus is, seems to be bothering it. Still producing well, though.

13 week lightscreen cherry tomato - harvesting 13 week lightscreen cherry tomato - slumped (haven't given much support) 

Thanks re the cluster photo, Corinne. A shame it was out of focus.

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corinne
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this photo in post 2/16/2014
this photo in post 2/16/2014 of the cluster is very picturesque and encouraging to look at . I love that photo!
Ginger
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Five tomatoes harvested this
Five tomatoes harvested this week, first at age 11 weeks. That was fully ripe, deep red, and delicious! It's a pretty sad comparison, with the dwarf tomatoes bearing at the same time. Those... taste a lot like small supermarket cherry tomatoes. These... yummm.

12 week lightscreen cherry tomatoes - harvesting, caught the fungus 12 week lightscreen cherry tomatoes - harvesting, caught the fungus - lowered hood 13.5 week potting mix vs coirstone tomatoes in the bowls, cool breeze cuke and 11.5 week lightscreen tomato foreground 

The plant caught the yeast/fungus/whatever from the dwarf tomatoes - no surprise there. But it's not spreading so aggressively on this plant, and this is an indeterminate - it keeps generating new foliage and flowers. Sprayed it with weak neem oil to decrease the fungus load, and put the hood down a notch. The heavy ripening fruit are dragging the plant down to the deck, and I'm happy to apply stronger light in a smaller volume. So - better to encourage slump than pull them up.

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Ginger
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Another green banana
Another green banana persuaded just a few tomatoes to ripen early - it's really not ready. But, should certainly get first fruits this week. The plant isn't flowering so much anymore, and is losing rather than gaining foliage mass at the moment. That's OK, it has a lot of fruit to fatten.

11 week cherry tomato in lightscreen, banana-induced ripening, some "yeast" on leaves 11 week cherry tomato in lightscreen, banana-induced ripening on this one truss 

There are "yeast" or whatever spots on this tomato, too, now. That was inevitable. No apparent damage so far. I like this tomato variety. I think its unusually airy foliage pattern helps keep disease load down.




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Ginger
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Looks that way. Still - if
Looks that way. Still - if they're ready to eat before week 12, that's extraordinarily fast.

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Beth11
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Looking good! So, still at
Looking good! So, still at least a month from setting to ripe....

 

 

 

 

Ginger
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This plant is really hard to
This plant is really hard to photograph. But it's happy. May see some ripening by next week, maybe not. Green banana applied, with no noticeable effect.

10 week cherry tomato in lightscreen, still flowering, lots of fruit hiding in there 

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Ginger
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Happy plant. Still producing
Happy plant. Still producing flowers and setting fruit.

9 week cherry tomato in lightscreen 

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Ginger
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I think my prediction was
I think my prediction was wrong. I could tell the difference using the LED bulb - the plant preferred more lumens. So swapped a 4100K 23W CFL back in today (it was 2700K before). The plant is happy. Doing a lot of top-pruning these days, and shoving the vine down into the lit volume. I think this is about a 3-4-foot plant, just very flexible for smooshing.

8 week cherry tomato - top-pruning and smooshing vine down into the lit volume 

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Ginger
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Hood just went up to max,
Hood just went up to max, with 7 week cherry tomatoes, and dozens of fruit set. Just turned the lightscreen on last week. Though a bit tall for the AG, I like how sparse and floppy the leaves are on this variety - it's light and airy inside the lightscreen, instead of tangled thick dark with the better bush tomato. It also set and ripened fruit above the hood last time. My trellis spools broke (the metal clamps rusted through), so for now, the plant is just loosely tied to the hood stalk.

7 week cherry tomato - turned lightscreen on last week, hood to max height today - airy in there 7 week cherry tomato - turned lightscreen on last week, hood to max height today 7 week cherry tomato - biggest fruits - maybe a few dozen set now 

Was at Home Depot today getting new T8's for my pansies - they had some 2700K-ish LED bulbs on sale for $7 (normally $13). It says 800 lumens at 9.5W - 60W incandescent equivalent, maybe 14W CFL equivalent. At any rate, replaced the 2700K 23W CFL with this 9.5W LED bulb. Prediction:  won't be able to tell the difference.

The highest-K LEDs they carried were 5000K, and those were full price, so... I'd like to try head-to-head LED vs. CFL sometime with these new CREE bulbs. No magenta...

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