Monday, May 9, 2011

Tomatoes set out

One of the new front beds is now home to our hopes for canned tomatoes. We put in ten tomatoes yesterday and then covered the whole bed in plastic. It looks a little like we are camping in our front yard. This bed is one of the brand new ones. It is 4'x10' and filled with about 2 yards of Tagro potting soil.

I increased the hoop size from 4 to 8 feet this year. I've used 4' hoops in prior years. Under the 4' hoops, the tomatoes grew themselves into the plastic before long, causing their topmost leaves to burn. The loft on the 8' hoop is ample and there won't be any such burning. I am wary of over heating them. I will cut some flaps into the plastic to allow venting.

A good sized hole was made for each tomato. A cup of Complete Organic Fertilizer (Steve Solomon's fertilizer mix) and about a quart of water were mixed into the hole's soil, turning it into a nice slurry. I removed the first set or two of leaves from the tomatoes, planting that portion of the stem below ground. Roots should grow from those pricked off leaves.

I'm not too worried about moisture now. The rain of recent weeks has thoroughly dampened the soil without making them overly saturated or muddy.

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