AeroGarden Farm Plus Garden 3: Week 12 Update

AeroGarden Farm Plus Garden 3: Week 12 Update

After 12 weeks of growing in my AeroGarden Farm Plus, I have 4 jalapeno peppers, 3 bell peppers, 3 Manitoba tomatoes, 4 purple super hots and 4 Serrano peppers!

Twelve weeks in, and the Farm Plus continues to be amazing.

Time to jump into this week’s maintenance details, some exciting and sad changes to my fruits, and, of course, comparison photos to blow your mind.

AeroGarden Farm Plus Garden 3 Week 12 Overview

As with each week, there have been so many changes since my AeroGarden Farm Plus Week 11 update. Aside from more new fruits, my bell pepper and jalapeno peppers plants are producing their second set of buds.

My cumin’s dome came off! The Italian parsley may be dead. And I finally have Serrano peppers!

Aside from harvesting a lot of herbs in the left garden, this week’s maintenance also involved cutting off only a couple of tomato plant limbs, adding water and nutrients. This weeks’s maintenance probably took 45 minutes for the left side, 10 minutes for the right side and 20 minutes preparing herbs for freezing. But, I was in my garden room for about 1.5 hours also maintaining one of my Sprout LEDs and spending a lot of time taking photos and journaling.

Before we get to the walk through of each plant, here is a comparison of the condition of the Farm Plus last week after maintenance and this week before maintenance.

AeroGarden Farm Plus Garden 3 Week 12 Overview

Top: AeroGarden Farm Plus Week 11 after maintenance. Bottom: Week 12 before maintenance.

Yet again, there was both a fair amount of herb growth, as well as a fair amount of new leaves on the pepper plants. Every fruit had a fair amount of bulking out as they prepare for new fruit growth.

AeroGarden Farm Plus Garden 3 Week 12 – Left Side Walk Through

At 12 weeks, my herb harvests are even more substantial. My herbs are mostly doing quite well in my AeroGarden Sprout LEDs but they are doing so much better in my AeroGarden Farm Plus.

I’m still harvesting from back to front, with some detours to be able to take better before and after pictures. Yet again, I did forget to take one photo because I got called away. I need to make a mental note that if being called away, it’s okay to take a couple extra seconds to take a photo first. The reason for being called away isn’t going anywhere.

To begin, below is a comparison of Week 11 left side after harvest compared to Week 12 left side before harvest.

Now, let’s walk through each herb on the left side of my Farm Plus.

Rosemary

My rosemary is one of the reasons I’m already plotting and daydreaming about my second AeroGarden Farm Plus. It has grown enough where I could cut off the top to clone it. Alas, I still have to wait a few more months.

Last week, my rosemary was 10 cm (4 inches) tall. This week, it is 13 cm (5.1 inches). When cloning, you want the cutting to be about 5 cm (2 inches), so I have more than enough height to clone this. I guess I just have to live with using it when cooking certain chicken dishes.

Sage

I’m rather impressed with how much sage I have after 12 weeks. This week when doing my grocery shop, I forgot I have nearly a full small freezer bag full of sage and I didn’t have to buy anymore.

After last week’s harvest, the sage measured 21 cm (8.3 inches). This week, before harvesting, it measured 23 cm (9 inches). After harvesting, the sage measured 18 cm (7.1 inches). Yet again, I had to cut off a couple entire stems to de-bulk the plant.

And here is a comparison of the sage last week after harvest vs this week before and after harvest.

Left: Week 11 after harvest. Centre: Sage week 12 before harvest. Right: Week 12 after harvest.

Thai Basil

I’ve come to the conclusion that, no matter what I do, the Thai basil continues to be a “problem”. I cut off entire stems and new stems appear. I think I need to start harvesting this plant twice a week.

After week 11 harvest, the Thai basil measured 23.5 cm (9.3 inches). Before this week’s harvest, it once again measured 32 cm (12.6 inches). After the harvest, it measured 25 cm (9.8 inches).

Harvesting returned to being daunting as the Thai basil doubled in bulk over the last week and had a lot of flowers. And again this week, I cut off entire stems of Thai basil. It’s like the Thai basil is the Borg, telling me week after week, that resistance is futile.

Above is a comparison of the Thai basil last week after harvest, this week before harvest and after harvest.

Oregano

My oregano continues to grow bulkier, stronger and woodier week after week. It’s nearly at the point where I’ll have enough oregano to fully supply me.

After last week’s harvest, the oregano measured 10 cm (4 inches). This week, before harvesting, it measured 16 cm (6.3 inches). This week after harvest, the oregano measured 9 cm (3.5 inches).

