Friday, July 20, 2012

Musical Tomatoes

We've been playing a game with our growing tomato plants. You've heard of it... musical chairs. You switch places over and over until there is one left. Normally that doesn't sound like anything that should take place in a garden - but we did it.

We've been playing musical chairs with our tomatoes.

First we grew some tomato plants from seeds. They were in small beige pots. About 3-4 per pot.
Then we transferred some to larger terracotta pots. About 1-2 per pot.
Then we separated them even more to larger terracotta pots. 1 plant per pot.
Then some didn't make it. 
Then we bought a couple more plants from the farmers market. Grew them in their plastic pots.
Then we re -grouped them all into one giant galvanized tub.
Then we removed 1 plant to plant in the actual ground. Leaving 3 in the tub.
Then we removed the other 3 from the tub to plant in the ground as well.

Group, un-group, re-group, un-group, then finally re-group all the plants. 

Phew.

Tomato Land is one crazy town.

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While I try to find some early shots of the tomatoes in their little pots I'll start the children's party themed story.

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Here is an early shot of the 4 tomato plants growing in the galvanized tub. See them there in the background? This was musical step 3 or 4 in the game. Don't mind me, just posing to try and win some free Mio on facebook. (ps. I didn't get it). They were small plants and we figured they'd live well in the huge tub. (we'll see about that!).  

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Here's a later shot when they'd really started to grow tall and bushy. We could already tell they were getting crowded. Did I mention this tub has no outlet or drain at the bottom? This is a forewarning part of the story. 

Once the plants got even bigger we decided to remove one (not sure why just one) and plant it in (gasp) the actual ground. This is akin to taking away one of those musical chairs. We have a huge yard with a mix of grass/weeds/gravel/brush/a car. We figured a small area taken up by a 'garden' wouldn't be so bad. It'd actually be an improvement! Out came my $1 Habitat for Humanity shovel and a spade. In went the tomato plant by a low wall near the deck.
 
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 drowned our tomatoes, water logged tomatoes, transplanting tomatoes, transplanting tomato plants, cherry tomato, yellow leaves, yellowing leaves, gardening, backyard gardening, city garden, soil, dirt, backyard, home, outdoors, organic. 

Fast forward a week or so there and are 3 tomato plants left in the tub. This is a shot of the soil. Well a better description would be water with some soil. Yep we left the tub out in the rain overnight; and it stormed. Bad. Actually it stormed a few days in a row. We figured with the 90-100 degree and sunny weather during the day the plants still in the tub would be fine and it would dry out since there was no drain.

Wrong-zow.

Once the tomato plant leaves started to turn yellow (and we googled that) we knew that that operation emergency transplant was in order.

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Operation emergency transplant meant putting all the tomato plants into the ground. Then cross our fingers and toes. 

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Doesn't look so hot at first. Well really it was super hot. 90+ degrees. Not so great for the plants.

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I'm glad to report they they've sorta all made it. You can see some very yellowing and droopy parts. We like to reefer to the plants in this stage as being emo. Like "Tony I'm going to water the plants since they're being so emo right now". Normally they perk up soon after being dehydrated. These however are still in plant ICU status so may not recover 100%.


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With green tomatoes still on the ICU plants transplanted from the soppy tub soil we hope they ripen up normally. I have high hopes.

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Look at 8 of those beautiful baby tomatoes. These are actually the small orange sweet tomatoes, so they're not getting any bigger. We've been able to harvest some already and they taste great!

The end.

That was the story of the musical chairs playing tomato plants. 
How's your summer gardening going? Less dramatic I hope.

1 comment :

  1. This sounds like my tomatoe adventures! little pots to a bigger pot to a big pot to a bucket. I have never managed to grow seeds before so this year it went from fun little plants, to holy crap I wasn't planning on having to buy buckets and dirt for these suckers. They sure are yummy though!

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