Tomato Tower 2.0

After an initial trial with the indoor tomato growing unit, I replanted the system and upgraded some features.



New Beginnings

So I've started a whole new project to document the success of the second grow with my indoor tomato tower. The first worked magically but lacked in some ways : low humidity, too close to light, clogging drains, etc.

This time aroung there are inverted and weighted mesh pots over the drains, the plants will be trained outside a wire mesh and a humidifier will be used.

Here we go again.



Training Day

The new recruits are shaping up to be all they can be. It's a great scene in the garden these days. The growth looks different than last time. I think the fact that these are clones instead of seedlings makes a big difference. They look very healthy and the low humidity doesn't seem to be effecting them much. In fact, it would make sense that low humidity would allow more evaporation and almost speed up the growing process. Hmmm ... I'll have to ponder that one.



Humming Along

The growth has been great, as expected. The plants continue to produce new growth daily and are almost up to their 1" per day average that they were achieving last grow. It's great to check our their progress daily, always something new that recently popped out of the ether.

You can see in the lower photo that they've started producing flowers too. These photos are from a couple days ago. Today there are actually opened flowers. It's great to see in such young plants. I didn't bother putting them on an 18 hour light period at first this time, just went straight to 12.



Revealing Fruit

Exactly one month after the little gems were moved to their growing environment there is 11 fruit and many more flowers. Using my electric toothbrush pollination scheme is working very well this time around. 100% fertilization and no abnormal looking fruit (caused by incomplete fertilization).

The weather is heating up and I won't be able to keep growing fruit indoors so I think I'll probably be calling this system a winner and move on to producing the actual manual soon.



Towering Plants

Two of the plants have reached the top of the support structure. That's pretty good for only having been in the system for 6 weeks. I definitely like the way everything functions with the mesh for support instead of the pegboard. So much more airflow.

It's hard to say at this point what my yield will be like compared to last time but right now I can count 29 fruitbodies of various sizes. Last cycle, I had 27 at 7 weeks ... guess that's an improvement.



They're touching the ceiling again

Yup, pretty cool isn't it? In under 2 months I grew tomato plants 5' tall with a 400W light.

There is lots of maturing fruit right now. Lots that are kiwi sized or larger. One got a bit red but I pulled it off because of some weird large dark spot on the bottom of it. Not sure what caused it ... probably nutrient related. Will have to research that further.



Rodent Issues

I unplugged the Tomato Tower 2.0 a couple weeks ago. A rat seemed to have been snacking on the fruit and were making a real mess in the room. It was getting a bit hot in there anyway.

Now it's summer time so I'm moving my experiments outside. Check out the 2005 edition of the aeroponic greenhouse.