Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tomato Flowers on the VeggiePro!

Looks like the first plant is making some real progress. Over the last week, a bunch of flowers sprouted. In total, I count about 20 of them!



Now, as far as whether they'll actually turn into 20 tomatoes, that's something we'll find out in time. But following the instructions in the manual, I dutifully shook the stalks to pollinate them. Something I learned with my cherry tomatoes many moons ago was to not only shake them, but to use my finger to "tap" the thickest part of the stalk where the flowers are growing from.

The VeggiePro is definitely gulping up the water--I need to refill the reservoir every couple of days now, and I'm still pruning leaves that grow too far outside the light. The plants are tall and aren't stopping. I'd say it's probably a few more days before I lift the lamp arm one more notch.

Anyway, just wanted to update you on the progress. More soon.

8 comments:

blarazan said...

Steve, would you recommend getting the VeggiePro but using it for herbs instead of Tomatoes? Im lucky enough to have a backyard garden but I am not finding any luck growing basil indoors during the winter.

Steve said...

Hey blarazan,

In all honesty, I think the VeggiePro might be too much if you just want to grow basil. I'd go with the good old Aerogarden 6. I had a ton of success with their International Basil Seed Kit", much greater success than I ever had in an outdoor garden, believe it or not. You can read about my adventures with my old Aerogarden Basil in archived posts on this blog. Good luck! :)

Steve

blarazan said...

Steve, I was thinking more on the line of using just one machine for different things throughout the year. I would use it for herbs in the winter months, then use it as a greenhouse to give a head start to tomatoes as well as bell peppers during the spring prior to taking them outdoors towards the end of May. If its technically possible to use just one machine it would save me both dollars and space. I've seen Aerogarden products on sale up here in Canada (Canandian Tire carries it) and was keen on purchasing one. This model has just arrived here and is currently on sale for 179, which is $20 lower then the usual price of 199.

Natalie said...

I bought my Aerogarden 3 a few weeks ago & have had great success with growing basil, purple basil & thyme. I use rosemary a lot in my cooking & was disappointed that they don't have a seed kit for it. Do you think it would do well if I put my own seeds in a blank pod? Have you ever tried blank pods before?

Steve said...

Hi blarazan,

Ah, I see. Yes, the VeggiePro would work great for your needs. There is, in fact, a setting for "Herbs" on the front panel just like any other Aerogarden, so you can definitely use it for basil. In fact, because the lamp hood raises tall, your basil can grow much taller and higher (with the basil I grew in my Aerogarden classic, it grew so prolifically that it would always hit against the lights). And for tomatoes and peppers, you can either use Aerogrow's kits, or you can buy a Garden Starter Tray to start up to 66 seedlings!

Definitely let us know how it turns out! :)

Steve

Steve said...

Natalie, great question. I use rosemary all the time too, and it's the one herb I most wish I could grow in my Aerogarden (for some reason, rosemary plants always die when I try to keep them as houseplants).

Aerogarden does sell their Master Gardener Kit, which contains blank pods, nutrients, and grow domes. But that said, I am skeptical that they will grow rosemary. One of the main reasons rosemary houseplants don't survive is that people overwater them, and over course by definition Aerogarden plants sit in water. Furthermore, I've heard it said that rosemary is notoriously hard to grow from seed. Bottom line, it's not something I think would work, except maybe as a way to help cuttings get rooted so you can transplant them in pots.

So I don't think the chances for success are very good (if they were, Aerogrow would probably have put out a seed kit a long time ago). It's something I'll probably try one day just for fun, but unfortunately I wouldn't count on it.

Thanks!
Steve

Boshua Jichelman said...

So you can use the master gardner kit with the veggiepro? I was at Bed Bath andBeyond yesterday, and the salesperson told me no.

Steve said...

Hi Boshua,

I think the salesperson was mistaken. The VeggiePro works with all seed pods (including the Master Gardener Kit), as well as the new "County Fair" seed kits (which are longer in size).

In fact, as soon as I've had my fill of tomatoes are done, I may be adventurous and grow bigger veggies, or plant regular herbs and for once give them enough space to roam free :)

Steve