Planting Tomato Time!

This year I did some research before I put my tomatoes in the ground.  The tomatoes that I started indoors completely flopped.  They got some kind of blight while they were still in the laundry room grow op and all died within a matter of weeks.  It was sad… but very much not the first time.  So I went and spent the money on plants and figured I may as well ‘do it right’.  I bought 4 Organic Heirloom Brandywine, and 2 Heirloom Romas, and 2 Organic Sungold plants.  Each of the plants were between 18” to 24” tall.  I put 4 in each 6 ft long bed.  I started by digging a trench like this:

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On either side of the tomatoes I planted the companions of onions, spinach, and carrots.  I was careful as I dug the trench not to destroy and of their root systems.  Today (a day after the tomatoes were planted) all of those plants look undisturbed.

The trench was about 18 inches deep.  Into the trench I added quite a few amendments to the bottom of the hole: Organic bone meal, Organic Blood Meal, Organic Veggie Fertilizer and some egg shells from my chickens.  I loosely used this site mixed with this site as my planting guides.  I was guessing the most important things were the nutrients that needed to be added and the way they were planted (with as much of a strong root base as possible). 

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As I back filled the holes I used a stick support to keep up the top 7” of the plant straight and kept this portion out of the soil.  I cut all the leaves from the rest of the stem starting just below the first flowering suckers (another guide here) and then planted the entire rest of the stalk.

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In the end, this is what they looked like:

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I left a significant bowl shaped divet around each plant so the first waterings would be deep.  The idea is that the pool will water deep enough around the plant to help create the new roots from the stalk.

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I plan on using this process from Growing Wisdom.com and this process from Fine Gardening as a guide for pruning.  I am not sure how I am going to do cages yet, but the trellis method from Growing Wisdom seems easy enough.  I have also been thinking about hog fencing cages.  Any tried and true ideas there?

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For now this is my tomato, onion, spinach, carrot bed and I am excited to see what it will do this season!

I will keep you all updated on my process!  Smile

8 comments

Kimberly said...

We have hoops over our beds instead of individual cages. I looked for a good photo on my blog; this was the only one I could come up with:http://shadyfifth.blogspot.com/2010/07/paging-al-gore-waaaaahhhh.html (look around halfway down). We bent conduit from Home Depot and cover with their thicker painting plastic. We own a hoop-bender (see it here at http://www.johnnyseeds.com/p-7708-quick-hoops-low-tunnel-bender-4-w-x-4-h.aspx ). We've had other friends borrow the hoop-bender, and you're welcome to as well if you want! Makes it super easy and pretty cheap to make a nice warm environment for your tomatoes.

Kimberly said...

bwaa haa haa . . . just realized you're talking about tomato support, not temperature protection! No help from here - I have a method that I'm not too fond of and am looking for an alternative myself this year.

Val in the Rose Garden said...

No worries, both are a great idea! I don't normally protect my tomatoes from the weather from now on, but I have been told that I should. Perhaps I will take you up on that pole hoop bender. :)

Plus, one of these days I have to come see your little space. I'd love to talk garden with you when everyone is healthy. :)

Love Val

Mary T. Pratt Salmon said...

Hi!
I am new to your blog. You are like a breath of fresh air. As I was reading your history, about your kids, your love, etc., I almost started crying. Your children are learning to be the best they can and want to be with the Waldorf method of education. I just love everything about your lifestyle and wish you all of life's blessings!
Love,
Mary

Mary T. Pratt Salmon said...

And, I just had a baby granddaughter, 3 weeks ago. She and her 2-yr old brother live in VA...so far away. I hate to see them in public school...
Love,
Mary

Val in the Rose Garden said...

Mary - Thank you so much! :) I do adore my life and I am so grateful that it comes through in my writing!

You never know... your grandbabies have a lot of time before they need to worry about school. Perhaps they will find some gentle Montessori, Waldorf or Charter school that you will just be in love with. ;) There are many of different ways to educate beautifully. :)

Blessings,

Val

Heather @ It's A Long Story said...

I found your sugar free peaches recipe on pinterest, and I'm crazy about your blog! I'm your newest followe!

Val in the Rose Garden said...

Thank you Heather! And WELCOME! :)

Blessings,

Val

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