Saturday, April 28, 2007

Tomatoes 2007

Starting Tomatoes from seed is done in 3 steps:

Step #1 - germinate seeds indoors between wet coffee filters using Uncle Tom's Method.

I was not too conserned about individualy labeling all my varieties this year. I figure when they are ripe, I will be able to tell which is which. What I did was separate them according to type; cherry, early, deciduous, indeciduous - so I can decide where is the best place to plant them. I usually put cherries in containers. I'll plant deciduous ones together in one bed, and indeciduous ones in another bed. I am experimenting with early varieties this year, to see if I can plant them late, and harvet them later, as the weater starts to cool, thus extending my season.

Step #2 - transplant germinated seeds into a deep flat, spacing a few inches apart, cover lightly with soil, keep moist, in a few days the seedlings will appear above the soil.

May 11 - less then 4 weeks later

May 22 - ready to be transplanted

Step #3 - transplant into individual pots when they outgrow the flat, or directly into the ground if weather has warmed up.

This Cherry was transplanted into a wine barrel around April 15th. I also have some oregano growing, and have planted some nasturtium seeds. Over the winter I grew fava beans in this container, to bring nitrogen back into the soil. As soon as the plants start to flower, you cut the plant at soil level, leaving the roots and nitrogen in the soil, adding the green material to your compost pile to decompose.

May 18 - one month later

June 16th

These 6 determinate varieties were transplanted into a bed around April 15th, spacing 2' apart. Determinate varieties don't grow as tall as indeterminate varieties, so are easier to stake. This bed already has some thyme and oregano growing, and I directly sowed some dill and nasturtium. Interplanting vegetables, flowers and herbs in the same bed will attract beneficial insects, preventing disease.

May 18 - one month later

June 16th

July 15thThese decidious tomatoes are perfect for growing in my beds, because the hoops and bird netting prevent growing things with much height. I am amazed at all the tomatoes in clusters, on such a small plant. Fantic discovery, perfect for gardening with chickens!


Add 1/4 cup side dressing at transplanting, and continue working 1/4 cup into containers every month. I use "Down to Earth" All Purpose Fertilizer.

Another Cherry in a Basket

June 16th

A Cherry in a large container

June 16th


At 7:56 AM, Blogger Piana Nanna said...

How wonderful that you are able to put your tomatoes outside already. Our frost free date here is May 30th! We usually push it to the 15th and sometimes have to pay the price. I love growing my own tomatoes. Nothing can compare to the taste and the sense of accomplishment just adds to the flavor!

At 8:15 AM, Blogger Jeanne said...

Hi piana nanna - I can put out tomatoes on April 15th here. But I did lose one of the cherry tomatos that I put out in a basket . It was probably too small to put out so early. But all the others are doing great. I still have many more to put out over the next month or two. We can also keep harvesting late in the fall. I love my climate!

At 9:25 AM, Blogger Erroll said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 9:29 AM, Blogger Erroll said...

I love my climate too, but I admit I'm a little jealous - April 15! I grow tomatoes every year and struggle with when to transplant. This year, I'm trying something new - tomato wine. I know how it sounds, but it may seem a little less crazy if you follow along in my blog:



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