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How to Prune Your Garden

April 24th, 2011

Setting up your indoor garden is extremely easy. However, after you have started, you are waiting for a great harvest. There are some tips on how to get the best harvest there is. We will tell you how to take care of your herb garden to get the best results.

The most important thing is proper pruning. Whenever you prune, you are collecting harvest and making space for the new growth. First of all, always begin with the herb that is bushier than the others. Remove the part above the third leaf joint. And the rule is to only harvest one third of the plant. The bushier plants are always the fast growing ones, like basil or mint for example. Harvest the newest growth of the plant and you will encourage it to produce more leaves and less stem. When you are gardening, you need to keep your lights as low as possible to stimulate the growth. That’s why you have to harvest the newest growth, because it is the tallest and keeps your light too high. Keeping the light low is done, but now you have to check if all the plants are getting enough light. Some long leaves may cast a shadow on others and block the light. Harvest those leaves, or when it is possible, just turn the pot around, so you make space for the light.

Remember proper pruning is essential for the good harvest. The rules for the indoor garden are – pruning, low lights and enough light for each plant.

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Aerogarden.org.uk – Tomato Plant Troubleshooting

October 22nd, 2008

Having problems with your tomatoes not flowering?

Following these steps should ensure that your plants will produce beautiful tomatoes, and will help improve the quality and quantity of any yield.

First, consider how long your plants been growing.  It can be anywhere between 8 – 12 weeks before the plants produce fruit, and sometimes all that is required is a little patience.

Have you…

Thinned the plants?

When plants are about 1” tall, they should be thinned back to one plant per pod.  If this step has not been done, it should be.  Keep the healthiest plant in the pod and cut the others out at the base of the plant. Too many plants growing from one pod can have negative effects on the plants.

Pruned the plants at the 4-5 week period?

At about 4-5 weeks, the main stem of the plant should be cut in half.  This pruning, along with regular ongoing pruning, will keep the plants short and bushy (like a Christmas tree) instead of tall with leaves just at the top (like a palm tree).  

If the plant has not been pruned, it needs to be.  Cutting the main stem in half is not advisable for larger plants (over 6 weeks) but refer to the Tending and Harvesting Guide for pruning instructions – they still need to be pruned! Photosynthesis will take place even if there are only a few leaves on the plant, so we encourage you to prune even if there is not much there.  If all of the growth is at the top of the plant, pruning is needed to get the plant back down to a bushy size and shape.

Set the lights timer to go off at night?

Fruiting plants need complete darkness for at least 7 hours every night in order to produce fruit – this means that the lights need to be synched up to turn off at night time, and that the plants are not exposed to any artificial light during this dark period.

Instructions for setting the “on” time of your lights:

At the time you want the lights to come on, press the “Lights” button and hold it down until the LED light next to the plant selection flashes, and continue holding it until the LED light blinks faster — about 12 seconds, then immediately release the button. Your lights will now come on at this time each day. (It will take several seconds for the lights to come on.

To view a complete chart of the Timing of the Lights and Pump Cycles for the different Seed Kits, click here

OTHER FACTORS TO CONSIDER:

– Have nutrients been added at regular 2-week intervals?  If you have been adding nutrients every time the light comes on, has it been coming on every 2 weeks?  Pressing reset at any other time than just after adding nutrients will effect the nutrient timer. 

Grow Bulbs

–Tomato production will be significantly better with fresh bulbs – they should be changed roughly every 6 months for optimal plant growth.

Type of water being used

– if you live in a hard tap water area, or have been using high mineral content spring water, the pH levels in your aerogarden may be unsuitable for plant health, and could cause yellowing of the leaves or lack of fruit.

Read more on our blog here

Tobacco Mosaic Virus

– If your plant looks like it is actually dying, it may have Tobacco Mosaic Virus. This causes a mosaic pattern on leaves (and even fruit) and causes the leaves to fall off.   A plant affected by this disease will most likely not produce fruit. 

IF ALL OF THE STEPS ABOVE HAVE BEEN FOLLOWED AND THE PLANTS ARE HEALTHY BUT STILL NOT PRODUCING:

1) Rinse and refill the bowl

A Rinse-and-Refill consists of unplugging the AeroGarden, emptying all the water out of the Bowl, refilling it with fresh water, and putting in two fresh nutrient tablets. This will return nutrient and pH levels to normal if they have gotten outside of optimal range. Please click here for complete instructions on how to do a Rinse-and-Refill.

2) Prune branches back another 1” -2” and drop the lights down, if necessary.

Complete BOTH steps 12 at the same time

So, rinse and refill and prune at the same time.  Then give the plants one week to ‘recover’ and blooms should appear within the next week.  It is fine to prune during the recovery period if necessary.

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