06 Apr AeroGarden Farm Plus Garden 3: Week 13 Update
After 13 weeks of growing in my AeroGarden Farm Plus, I have 3 jalapeno peppers, 2 bell peppers, 3 Manitoba tomatoes, 4 purple super hots and 5 (?) Serrano peppers!
Thirteen weeks in, and the Farm Plus is still worth every single penny.
Time to jump into this week’s maintenance details, some exciting and, again, sad changes to my fruits, and, of course, comparison photos to blow your mind.
AeroGarden Farm Plus Garden 3 Week 13 Overview
As with each week, there have been so many changes since my AeroGarden Farm Plus Week 12 update. Aside from the possibility of new fruits, two of my bell peppers died but a new one appeared, one or two new Serrano peppers appeared, and more jalapenos should appear any day now. Plus, my red-fire chili has finally produced flowers!
On the herb side, my cumin died just one week after the dome came off — the bell pepper shadow was just too much — and the Italian parsley died. But I got to harvest catnip for the first time and the cats love it!
Aside from harvesting a lot of herbs in the left garden, this week’s maintenance also involved pruning some of the fruit plants, harvesting another jalapeno peppers (that makes three peppers now harvested) and adding water.. This weeks’s maintenance took a very long time. Too long as I wrote about in my Sprout LED Garden 1 update.
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
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, maybe a bit too much. Same with the herbs. I didn’t check on my garden on Wednesday because I was out of town for the day. When I checked first thing Thursday, it was like that time on Star Trek: The Next Generation when the crew had their memory wiped and Dr Crusher’s plant experiment had grown much more than it should have in a day.
AeroGarden Farm Plus Garden 3 Week 13 – Left Side Walk Through
At 13 weeks, I swear to you that between Tuesday and Thursday of this week, the herbs each grew by at least 3 centimetres.
I’m still harvesting from back to front, with some detours to be able to take better before and after pictures. This week, I managed to get all necessary photos, unlike last week. Yay, me!
To begin, below is a comparison of Week 12 left side after harvest compared to Week 13 left side before harvest.
Now, let’s walk through each herb on the left side of my Farm Plus.
For the first time, I can show you a comparison photo of the rosemary because I decided to attempt cloning a third stem from one of the existing stems.
Last week, my rosemary was 13 cm (5.1 inches) tall. This week, it was 16 cm (6.3 inches) before I took a clipping to clone it. When cloning, you want the cutting to be about 5 cm (2 inches), so I had more than enough height to clone this. After cloning it, the tallest stem was 11 cm (4.3 inches).
This week, I had to remove a lot of stems from the sage plant. Not only to thin it out but because some were getting too old and needed to be completely harvested.
After last week’s harvest, the sage measured 18 cm (7.1 inches). This week, before harvesting, it measured 25 cm (9.8 inches). After harvesting, the sage measured 18 cm (7.1 inches).
And here is a comparison of the sage last week after harvest vs this week before and after harvest.
Of course, the Thai basil is still a “problem”. Almost every stem had flowered in the last week and it yet again doubled in bulk.
After week 12 harvest, the Thai basil measured 25 cm (9.8 inches). Before this week’s harvest, it once again measured 32 cm (12.6 inches). After the harvest, it measured 24 cm (9.4 inches).
Harvesting was again daunting. Next time I grow Thai basil, I’m going to make sure that I can easily access the back of the herb to better prune it.
Above is a comparison of the Thai basil last week after harvest, this week before harvest and after harvest.
My oregano is gorgeous. I’m amazed at how well it continues to do with its neighbouring sage keeps blocking its light.
After last week’s harvest, the oregano measured 9 cm (3.5 inches). This week, before harvesting, it measured 14 cm (5.5 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.
RIP Italian Parsley – Welcome Genovese Basil
The Italian basil just couldn’t grow in its new home. So, I replaced it with the Genovese basil from my first Sprout LED as this basil kept killing its neighbouring herbs. You can read more detail about why this move was necessary in my AeroGarden Sprout LED Garden 1 Week 17 – 18 update.
