Living Room Lights Again - Tomato and Pepper

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I made a new grow rack for the living room.

This might devolve yet again into early indoor/outdoor tomato and pepper. But what I intend to do is prove out growing these plants to fruit, in the living room. In soil, under CFLs. Because I think a lot of people want to grow real tomatoes and real peppers indoors in winter. I've already proved out how to do cucumbers. And although everyone should prefer to grow cucumbers, like me! I've noticed that most seem to want tomatoes and peppers.

This topic has a companion Aerogarden (ish) grow of the tomato, started at the same time and grown hydroponically, a few feet away, thus pretty much same temperatures.

Harvests:

carmen pepper: 1 - first green 4/14 (more after it moved out of pen)
better bush tomato: 25 - first 3 on 5/8 (not quite ripe)

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hengis
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 Thanks for your reply.  It

 Thanks for your reply.  It looks as if my light levels are ok.  I am growing gardeners delight, shirley and outdoor girl.

I have the plants in peralite starting in about 2inch square pots.  After the plants are about 6"tall I transplant to 4" square pots.

I maintain a water level of about 5mm in the bottom of the tray in which the pots are placed.  The level is constant with a reservoir  of about 500ml which I top up every three days.  Because there is not much exposed water I have had no problems with algae.

How big should the pots be when the plants are 12" and 24" tall?

 

 
Ginger
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Hey, welcome back,

Hey, welcome back, Hengis!

Tomato plants vary in distance between leaf branches. The 'compact indeterminate' or 'indeterminate short internode' varieties I use inside are only a few inches branch to branch (maybe 4 cm), dwarf tomatoes probably even less (with dwarf fruit), with normal indeterminate toms over a foot (foot = 30 cm). What variety are you growing?

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hengis
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 Hi Gisette.  I am back in

 Hi Gisette.  I am back in the hydorponic game growing toms a lettuce.   I am not sure if I have enough light for my toms.  What is a reasonable distance between leaf branches of a tom plant?  If mine are similar I guess my light level is OK

 

 
Ginger
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Yesterday, had to evict the

Yesterday, had to evict the pepper from this growpen. Both plants getting big, and for experimental purposes, I need the tomato to be there more than the pepper - that's already reached harvest, and we know how it goes from here. Turned off one of the lights, so the tomato is growing with 8 CFLs, two warm, rest cool.

   

Along with its growth spurt, the tomato set quite a few new fruit this week (15?)

 

 

 

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Ginger
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Harvested first carmen pepper

Harvested first carmen pepper green. It was good - bit bland, but full-sized, thick-walled green. None of the picked-too-early bitterness.

  

The tomato is trying very hard to crowd out the pepper, and drinks its reservoir dry in less than a day. Soon, I think the pepper is going to have to do the indoor-outdoor thing. Maybe not this week quite yet, though. Tomato setting more fruit. Very hard to see its older fruit, but they're surely not red. Pepper flowering like mad, but dropping most of the fruitlets. I hope picking the biggest will help with that.

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Ginger
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Correction, the pepper has 5

Correction, the pepper has 5 pretty big fruit (over 4" long). It's still dropping fruit, but maybe setting more, too. Lots of flowers - it really liked being transplanted.

   

  

Added even more lights - the last two are reddish, which really does seem to make the plants flower more. Well, on the pepper, more like flower faster, since its flower architecture is pretty much a given. But the tomato really shot out producing more flowers. This time of year, they're finally getting maybe 1 hour of lowering sunlight through the west-facing window, too. Not nearly enough to grow on, but they like it.

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Getting mighty crowded in

Getting mighty crowded in there. Just transplanted pepper to its final sized pot (matches tomato's). The pepper now drops fruit, but has 3 pretty big fruit, and lots of flowers. Used Gurney's special pepper fertilizer, because I was bemused that there existed a pepper-specific fertilizer. It's an awfully big plant to transplant, but I've done this to carmen peppers before. It works.

     

I think the tomato has about 7 fruit of the strawberry-and-above size, and lots of flowers. It's getting large. Since it lost its first fruit, the potted tomato is about on pace with the AG tomato. It'll be interesting to compare flavor. Assuming they can ripen under these lights.

The tomato still has no support. The pepper has a bit of bamboo propping it.

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Very happy plants. But the

Very happy plants. But the tomato lost its first (golf ball sized ) fruit to BER. It has plenty of calcium. I seem to lose a lot of fruit to BER when the plant grows too fast from excessive happiness - leaf-local calcium deficiency? Oh, well. The pepper's excessive happiness is working in my favor, at least. I've never had a carmen pepper hold onto its first half dozen or so fruit - but this one set from its first flower, and isn't dropping any. Need to transplant to bigger pot next week.

     

Leaves get charred when they grow into the lights. I tend to let them prune themselves this way...

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8.5 weeks - overdue

8.5 weeks - overdue transplanting. Tomato now in final pot, pepper one size larger. Also a couple more CFL's. Perhaps one more bulb after this, will be it. First tomato plumping up fast.

       

I was intrigued - Gurney's offers a pepper fertilizer, as distinct from tomato (or potato, or asparagus or blueberry or ... big selection!) I also broke one of my self-watering pots. So, the pepper's waiting another 2 weeks for its max pot.

The soil tomato is significantly ahead of the AG tomato, which has no fruit up to pea size yet.

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7.5 weeks - I worked through

7.5 weeks - I worked through the weekend. First fruit set on tomato, I added a light, and they didn't die.

    

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