Indoor hydroponic gardens: AeroGarden journal 4 (Baby Tomatoes)

This is my first time growing tomatoes in my AeroGarden farm. Want to read about the other vegetables and herbs I’ve grown? Here are the links to my other posts about the AeroGarden:

I’ve never tried to grow tomatoes, because I thought they would take up too much space and wouldn’t yield as fast as other green vegetables. But now that I have an extra Farm Plus, I have more space to play around with and grow different things!


Did you know that you can use the AeroGarden to teach Science? My daughter is learning about plant’s life cycles. This is the perfect opportunity to use tomatoes to teach this Science unit! Hands-on experience can have a dramatic impact on learning. See my daughter pruning the tomato plants in the picture below? She enjoyed the entire project — from watching the tomato plants grow a little each day to watering and pruning. And at the end she could eat her homework! How cool is that?


In this post, I’m going to discuss my experience growing tomato plants from 2 types of AeroGarden tomato seed pods versus growing tomatoes from tomato seeds I bought seperately.

AeroGarden tomato seed pods vs. Pink Bumble Bee tomato seeds

Seed varieties:

  • I used 2 different types of AeroGarden tomato seed pods: Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes and Golden Harvest Tomatoes.
    • Even though the label on the pods said the tomato plants will be considered tall plants, they are actually not very tall at all.
  • I used AeroGarden’s “grow anything kit” and planted heirloom tomato seeds called Pink Bumble Bee from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co.

Differences

  • The major differences between the AeroGarden pods and the Pink Bumble Bee tomato plants are their height and density. Look at the picture below taken at 90 days after planting both types of tomato plants.
  • AeroGarden tomato pods produced very short and dense plants while Pink Bumble Bee seeds produced very tall and skinny plants.

  • The pictures below were taken at 40+ days from planting the Pink Bumble Bee seeds. You can see all 6 tomato plants are very tall, skinny, and spread-out. And their leaves are not as dark green and fuzzy as those on the AeroGarden tomato pods.
  • The Pink Bumble Bee plants produced some flowers, but not many turned into tomatoes. I tried to gently shake the plants to mimic pollination, which didn’t seem to help turn the flowers into tomatoes. Fruiting was the biggest difference between the Pink Bumble Bee tomato plants and the AeroGarden tomato pods which you will see below.

  • The pictures below were taken on day 51 of the 2 AeroGarden tomato pods. You can see the AeroGarden tomato pods produced very short and dense plants. In the picture on the left, you couldn’t even see the base of the 2 pods. They were completely covered by the dense canopy of the plants. Pruning was certainly not easy! Sometimes leaves dried up before I could see or prune them. And some tomatoes were even buried underneath the bushy leaves.
  • The 2 AeroGarden tomato plants produced a lot flowers. Amazingly almost ALL flowers turned into tomatoes without any pollination! I didn’t even need to shake the plants at all!
  • The flowers kept blooming, and kept turning into tomatoes!! Look at how many tomatoes they produced at 70+ days, and how many flowers there still were on the plants.

  • Look at the picture below taken on day 90. See how compact the AeroGarden pods were. They never grew any taller than what you can see in the picture.
  • On the other hand, the Pink Bumble Bee plants grew pretty wild, invading other plants’ space. I guess once the plants grew pass the grow lights on the bottom farms, they tried to grow towards the grow lights of the top farms.
  • You can see in the pictures there were only a few tomatoes. There were still some flowers on the plants, but not many turned into tomatoes.

Similarities

  • The picture on the left shows the tomatoes grown from the Pink Bumble Bee seeds. The picture on the right shows the tomatoes grown from the AeroGarden pods.
  • The tomatoes produced from either AeroGarden pods or the Pink Bumble Bee seeds were similar in size and shape. All of them were definitely fresh and juicy!
  • From the pictures above, you can see 2 tomato pods from AeroGarden produced way more tomatoes than 6 pods of Pink Bumble Bee seeds for the same amount of growth time and care.

Final notes

  • From this little experiment comparing tomato plants, AeroGarden tomato seed pods seemed to be better suited to the indoor hydroponic garden than Pink Bumble Bee seeds.
    • You don’t need to have a tall AeroGarden to grow AeroGarden tomato pods.
    • You don’t need much pollination for AeroGarden tomato plants.
    • You can use less space and seeds to get more tomatoes with the AeroGarden pods –> more economical!
  • It is a fun and educational activity for the whole family to grow something together.
  • If you have pollen allergies, it may not be a good idea to grow tomatoes indoors. The little cute yellow flowers can trigger your allergies.

What are your favorite things to grow in your AeroGarden?



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