Sun, Rum, and Tomatoes

The sun finally came out last week. Wednesday was nearly 90! I knew it wasn’t going to last so I raced home after work to get some veggies going in the garden. First, I got trellis netting for my pea stakes. In the past I’ve hand strung lines of twine for the peas to climb on. It’s a pain in the ass and another excuse to over exert my back so I figured I’d try something different this year. This plastic one is left over from one of last year’s squash trellises that I’m not using this year.

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They didn’t have any plastic ones when I was at the store so I got these string ones instead.

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I’m skeptical because they’re so bendy. But success can only come from making mistakes. Who knows, ever the experiment.

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As for my big tomato plants, I got 4 different varieties: Whopper, Big Boy, Roma, and Celebrity. I started by digging a deep hole which sucks for me since there is a consistent layer of what looks like river rocks about a foot down into the soil. We live about a mile away from the White River and it is my suspicion that at one time it may have been much wider and flowed through our area. I could be wrong but regardless, it’s a pain to dig through. The only thing worse than nails on a chalkboard it scraping a shovel over rocks!

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Here is a video showing why I’m making a fuss over how I plant tomatoes. This works! I had an amazing yield last year!

See all those teeny hairs on the stem? Each of those is potentially a new root! So the deeper you plant, the bigger the root system. The bigger the root system, the bigger the plant and the more tomatoes!

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Here I am! Cutting off the stems that would have been buried anyway! Don’t be scared, it’s ok, I promise!

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Now the tomato plant looks skinny, silly, and ready to plant. I put it in the ground with a stake which is just there to support it in its early growth. Once it gets big enough the tomato cage will take over. I set my tomato cages in the ground and bury it with the plant so it’s anchored and doesn’t topple over.

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Buried, staked, caged, and damn it’s hot! I need a drink! Rum and ginger ale makes for a very refreshing cocktail in the garden.

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I also recently planted my cherry tomato hanging baskets. For soil I did a 50/50 compost and potting soil mix. Last year I used coconut husk baskets because I couldn’t find these wonderful cedar baskets. I had to go up to Molbaks (over an hour drive) just for these babies! I’ll let them hang out in the front of the garden to maximize sun for now. In about a month They’ll go to their hanging homes.

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I also planted my zucchini and cucumber seeds. Remember the river rocks I was complaining about? Here’s how I put them to good use: I use them to mark the mounds while the seeds are germinating. That way I wont trample them on accident. I got this gem of an idea from Mountain Man’s mom 🙂

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How’s everyone else’s gardening going?

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