Aerogarden Mid-Sized Tomato

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This grow parallels an in-soil under-CFL grow of the same tomato variety, grown same time. I do not believe this variety can produce in simply a tall Aerogarden. I intend to add external lights, and other tricks.

Harvests:

18 - first May 3rd, terminated October 20 due to broken stem (flopped during cleaning)

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Ginger
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Has maybe 8 fruit set, and

Has maybe 8 fruit set, and growing enthusiastically into the top lights.

    

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Ginger
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Probably set first fruit -

Probably set first fruit - none grown to pea sized yet. A number of flowers. Hood now at max height. It has buds growing into hood, and in the middle. Which was kinda what I was hoping for with the light screen, though I was hoping for a bit more sideways growth. But - it's going to get vertically truncated, so it will end up squat whether it wants to or not.

  

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Ginger
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Last week: I was working. It

Last week: I was working. It grew. It started flowering. Hood went up.

  

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Ginger
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I'm trying! I haven't had

I'm trying! I haven't had great luck with tomatoes in an AG... probably because I stubbornly won't grow cherries.

It's growing into the lights and drinking like a fish. Of course.

Flowering at last, though. It's funny, with the hydroponic nutes. It was way bigger than the same-age soil plant, and I switched it to transition nutes, and then its buds started to fatten. Switched to flowering nutes, and voila, first flower opened the next day.

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Beth11
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 Hi Gisette,   Haven't been

 Hi Gisette,

 

Haven't been here for awhile. So you're growing a tomato. Cool!

 

Beth

 

 

 

 

Ginger
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6.5 weeks - AG tomato looking

6.5 weeks - AG tomato looking much better, as its side shoots grow out for a more ball-shaped plant. The sucker branches are much fatter than the original branches they grow from the base of. I think there are buds in there, but not blooming yet, so the soil plant has pulled a little ahead toward first fruit (consquence of top-pruning).

  

Switched today to transition nutes (equal parts micro / grow / loom) at 1.7 EC. No changes in lighting, hood not raised (though that's kinda close), for about 1.41 kWh/day, $1.82/week.

Comparison soil plant:

  

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Ginger
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The sidelighting and suckers

The sidelighting and suckers are making this plant really ugly-shaped. But the little side suckers now have like 5 branches themselves - all very short. The plant seems no taller than last week, which is good. I think it's thriving. Ish. Can't find any buds yet, but it's hard to dig in there and look.

   

Power:  past week 1.41 kWh/day, or $ 1.82/week. With no changes planned - I'm hoping this is the final light array for this grow. (Though it should get new AG bulbs. And probably won't...) No nute changes this week either - still ~1.8 EC vegetative mix Flora Grow / Micro / Bloom, in rainwater.

Comparison soil tomato: has first bud, really took off this week.

 

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Ginger
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Very happy plant. Hated to do

Very happy plant. Hated to do it, but had to raise the lights again today. And I think it's already light-hungry / stretching, and has its shiny new suckers down below. So revised the light screen and put it into service today - an extra 48W nominal 6500K sidelights (for now). And changed out its nutes - for this size tomato, needs weekly nute replacement. 1.8 EC, vegetative growth mix.

  

  

Originally intended a 36" high light screen. But I didn't like it. Around 24x24x12" now, so when the lights are fully extended, there will be a gap between bottom of hood and top of light screen. Kinda overkill for the plant's 5th week, but I want to train it this way, and the hood is now high enough for the side-lights to shine below the hood.

Oh, fwiw, the 3rd AG CFL bulb only drew an extra 16W. So the three AG CFL's draw only 48W. The two sidelights, nominally 48W, actually draw 62W. Why the AG Deluxe bulb box labeled them as 26W bulbs, I do not know. (The Aerogrow site says a whole AG Deluxe draws 62W.)

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Ginger
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Happy plant. Changes: 

Happy plant. Changes:  switched to vegetative growth formula 1.6 EC nutes two days ago. Raised lights first notch. Added 3rd AG Deluxe bulb in. Right after this picture, pruned off its 5th 6th branch. More advanced than its soil age-mate at this point, of course.

  

Built my first prototype of the AG light-screen to support this grow. Not bad! Needs design revision, but that's what prototypes are for.

   

Took away the screen after the photo shoot, of course. It's going to be a while before the plant needs that.

Edit: This week's lighting array (no light screen, just 3AG bulbs + external airpump - the AG base is dead) took .79 kWh/day, or about $1.02/week at local power rates (18.4 cents per kWh).

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Ginger
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Healthy looking little

Healthy looking little plant.

  

No change in lights or nutes this week. Interesting difference in leaf color from its in-soil competitor - that one's a bit purple.

Edit:  The current arrangement uses .55 kWh/day, or about 71 cents a week at local power rates (18.4 cents per kWh).

Which is odd. Because Aerogrow says the Deluxe lightbulbs are ... 26W each? There are two of those, plus an air pump, running about 14 hours a day. But .55 kWh / 14 is only 39 W.

 

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