After having a tough time getting this plant going, I’m very impressed with how well it continues to do.
Last week, this cilantro plant measured 9 cm (3.5 inches) after harvesting. This week before harvest, it measured 21 cm (8.3 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 last week, again this week there is no comparison photo. However, above is this cilantro plant after harvest.
This cilantro plant is doing well enough when considering the mint keeps trying to push it out.
After last week’s harvest, it measured 8 cm (3.15 inches). This week, before harvesting, the second cilantro plant measured 15 cm (6 inches), nearly its height. After this week’s harvest, it measured 10 cm (3.9 inches).
And again, the mint grew by quite a bit in the last week, more than doubling in bulk in the last week. This week, I de-bulked the mint by quite a bit, including again cutting of entire stems. Next week, I’m probably going to have to spend a lot of extra time finding all first-growth stems and cutting them off.
After Week 11 harvest, the mint measured 21 cm (8.3 inches). This week, before harvest it measured 30 cm (12 inches). After harvesting, it measured 21 cm (8.3 inches), once again.
Four weeks after replanting the catnip and I got to harvest it for the first time, which made my cats very happy! Last week, the catnip was 6.5 cm (2.6 inch). This week, before harvest it measured 13 cm (5.1 inches). After harvest, it measured 7 cm (2.6 inches).
Because long week was long, above is a video of baby Hero really enjoying some fresh catnip!
This week, I became frustrated when tending to the thyme. There are only like 5 or 6 stems growing and they are beginning to get woody at the very base. However, it is such a rats nest, untangling it so I can properly harvest it was such a futile task. Maybe during the week when I haven’t had such an exhausting time of things, I will attempt it again.
Last week, after harvesting, the thyme measured 9 cm (3.5 inches). This week, before harvesting, it measured 13 cm (5.1 inches). After this week’s harvest, it measured 10 cm (3.9 inches).
And now the comparison shot!
A week after taking the dome off, the cumin died again. It needs a lot more light than it can get in this spot. Depending on what happens with my second Sprout LED this week, I may plant it again in that garden to see if it does better beside chives that won’t block the light.
And here is what the the left side of the Farm Plus looked like before and after harvest.
We will see if the Genovese basil survives after I chopped off so much of its roots and moved it to the Farm Plus. If it doesn’t surivive, I have months-worth of it in the freezer, so that’s more than okay.. 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 13 – Right Side Walk Through
In the last week, a lot of changes have happened, including flowers on my red-fire chili, new peppers, and some peppers failing to thrive.
Before we get to all the new fruits and more, just as a reminder, below is a comparison of the right side last week and this week before pruning.
Every single fruit bulked out by quite a bit but I didn’t prune every fruit. I only pruned the ones that needed some light to reach either fruits or flowers.
Manitoba Heirloom Tomatoes
The Manitoba tomato plant is officially a mega monster. I’ve now had to raise the lights on the fruit side of my AeroGarden Farm Plus to full height and leave them there. I wish the AeroGarden Farm XL was available in Canada as those lights raise to 3 feet and this plant really wants that.
As a reminder, the Manitoba Heirloom were planted on January 11, 2019. Last week, it measured 76 cm (39 inches). Here is a breakdown of its maintenance and changes in the last week:
- Water added to the right side tank March 31, April 2 and April 4.
- This week, before and after pruning, the Manitoba tomato measured 90 cm! (35.4 inches !).
- Continue to pollinate every day after the lights turn on, except for on April 3 because I was away.
- Cut off a bunch of branches on April 4.
This week’s comparison photo will hopefully give you some idea of how much the Manitoba tomato plant has changed over the last week. I don’t have a before pruning image because it was too difficult to capture exactly how the branches were growing inside the peppers’ canopy.
Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes
During the last week, the Heirloom cherry tomato plant grew its most significant amount! Last week, the cherry tomato measured 6.5 cm (2.6 inches). This week, it measured 9 cm (3.5 inches). The branches and leaves continue to get thicker.
