Out here tomatoes* are cheap and abundant. But that's unfortunately not the case in other parts of the world. These seven tools will let you grow tomatoes* in the privacy of your own home.
So the first thing you're going to need is somewhere to plant your tomato* clones, and since you're going to be raising them indoors a hydroponic system is the way to go. The Water Farm system controls a single reservoir and air pump to care for up to eight individual plants. Each plant sits in a bedding of Hydroton Grow Rock — made from expanded clay that's pH neutral, sterile, and highly aerated — with its roots hanging below in a nutrient film and the open air. $US470 for the equipment - $US50/50-litre bag of Grow Rock.
Dude, no reason to waste perfectly good closet space when growin' 'matos*. Just get one of these portable grow rooms instead. It's thermally insulated which means the cops can't see it on infrared during flyovers, highly reflective on the inside, and has multiple intake and exhaust air ports which are crucial for regulating the temperature in there. $US94-$US900.
Plants need different kinds of light to grow than they to do flower. They use blue spectrum light for vegetative leaf growth, which prevents stretching and elongating and use red light in order to bloom effectively. Traditionally, you'd need to spend hundred on a MF and HPS lighting setup and then fork over hundreds more to run the 1000w beasts day and night. The Glow Panel 45 uses just 28W of power and beats the output of a 250W HPS. Even more impressive is that it shines the full spectrum — both red and blue — so you wont have to swap out lighting systems midway through. You can even daisy-chain as many as 28 of them together to fill the room. $150
If your apartment is filled with the scent of growing tomato* each time you open the door to the Grow Box, you need to get yourself some ventilation so the neighbours don't start asking about the smell. To the cops. The 8-inch MAX Can Fan pushes 600 CFM and can be hooked to an inline carbon filter that neutralises that wonderfully sticky-icky aroma. $US200.
Proper nutrition is just as important for your plants as it is for your body, and maintaining the proper pH balance is key. If the pH is too far one way or the other — either basic or acidic — the plants can develop deficiencies or build up toxicity of certain nutrients. The pH Control Kit not only allows you to test the water supply but adjust it accordingly.
During the growing cycle, plants need more nitrogen and phosphorous than they do when the plant is in bloom. The General Hydroponics Flora Nova series provides specialised mixes for each of these cycles. pH Control Kit — $US16, Nova Series Nutrients — $US12/pint
Once your tomatoes* are hanging heavy on the vine, don't just go ripping them off with your bare hands — use a pair of shears to snip off a full branch at a time. The Fiskars 9124's have an adjustable blade tension and can be used equally well by southpaws as by righties. $US18.
So when you've hung your tomatoes* to dry, you've got to — got to — keep the humidity down at 40 per cent to start, otherwise they'll mould from the inside out and you'll be smoking mouldy-tasting tomatoes*. The BDH-550 not only sucks a solid 55 pints of water out of the air, it can also pump out the collected water rather than requiring you to empty buckets throughout the day. $US248.
If you've gone through all the trouble to create this setup and grow your own supply of tomato*, you ought to smoke it out of arguably the best vaporiser on the market. The Volcano is hand-crafted and rated as a medical-grade device — it's what they use in the Medical Tomato* Usage Trials. $US670.