Aquaponics and Indoor, Winter Tomatoes
My favorite plants to grow in an aquaponics system are definitely indeterminate, heirloom tomatoes. OK, really they are my favorite plants to grow anywhere, anytime. The long, gangly vines seem almost prehistoric in their un-hybridized nature. They just keep growing and growing, and giving and giving delicious fruit until cut down by frost or old age. I used to know a guy who worked in a greenhouse in Hawaii and he told me that they would let these vines grow for almost a year and that they could get to be as much as 30′ long. More of a python than a fruiting plant.
If you have a half acre of backyard for all this unruliness to occur, and warm sunny weather year-round (like Hawaii) you are set. For the rest of us mortals, however, we have to figure out how to grow the beasts indoors. Assuming you have an aquaponic system all set up and ready to go, there are two other things you will need:
- Knowing how to “tomato wrangle” – I’ve pulled together a video lesson on this. Hope you like it!
- Serious HID (high intensity discharge) lights – I know they are energy hogs, but unless you are willing to side-light with T5 fluorescents you will need the reach down into the plant canopy that only a HID can provide.
That’s it. Order some seeds from an heirloom seed provider, like Seeds of Change, germinate them, and let the fun begin!
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