The sheer pleasure of a home-grown tomato is hard to overstate. You cared for and planted them, and now they’re bearing fruit in perfect spheres that need you to pick and eat immediately.
Tomatoes found in grocery stores in January have likely been picked, crated, flown, or trucked from warmer climates to those of us who live in areas where snow covers the crop every year.
There’s a way out of this. Hydroponic tomato cultivation in an Aerogarden is a novel approach to indoor gardening. Tomatoes produced in an Aerogarden are truly homegrown and provide harvests year-round.
To ensure that we have an abundance of delicious tomatoes, there are a few things we need to do. If you’ve ever grown tomatoes in containers, this procedure is extremely familiar.
How to setup your Aerogarden for tomato growing
- Clean the Aerogarden
You should rinse and clean the aerogarden kit growth basket to remove any residue from manufacturing, even if your device is brand new. Although Aerogarden claims their products have been cleaned, anything could happen to them in transit to your house.
You should clean if you have used this Aerogarden to cultivate other plants. This will help to remove any algae or other residue left behind by those plants. What’s left behind might harm the tomatoes if you don’t remove it.
- Setup the grow lights and start a new grow
If you want your new plants to thrive, you need to get the lights within 6 inches of them. In most cases, your Aerogarden will thrive at the lowest height setting.
In an Aerogarden, vegetables need a longer light cycle, so if you’ve already used it, you’ll need to reset it. That would have the lights on for 16 to 18 hours daily.
- Plant the Seeds
You can plant your seeds directly into the garden’s pods if you already have them. Because of their tendency toward rowdiness, tomatoes benefit from having at least one empty pod between each plant.
Carefully cover any vacant pod slots with pod covers. This prevents algae from forming around your growing bowl by blocking the light from entering through the holes.
Planting tomato seeds from scratch is a simple task. Place your sponge (or other growing material) in a plastic grow medium and plant a few seeds in the center (1–2 seeds).
- Put the domes on top
In order to speed up the germination process, these small humidity domes keep the seeds warm and trap humidity. As soon as you notice your little sprouts emerging, get rid of them.
- Adding Water to your Aerogarden
No plant can thrive without sufficient watering. Proceed to fill the water tank to the brim. A full tank isn’t necessary all the time, but it’s always smart to fill it up before you need to.
Your plants will develop more quickly if you keep the water level high rather than allowing it to drop slightly.
- Add plant food and nutrients.
Add some plant nutrients to the water when watering new plants to ensure their success, even if you don’t use soil.
A number of factors, including the number of plants you’re tending and the sort of aerogarden you’re working with, will determine how much you need to add.
Your Aerogarden will come with its own “patented liquid plant food,” although you can get by just fine without it. Growing tomatoes is a popular crop, and many gardeners find that using a fertilizer mix yields superior results.
- Watch the plants grow!
In order to get your tomatoes off to a good start in your Aerogarden, you’ll need to follow those steps.
When to Pick Aerogarden Tomatoes
OK, so you’ve got some fruit growing in your Aerogarden, but when are tomatoes ready for picking?
Tomatoes grown in an Aerogarden can stay on the vine until they reach full ripeness. If you harvest them at the “breaker stage,” when they are still mostly green but beginning to turn pink, you can let them ripen on the counter for a couple of days.
If you grow tomatoes outside, pick them just as they turn from green to pink. This will keep animals from eating your hard-earned crop before you can.
However, since an aerogarden allows for indoor gardening, you can leave the fruits on the plant for as long as you like until they reach the desired level of ripeness.
Which aerogardens are best for tomatoes?
AeroGardens with higher ceilings are ideal for cultivating vining vegetables like tomatoes. AeroGardens, with at least 24 inches of growth space, are optimal for cultivating tomatoes.
- Farm 24Plus
With a height of 24 inches, the Farm 24Plus is the second largest aerogarden available.
The Farm 24Plus includes two 60-watt full-spectrum LED lights. You can set them on an automatic timer, and they come with built-in alarms to remind you to water and feed your plants.
- Farm 12XL
The growing height of the Farm 12XL model of the AeroGarden is 36 inches, matching that of the Farm 24XL. The Farm 12XL, in contrast, is only half as wide and can accommodate 12 plants rather than 24.
If you want to grow tomatoes indoors, this AeroGarden is a fantastic option.
- Farm 24XL
As the largest AeroGarden, the Farm 24XL stands 24 inches tall. It boasts the most growing space of any AeroGarden, thanks to its 36-inch growing height.
It features two 60-watt full-spectrum LED lights on a timer and can send notifications when it’s time to water or feed your plants.
The Farm 24XL is able to connect to Amazon Echos and WiFi, and it features a touchscreen control panel and is stackable.
- Bounty Elite
If you want to grow tomatoes in an AeroGarden, the Bounty Elite is the one to get. This grow system uses a 50-watt LED full-spectrum light.
The Bounty Elite may be set to vacation mode and features a full-color touchscreen to ensure your tomatoes stay fresh while you’re away.
AeroGarden Tomato Tips and Tricks
With an AeroGarden, cultivating tomatoes indoors is a breeze.
Here are a few pointers to help you get the most out of this straightforward procedure.
- Make sure there is adequate lighting.
For most plant life, 16 hours of light each day are ideal. More “sunlight” means a higher harvest. Keeping the lights just a couple of inches away from the highest leaves is important.
Bees, birds, and the wind all naturally pollinate flower beds and summer flower gardens. The success of your indoor tomato production depends on your ability to disperse pollen among the plants thus encouraging cross flower pollination.
- Do not avoid the pruning stage.
If you’re a beginner gardener, following the advice above for pruning will help your plants thrive and produce fruit.
You should be as accurate as possible when adding nutrients to your diet to get the best results.
Don’t over- or under-feed your plants; providing them with the nutrients they need is an exact science with specific recommended amounts.
- Don’t wait until the water level in the tank gets low
Although fresh water is best for tomatoes, you shouldn’t wait for the “Add Water” alert before replenishing the tank.
Start your tomato Aerogarden now
Tomatoes in an aerogarden can be grown safely and with little effort. If you follow these guidelines, you’ll be able to maximize your harvest. This is the most effective strategy for producing tasty tomatoes throughout the year.
You’ll be able to keep an eye on their development and prune them as needed without ever having to leave the house. You can start growing tomatoes in an aerogarden right now and eat them in just a couple of months.
Tomatoes grown in an AeroGarden are ready for picking after 8 to 10 weeks and continue to yield for up to six months.