Monday, March 28, 2011

Sunday in the Garden Part 1 (All About Tomatoes)

Finally a day without rain and I took full advantage of it! I was out in the garden by 9am and didn't come back in until 3:30pm... well I did stop for lunch. On top of the to do list was getting the tomatoes potted up. I really let them go way too long. I hope I didn't stunt their growth by waiting so long. Time will tell.

As I was transplanting the tomatoes for the Haven garden I was having a debate with myself if I should go ahead and plant out my tomatoes. The weather is looking good for the next ten days and I think at this point it should continue to get better. I ended up compromising with myself and I planted 2 out of the four but made sure they would be well protected. I'll tell you the rest through photos.

Click on photos for a larger view.
Bed 1 will be the home of two Fox Cherry Red Tomatoes as well as two Black Beauty (Bush) Zucchini
This area gets sun most of the day but the evenings are still a bit cool. So I pulled out my 4x4 pop-up greenhouse. I had almost forgotten about this little gem.
4x4 pop-up greenhouse. Both sides open up or you can just open a netted window.

It's going to be a tight fit. I want to be able to to plant these as far back as possible so I can fit the two zucchinis in the bed as well.  

Before I show you how the tomatoes look in the greenhouse let me give you a lesson on what not to do with tomatoes and what to do.
Do not let your tomatoes (or any transplants) get root-bound. This plant should have been potted up or planted in the garden at least two weeks ago.
Before planting I gently pulled the roots apart.
When planting tomatoes you can plant them deeper then the root ball. The plant will push out more roots along the stem.  In this case I'm going to plant this one at least 4 inches deeper than the top of the root ball. Before doing this I must trim off the lower leaves.

If you click on this photo you will see where I made my cuts. At this point I also remove all the "suckers" see circled area for an example. Only remove suckers on indeterminate tomato plants.
Click on the photo for a larger view. Here you can see how deep I planted this plant and where I removed the leaves.
Once this tomato was planted I could see that one set of leaves were touching the ground. I removed these as well to keep them from getting eaten and/or diseased.
Plants are in and are still a bit tall for the space so I opened the back door and clamped it to the trellis. The tomatoes were watered with a solution of rain water with seaweed extract and fish emulsion.  
Since this bed is now a mini greenhouse I planted two Black Beauty seeds to see if I could direct sow them. I also planted two in the greenhouse on the heat mat just in case. 

The other two tomatoes, one Jujube Cherry and one Roma were potted up and placed in the mini greenhouse until I can plant them into their beds in the next two weeks.
All tucked in for the night.
The tomatoes for the Haven garden are ready to be planted.


  1. I love that mini greenhouse!! I might look into getting one so I can put some of my plants outside despite that fact that Spring is refusing to come.

  2. That's a nifty little thing!

  3. I hope your Black Beauty zukes don't get as large as my single plant did last year. It was about 8 feet in diameter!

    Love that little greenhouse.

  4. Granny - Oh my! Thanks for the warning! Maybe I should rethink the black beauty. I could move one over another 2 to 3ft to the right. Still might not be enough room. Or I could do what EG does and contain them in tomato cages :-) Greenhouse-I know isn't cute.

    Potted Farm, Katrina, Codrina - Thank you. It really does come in handy!

  5. From my blog of Sept. 3, 2010:

    The lone zucchini is still trying to overtake the back yard. One of this year's successes, this giant has given me more than 50 pounds of zukes, and doesn't look as though it's going to stop anytime soon. I measured one of those huge leaves, it was 18" long and 22" wide.

    Powdery mildew finally took over, but it was still pumping out the zucchinis when I cut it down.

  6. Granny - OK got it - rethink black beauty. I will only need one and it will go into bed 5. The rest of the seedlings will go into the haven garden to feed the homeless. Thank you so much... now we will see if I can grow mine as big as yours :-)
    PS-glad you are feeling better!