Another reminder about the Serrano peppers: Like the Manitoba tomatoes, this was planted on January 11, 2019.
This week, yet again, I didn’t do any pruning to the plant. The leaves are small enough and the canopy high enough that, despite a lot of new leaf growth, everything on this pepper plant is getting enough light to thrive.
Last week and this week, the Serrano pepper plant measured 38 cm (15 inches). This is how the last week’s maintenance looked:
- Water added March 31, April 2 and April 4.
- 1 pepper found April 4 but then couldn’t find it so I think I knocked it off when trying to pry the Manitoba tomato out of its canopy.
- Continue to pollinate every day when the lights turn on, except for the day I was away.
- Still too many flowers to now count.
The above image shows a comparison between last week and this week. The left photo is from last week. The right photo is from this week. The Serrano peppers have more than doubled in size in the last week and the canopy has really filled out. The middle images are the peppers this week.
Sweet Bell Peppers
There were a bunch of changes to sweet bell pepper plant this week! Last week, it measured 30 cm (12 inches). Here is a summary of other changes and maintenance details:
- Continue to pollinate daily after the lights turn on, except for that one day.
- Water added March 31, April 2 and April 4.
- Front pepper fell off March 31.
- Right-side pepper fell of April 4.
- Pruned April 4.
- New pepper found April 4 and wasn’t there two day previous.
- Measured 33 cm (13 inches) on April 4.
The big original bell pepper that remains is starting to blister before it begins to ripen, so I may have to harvest it in the next day or two.
This week, I harvested my third jalapeno pepper, plus a few other things are happening with this plant.
There are still no new jalapeno peppers, but a new set of buds are now in full bloom.
The jalapeno pepper plant had a lot of changes this week. Here is a breakdown:
- Continue to pollinate daily when the lights turn on.
- Water added March 31, April 2 and April 4
- Pruned April 4
- Harvested 3rd pepper April 4
- Noticed all peppers blistering/peeling before mature; they may need to be harvested in the next few days.
Last week, the jalapeno pepper measured 30 cm (12 inches). This week, it measured 33 cm (13 inches). I’d share a before and after pruning image but you can’t really tell the different because the canopy has become extremely full. Below are some photos of the peppers this week to show you want I mean by blistering/peeling.
It took an awful long time, but the red-fire chili finally has blossoms! The first blossom opened up on March 31.
Last week, the red-fire chili measured 17 cm (6.7 inches). This week, the red-fire chili plant measured 19 cm (7.5 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 new flowers continue to open. 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 26 cm (10.2 inches).
Below is an image of the right side before and after maintenance.
Below is this week’s modest pruning pile.
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 13 Journal Update
This week was a very exhausting one. Before I get into that, my journal updates.
Below is this week’s left side journal entry.
And below is the right side entry.
Because I am completely spent this week, and so I you don’t have to click through to read another post, I’m just going to copy and paste what I had to say on my Week 17 and 18 update for my first Sprout LED about this week’s journaling.
This week’s extra long gardening session — I also had to tend to both of my Sprout LEDs on Thursday — ended up taking all of my spoons. By the time I was finished with this garden, I was done, but I had two more to go.
This week was an exhausting one. I had a site launch for a client, I had an in-person meeting, and I had to travel out of town for a surgery consult. These three tasks zapped all of my communication spoons — I’d be completely non-verbal if society would allow it — and the surgery consult had extra stuff attached to it because of dysphoria. I was so spent by the time I got to my Sprout LEDs, I accidentally dropped my brand new Polaroid Zip in the jug of water I keep in my garden room.
That isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy this week’s gardening session and journaling session, it’s just to say I wish I could have postponed it a couple more days because my brain was done.
All that said, going 18 weeks, when accounting for my other two gardens, before gardening was just a bit too much is pretty amazing. I wouldn’t be able to go one week with dirt gardening before wishing I just didn’t have to. The circumstances of this week don’t happen frequently, so being too tired to garden will always be an outlier.
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!