Quote of the Day

6.18.2008

works for me? tomato

It's time to report on our annual exercise in futility: tomato growing. Last year, inspired by Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle I planted all sorts of gorgeous sounding plants (from a big box store, I am ashamed to admit) into too-small pots filled with garden soil. Yes, you are right, I didn't have a clue what I was doing. However did you guess??

The unhealthy plants, with the cramped roots, and the disease ridden soil combined to produce decay and despair.

But not this year. This year I ordered heirloom seeds from Seeds of Change, including the coveted Silvery Fir Tree tomato from Russia, and planted them in fresh organic potting soil,
bought them their own little warming hut, and cooed over them daily. All was well, until they all wilted and died.

No, I will not be dissuaded. I ordered 8 lovely tomato plants from The Tomato Girl
and was delighted to receive 5 extras. They plants are big and robust, though a bit jet-lagged which is understandable, so I followed the detailed directions exactly and let them rest up a bit. I even played a lot of classical music for them (most Chopin if you are curious). When they perked up a bit, we began supervised outings, venturing cautiously back into the land of sun and breeze. I unbundled them today and they are at this moment enjoying a spa-like soak in a bucket of Alaskan Fish Fertilizer.



As the plants begin to look stout (TomatoGirl's term) we will start to plant them. Some are going into the vegie garden with layers of newspaper and grass-clippings to prevent splash-up and the rest are going into growbags.

What's a growbag? It is a thrifty alternative to a planter. It's a cool summer here this year (that's saying a lot as I usually put on shorts at 60 degrees and whinge about the heat at 85), so I want the plants near the house so that they can benefit from the stucco's heat-retention. I didn't want to buy, tote, nor store oodles of gigantic pots, so we are trying growbags. I'll let you know how it goes.



Here are the tomatoes that I am growing from The Tomato Girl:
:: Anna Russian

:: German Pink
:: Carbon (pictured)
:: Ananas Noir
:: Sarah Black
:: Persimmon
:: Yellow Perfection
:: Clementine (thanks to Hanna over at This Garden is Illegal)
:: Garden Peach

:: Big Rainbow
:: Matt's Wild Cherry (pictured)

:: Early Giant
:: Wanda's Potato Leaf

Plus:
:: Black Bell Peppers
:: Fooled You Jalapeño Peppers
:: Black Beauty Eggplants
:: Kumari Sri Lanka Eggplants
:: Round Mauve Eggplants

So how, you may ask, is this a Works for Me post? I shamelessly lured you over here with the hope that you will share what works for you. I implore you, if you have any tomato wisdom, please share. I really really want this to be my year.
~Suzanne

My other Works for Me posts.




4 comments:

TX Poppet said...

Ooo I am so envious! At this point my tomatoes have outgrown their cages and need staking. This is the first year I've ever had them in the rich herb garden and they seem to be loving it. I'm afraid the past few years, my tomatoes died on the first 100 degree day, but these heirlooms I'm trying for the first time won't quit. In other words, I have no advice but I'm going to be watching your garden to try to learn from you!

Sheila said...

Oops, I forgot to look where you live, in case it's an insanely different climate from mine, but I've been using stuff like kelp meal and bone meal and blood meal in my garden, to amazing effect. Throw a little kelp meal in the hole before you plant the tomato, and plant it DEEP (so deep you'll think you're crazy AND doomed), then make sure it stays dry on top and wet down below.

I'll be looking for more pictures of those tomatoes when they fruit - you chose some really intriguing types!

Serena said...

My tomato plants aren't looking too great.....but we'll see.

I'm also growing some head lettuce in pots which we are already eating. Also some sunflowers from seed. We are in a townhouse now and I'm missing the yardwork....sort of. Its now daylight almost all the time so its different than when I was in WA.

geek said...

my tomato plants are just growing air.