Saturday, May 25, 2013

Holy Tomatoes

I can officially say that yesterday I got the last of the tomatoes in the ground. I now have over 30 tomatoes in the ground. I started so many planning for some dead loss, but have yet to have more then one or two die.

We have a bit of a method to putting tomatoes in the ground, so I thought I would show it to you. We did about 4-7 tomatoes a day for awhile to get through them all.
Most of our tomatoes
First we would check that there were no flowers on the tomato plants.  A couple did have flowers but we pulled them off so the plant could concentrate on roots when it was first planted. I don't have a picture of that step, so lets move on to step 2.

Step 2 is to pull back the mulch and dig a really nice deep hole. We were trying to stay with the square foot gardening method of one per square foot, and our bed here was 2 feet wide which allowed us to go 2 deep with them. Since they are in the sunniest spot in our yard, I am not as worried about the back ones not getting enough sun.

Nice deep hole.
Step 3 is a bit gross. We have been saving egg shells for awhile. Once we cracked the egg, the shells went into a glass jar with a lid (These were unprocessable jar and a lid that had been processed once before).  As long as they were mostly dry when you put them in the jar, it worked well. However, this step I did not let a Pooka do since it involved eggs.
egg shells from the fridge
I brought our egg shells out to yard and after I dug a hole I would take a couple of the shells out the jar and crunch them into smaller bits. These bits were dropped into the hole. The egg shells will break down and give the tomatoes some extra calcium through the summer to help prevent blossom end rot (that nasty black spot on the bottom of the tomatoes).
Crumbled egg shells
The next job was Pooka's. We bought some Dry milk and marked it for the garden. This container will never be in the kitchen so if I get a bit of dirt in it, it won't hurt anything. This helps again with the blossom end rot as well as giving the tomatoes an initial burst of calcium to get established with.
Special garden container of milk
Pooka would take a handful or two and throw it in the hole as well. She loved to make it "snow" milk.
Adding milk
Then we would take the tomato out of the pot and lay it on its side. in the hole. This allows the tomato to develop more roots along the buried stem which should help the tomato find plenty of nutrients.
Add a plant
Then if I had any stem that I could bury a bit more I would bend back toward the center of the hole and cover it before replacing the mulch. This should help the tomatoes to be firmly rooted and hopefully produce a ton this summer. Then replace the mulch. We did notice that the mulch has been doing great at keeping the soil moist like we had hoped it would.
Cover the plant back up
The last step is to walk inside and wash our hands with a good soap. Then we cross our fingers and see what Green Thumb and her friends can do to get us a great tomato harvest.

No comments:

Post a Comment