Below is an image of the oregano last week after harvest, this week before harvest and this week after harvest.

 

Italian Parsley

Yet again, there was no change to the Italian parsley this week. I’m afraid moving it may have been a big mistake. The mint would do great in this spot, however, its root system is too big to move it. This is another reason why I’ve already begun plotting out my second AeroGarden Farm Plus as I learn which plants do best where.

Last week, the Italian parsley measured, 7 cm (2.6 inches). This week, it still measured 7 cm (2.6 inches). Even though there was no change, I did harvest it because the longer stems were dying. Now, the Italian parsley is about 1 cm (0.4 inches)

Above is an image of the Italian parsley last week, this week before harvest and this week after harvest. I’m considering making a radical change to my AeroGarden Sprout LED Garden 1, which you’ll learn about when I give the next update on that garden.

Cilantro 1

This cilantro is one of the herbs that is missing an image because I was called away.T

his week, the first cilantro plant yet again grew by a significant amount. Last week, this cilantro plant measured 9 cm (3.5 inches) after harvesting. This week before harvest, it measured 19 cm (7.5 inches), yet again more than doubling its height in one week. After harvest, it once again measured 9 cm (3.5 inches).

Because I forgot to take an after photo, there is no comparison image this week.

Cilantro 2

The second cilantro plant after harvest.

It was after I harvested the second cilantro plant that I realised that I forgot to take two images.

After last week’s harvest, it measured 7.5 cm (3 inches). This week, before harvesting, the second cilantro plant measured 15 cm (6 inches), doubling its height. After this week’s harvest, it measured 8 cm (3.15 inches).

Again, no comparison photo. Sorry 🙁

Mint

Yet again, the mint grew by quite a bit in the last week, doubling in bulk in the last week. Also, once again, the mint is growing in the tank and popping up in neighbouring pods. This week, I de-bulked the mint by quite a bit, including again cutting of entire stems.

After Week 10 harvest, the mint measured 20 cm (7.9 inches). This week, before harvest it measured 30 cm (12 inches). After harvesting, it measured 21 cm (8.3 inches).

Top: The mint growing out of the thyme pod. Bottom left: The mint last week after harvest. Bottom centre: This week before harvest. Bottom right: This week after harvest.

Catnip

Three weeks after replanting the catnip and it’s nearly ready for its first harvest, which will make my cats and dogs very happy! Last week, the catnip was 2.5 cm (1 inch). This week, it is 6.5 cm (2.6 inches). That is a lot of new growth!

Thyme

During the last week, the thyme starting to grow inside of the mint. Detangling it from the mint was a little scary because the thyme is still rather delicate and hasn’t begun to turn woody yet.

Last week, after harvesting, the thyme measured 9.5 cm (3.7 inches). This week, before harvesting, it measured 16 cm (6.3 inches). After this week’s harvest, it measured 9 cm (3.5 inches).

And now the comparison shot!

Left: Thyme Week 11 after harvest. Centre: Week 12 before harvest. Right: Week 12 after harvest.

Cumin

I replanted the cumin two weeks ago. The dome came off on March 25. It is now about 2.5 cm (1 inch). I didn’t measure it because it is currently pretty thin and I was worried I would hurt it while measuring it with my metal tape.

And here is what the the left side of the Farm Plus looked like before and after harvest.

Hopefully my Italian parsley bounces back this week and does as well as the rest of my herbs. Below is an image of this week’s harvest and the pile of Thai basil leaves ready for freezing.

AeroGarden Farm Plus Garden 3 Week 12 – Right Side Walk Through

There are a lot of fresh flowers on the bell pepper and jalapeno pepper plant.

In the last week, I found FOUR new fruits!

Before we get to all the new fruits and more, just as a reminder, below is a comparison of the right side last week after pruning and this week before pruning.

There wasn’t a lot of change, aside from leaves getting bigger, new sets of flowers and new peppers. Because there wasn’t too much change in term of overall appearance, this week I won’t be doing comparison shots.

Manitoba Heirloom Tomatoes

Because of how I’m trying to train the Manitoba tomato to grow, I didn’t have to raise the lights to full height this week, despite it growing by a lot. I still can’t find the other two tomatoes that started to grow. I’m a little worried they got knocked off during pollination. That said, I didn’t find the first tomato until it was about 2.5 cm (1 inch) in diameter

As a reminder, the Manitoba Heirloom were planted on January 11, 2019. Last week, after pruning, it measured 66 cm (26 inches). Here is a breakdown of its maintenance and changes in the last week:

  • Water added to the right side tank March 23, 26, and 28.
  • This week, before and after pruning, the Manitoba tomato measured 76 cm (30 inches).
  • Continue to pollinate every day after the lights turn on, except for I forgot to on March 24.
  • Cut off a couple branches on March 28.

