Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Tomato Post

Because I'm an extreme gardener, and because I like to live a little on the wild side, I planted tomatoes today.  Would the old timers approve? NO.  I don't like to garden in the traditional sense of the word.  I like to break the rules, push the envelope, and gamble with mother nature.  Did it snow two days ago, yes.  Did it freeze, yes.  I don't care.  I've been planting tomato plants early for 10 years and have NEVER lost one yet. Take that, Farmer's Almanac!
I start by tilling up my soil and adding a bag of this.  It's my secret weapon.  It turns hard, clay soil into black gold. It turns the dirt into prime real estate for my favorite gardening friend, the worm.  I've got shovel fulls of worms in my raised beds thanks to this stuff.  It's not necessary if you compost your own stuff, but if you just can't be bothered with composting, this stuff is amazing. This is NOT a paid advertisement. I just heart OMNI.
You can't tell it by the pictures, but I've dug a large hole, and buried over half of the tomato plant.  The stems will sprout roots, and make bigger plants.  I don't usually start with plants this big, they were just exceptionally large at the big city Home Depot.  We have a drip irrigation system, so I plant each plant near a dripper.  Because of my raised beds, I plant my tomatoes closer than if I had a traditional plot.  They'll grow huge anyway.
This friendly little lady bug found it's way to the tomatoes just a few minutes after I planted them.  That's got to be a good sign that warm weather is near!

On some of my plants, I put up "Walls of Water".  It's the second year of my experiment with them.  Last year I used them a bit differently, and had some problems with  them collapsing in high winds.  The premise behind these things is that they are supposed to act like a little green house for each plant. The sun heats the water filled columns during the day, and the water gives off a tremendous amount of heat at night as it cools down.  They also protect the plants from the devastating effects of the wind.  I'm trying to decide if they make a large difference or not.  Time will tell.

I planted the "Early Girl" variety of tomatoes because they only take 50 days to mature.  With our short growing season, I like to have  ripe tomatoes as soon as possible.  I also planted some cherry tomatoes for salads.  We usually get a bumper crop of both.  I can't wait for fresh salsa, and homemade pizzas. I can almost taste them now!

1 comment:

  1. Yummy!!! I'm excited and nervous to have a garden but not much is happening because I still have tree stumps where my garden is supposed to go :-)