I have been talking about my tomatoes for a few weeks now: seeding, hydroponic system, transplanting and taking root.  I just realize that this is starting to look like a really slooooow movie. I do not mind slow, in fact I reckon sometimes we need more slowness in our lives… mmmmh, summer… sorry; calm is not for everybody, so today’s post will be a visual fast forward.

 

18th of march
I posted the one on the left last week. On the right it is the same root 3 days later. They are not pretty pics but I wanted to show how it has grown and branched. This is the last time I lifted the pot to have a look at the roots.

roots in deposit

These are the plants the same day. I have started practicing how to tutor them, they still do not need it though. On the left you can see my Nanny, a pH/ec meter and some other stuff. On the right you can see the plant I didn’t transplant. It is lower, but it is actually quite smaller. They sprouted at the same time…

context

 

29th of March

Eleven days later I am sure that if I stare long enough I can see them grow. Wow! In my house there are jokes and songs from the little shop of horrors. I added a humidifier to my arsenal, but I ended up not using it: its deposit does not last the whole light cycle which is 16 hours day / 8 hours night. I use the cooking pot on the right to store some nutrient solution, to top the reservoir up. This is the only one I found with an opaque lid. Make sure your deposit is opaque because water + nutrients + light = algae

29 de marzo

 

30th of march
I discover a few weird leaves. Our agricultural scientist tells me that it is a phosphorus deficiency, judging from the purple patches on the underside of the older leaves. It is not serious as it affects only a few leaves but I should still correct the cause. My nutrient mix has enough phosphorus so I discarded that. That leaves only one suspect: too high pH. Remember I am adjusting pH every night because I did not stabilized the pH of my substrate well enough? I used to adjust it at the middle of the range: 6.2. From now on I will adjust close the lower limit at pH 5.8.

deficiency 29M

 

4th of april

The plants are bigger each day.

growth 4abr

But the real protagonist today are the first flowers, still immature.

first flowers 4 abr

 

13th of april

This flower is ready to be pollinated. It is important to know that tomato flowers need bees or wind to dislodge the pollen and get it to the stigma. This is an interesting subject. Learn more about pollination and self-fertilizing (true) and self-pollinating (false)

I do not have bumblebees around, so I shake the plants with a few taps every night. Other people use a small painting brush or an electric toothbrush to imitate the vibration an insect would produce; I simply don’t have the patience.

flowers 13 abr

 

17th of april

My taps have been rewarded with some tiny tomatoes. And with some trial and error I am getting the hang of purple led photography ;D

first baby tomato B17 abr

They are actually tiny. They are also green, despite the led-lit picture.

first baby tomatoe 17 abr

It is funny how excited and proud I feel of my little tomatoes. Let’s meet next week with another post; until then, take care!

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