Because I don’t want to cut off any limbs with buds and flowers, this week I only cut off a couple of branches that were turning brown.

As I said, I have no comparison photos this week, but here is a photo of the first tomato.

Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes

I’m still truly surprised that it’s still alive! Once again, it grew a bit in height! Last week, the cherry tomato measured 6 cm (2.4 inches). This week, it measured 6.5 cm (2.6 inches). Plus, the branches and leaves continue to get thicker.

Serrano Peppers

Another reminder about the Serrano peppers: Like the Manitoba tomatoes, this was planted on January 11, 2019.

This week, I didn’t do any pruning to the plant. And there are four pepper! And a bunch of new flowers grew over the last week.

Just like last week, this week it measured 38 cm (15 inches). This is how the last week’s maintenance looked:

  • 2 peppers found March 25.
  • 2 peppers found March 26.
  • Continue to pollinate every day when the lights turn on, except for the one day I forgot.
  • Still too many flowers to now count.

Below are some images of the peppers. They are so cute and have grown so much in just a few short days!

Sweet Bell Peppers

 

The big bell pepper may be ready to harvest next week! Here is a summary of other changes and maintenance details:

  • Continue to pollinate daily after the lights turn on, except for that one day.

Last week, it measured 28 cm (11 inches). This week, it measured 30 cm (12 inches).

 

I can’t wait until it’s time to harvest my first bell pepper.

Jalapeno Peppers

This week, I didn’t get to harvest a jalapeno pepper like the previous two weeks, but one is very close to being ready.

There are still no new jalapeno peppers, but a new set of buds are now in full bloom.

The jalapeno pepper plant had very few changes since last week, other than the peppers growing in size. Here is a breakdown:

  • Continue to pollinate daily when the lights turn on.

Last week, the jalapeno pepper measured 29 cm (11.4 inches). This week, it measured 30 cm (124 inches). Below are some photos of the peppers this week.

Red-Fire Chili

This week, I didn’t prune anything. And the buds look like they are about to turn into flowers any day now.

Last week, the red-fire chili measured 15 cm (5.9 inches). This week, the red-fire chili plant measured 17 cm (6.7 inches).

Purple Super Hot Peppers

 

The purple super hot was planted on January 11, while the majority of the garden was planted on January 3, 2019.

No new peppers were found this week but some new flowers opened. So far, my fruits haven’t been producing more than 4 at a time. It will be interesting to see if the purple super hot produces more than 4 fruits at once. They should. Maintenance for this fruit has been the same as the rest:

  • Continue to pollinate daily when the lights turn on.

Last week, the super hot measured measured 25 cm (9.8 inches). This week, it measured the same.

Since I only cut off a couple branches of the Manitoba tomato plant, there is no pruning pile photo this week.

 

Also, there isn’t a right side before and after maintenance picture this week.

Below is an image of the entire garden before and after this week’s maintenance. Now every herb once again has its own light and so do the fruits.

My AeroGarden Farm Plus Garden 3 Week 12 Journal Update

I’ve decided to stick with the new journal layout. Because my fridge died this week (that was the day before I forgot to pollinate my fruits), there were a few days that I got behind on updating my journal daily. Because of the fridge dying, I lost an entire day and have been playing catch-up all week.

Below is this week’s left side journal entry.

And below is the right side entry.

Because I lost an entire day, my autistic self had a really difficult time adjusting. I have enough trouble when my schedule and routine is derailed by 10 minutes, never mind an entire day. Journaling on a daily basis, except the day I missed, helped me to keep calm as I played catch-up for the entire week, as I lost both Saturday and Monday to my fridge dying.

So, that is all the exciting things!

Let me know if you have any questions! And if you’re brand new to my Farm Plus series, you can catch up here.

Until next time!

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Jules Sherred
hello@disabledkitchenandgarden.ca

Jules Sherred is a gender noncomforming autistic disabled trans man. He has lupus with many secondary disorders, including but not limited to, psoriatic arthritis in every joint, fibromyaligia, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic migraines, and antiphospholipid syndrome -- a bleeding and clotting disorder. He also has Complex Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (C-PTSS). He has found great physical and psychological relief in Instant Pot-ting and AeroGarden-ing. After coming up empty trying to find disability resources, written by disabled people, on how to create a disability-friendly kitchen and garden that has multiple benefits, he decided to take matters in his own hands by sharing what he has learned.

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