Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tomatoes

By now it's no secret, I planted way too many tomato plants and started them way too early.  They are big enough to be planted outside, but I can't put them out there for another month.  I decided to take drastic measures.

I decided I need to transplant them again into larger containers.  These will need to hold them until they go into the ground.  I've already used all the sour cream and cottage cheese containers I'd saved, so thought I'd try to buy some.  I didn't want to spend a lot of money on them, but went out to look for some--up until now I haven't noticed any cheapie plastic containers for sale, but wasn't really looking.  I went to Home Depot and didn't see any so I asked.  The guy I spoke to didn't think they had any and asked how big.  I saw a cart with some plants on it which were in some of the nursery type containers I was looking for, pointed to it and said, "Something like that."  He said those were dead plants they were going to throw out and perhaps I could have those containers for free.  He went and asked his manager, and sure enough, we got busy pulling the dead plants out
 of the containers and I came home with 26 recycled, free pots!  Way to go!

I transplanted several of my tomato plants, trying a couple of different things with different ones and keeping notes to know what I did.  If some do better than others, I may determine what works best.  I have plenty, so it's okay if I mess up and kill a few.  From my reading, I've found that when I transplanted them the last time I should have buried them deeper, cutting off the seed leaves and burying them above that spot so they'd grow roots there.  It may be late, but I did that, and in some cases also cut off the next leaves up from the bottom, burying them to that point.  In some cases I pruned off the top as well, to get them to slow down and bush out more.

Tim fixed the shelves under the lights so these can have more room.  The tomatoes seem to be happy on their new shelf and in their new big pots.  

I also plan to get a couple more of the Topsy Turvy upside-down planters and plant a few in those. According to the directions I can put two plants in each. They can hang outside during the day as long as it's nice, and I'll have to bring them in at night for the time being.  I still have more plants I haven't transplanted (see photo at left), so I'll need to figure out what to do with all of them--keep them as-is and see if they make it?  I'm sure I'll give a few away.  Unfortunately I don't have any more large containers, so whoever gets them will need to do their own transplanting.

I wish I'd read and/or processed all of the things I've read BEFORE I made mistakes, but with lots of different references and in some cases conflicting information, it will continue to be a "live and learn" effort, complete with mistakes.  Next year I should know better.

No comments:

Post a Comment