Aquaponics - Bucket tomato

I had a pair of tomato plants a while ago that I decided needed to be uprooted so that I might rebuild my system, and rearrange my grow beds. Mainly, they had to go because they were using the grow house for support, and the grow house had to be moved.

They didn't like it.

In fact I would go so far as to say they didn't like me.

I had to cut them free of the grow house, and the bits that were still in tact were all snapped and bent and generally looking more like tangled green string than a tomato plant, so I pruned them back to almost nothing but the thick base stems with a root ball attached.

Healthy looking no?


Actually that photo misrepresents, because that photo was taken today, but framed to look like its from the past so that later when I show you the "after" shots, these "before" shots will look pitiful in comparison.

Nobody will know.

I put them in a bucket of running system water instead of composting them, because I figured it might be worth keeping what was left of the impressive root ball they had developed, and try to make use of it to get a head start on what I would have had if I planted some new seeds.

Most of the root ball was left in the grow bed, and what was saved looks like it's slowly looking for a nice place to sit and turn to compost.

I think that's why my once cared for plants didn't seem to like me any more.

But it turned out to be a bit of a success after all...

It's later, and they seem to be beginning to get the hang of it.

Which is nice.

It seems a little strange to me that they should be growing roots in the air, but I'm guessing they think it's a little strange that they should be living in a bucket of water, so clearly convention has gone out the window, and it's time to have a go, and see what happens.

Not only are there new air-roots, but there are even some nice, fresh, new, under water roots that I hadn't noticed.  

In fact, the reason I noticed them at all was that I saw them growing out of the hole in the side of the bucket to let the water out.

Sometimes it pays to get a bit ill and turn your back on your system for a few days.

I think the thing runs better without me.

There's fresh growth up at the top end as well.

Plenty of it, and even a stack of tiny clusters of flowers.

And this!

Huge isn't it!

Its amazing what you can grow in a bucket with running water while you're sick in bed.

Keep in mind, there is no media in the bucket, just water and roots.

I for one am impressed with my ability to grow tomatoes, but we middle aged men tend to think that about our tomato growing skills for some reason. If you know a middle aged guy, who lives in suburbia, you know it's true.

Tomatoes. (it's because all they need is too much of everything water, fertilizer, heat, sun. Too much of it all, and everything works just fine. I'm willing to bet that if a study were ever done, tomatoes would turn out to like too much beer as well)

But still - not bad, me.

I'm also slightly impressed with the universe and all the strange stuff it can do.

Not bad, universe.

Actually, my tomato was nearly the size of a large grape, was totally flat on the other side except for a large yellow crack running from top to bottom, was split, crackly, and charred looking on the bottom, where not only was it full of holes,  but where it had an entire civilization of something living in those holes.

My first 120 Things in 20 years, aquaponics water bucket tomato was delicious, and today I found a radish in my pocket that I'm pretty sure I didn't put there. (no civilisations were harmed in the eating of this tomato)

Also, it's "be nice to your mum week" because, if she's like my mum, she just got out of hospital.

I got her a radish as a gift, but it's a surprise.

I realise its not a surprise to my mum because she will see this, but it was a surprise to me, so it still qualifies.

Get well soon mum.

1 comment:

  1. Anticipation is half the fun when waiting for a surprise. Bullys Mum.


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