Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tomatoes finally sprouting but still not strong: Day 14 of VeggiePro

We've just passed the 14-day mark of the VeggiePro. Right on cue, the unit started flashing "Add Nutrients" and "Water Level Low". I added two nutrient tablets from the one pouch marked "Growing Nutrients" and added a little water to bring the water back to the fill line.

I was a bit disappointed because the seed pod says on it that plants should appear in 4-7 days. After 9 days I saw nothing, so I wrote to Aerogarden.

Hi. I planted my Heirloom Tomatoes in my new days ago. I still do not see any plants, not even a hint of a plant, even though the label said I should see something in 4-7 days. I have three other Aerogardens, so I know I am doing everything right. What can I do now?

Here's the response from CJ at Aerogarden:

It is not unusual for germination to be slower than is expected. I can offer a personal tip as I fill the plastic dome with water and pour the water directly down the center of the hole three or four times a week for slower germinating plants. Always replace the dome to create the little greenhouse effect.

If you do not see any germination by the end of two weeks, Please call customer care at 1-800-476-9669 so they can help diagnose the problem when you are with your new garden. Our hours are: 7:00am-6:00pm, M-F, MDT.

I admit, at first I was a little skeptical. And then on Day 10, out of nowhere, this little guy showed up.

It still doesn't look like the strongest plant, but it's a start. Per the instructions in the manual, I removed the dome. Let's see how it fares over the next two weeks.

The other pod was still barren. I looked down inside the pod and saw absolutely nothing. So I followed Aerogarden's suggestion and poured some water right into the pod, and replaced the plastic dome tightly. Right away, I noticed something I didn't before on the VeggiePro (but which I did see in my earlier Aerogardens): little beads of condensation formed inside the dome. This is the "little greenhouse effect" that CJ spoke of, and it's brilliant.

I took this picture today. If you look carefully, you'll see an itty bitty little plant forming. Granted it's about 10 days after I expected, but things are looking good.

We're not out of the woods yet, of course. I expected 2-3 plants to grow (which would later be pruned), but it looks like each is only yielding one so far. But we'll wait and see a few days and see if these two get strong. Stay tuned!

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