Thursday, May 9, 2013

the garden: planting tomatoes

Check out how much greenery there is in my garden, compared to just a couple of weeks ago!

Tony and I got back from a trip to see our families in Ohio about a week ago. My dad had started a bunch of veggies for his garden under a grow light this spring, and he planted some for my garden, too. Which took up pretty much the whole back seat of our car on the drive back:

There are tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, flowers, and all kinds of herbs in that box.

I thought I would write a blog post about how to plant tomatoes. This is the technique my dad taught me right after Tony and I moved into our house. My parents came down to D.C. for moving weekend, and right after the truck was unloaded, one of the first places we went was Frager's, where I bought some veggies to plant in pots, including a tomato plant. (I was really, really excited to have outdoor space.)

My dad recommends against just digging a hole in the ground and putting the tomato in. Instead, his method involves cutting off the bottom leaves, planting the roots and part of the stem in a trench, and bending the stem 90 degrees to make it grow upright. I had strong tomato plants that first year, presumably with big, healthy root bases, so I planted my tomatoes his way again last year and this year.

Here are some photos I took a few weeks ago with the Early Girl tomatoes I bought at Home Depot. (Even though my dad grew a lot of different kind of tomatoes for me this year, I wanted to make sure I had Early Girls in my garden, which is why I made the Home Depot purchase. Early Girls did really, really well for me last year, so I definitely wanted to have them in my garden.)

I took the plant out of the pot and teased the roots. Then I snipped off the bottom three leaves. That part of the plant is going to be buried, and new roots will grow from the spots that were snipped off. Here's a photo of that process, although this admittedly is not a great picture:

Next I dug a trench, instead of a hole. The root ball lays at one end of the trench. And to make this work, you have to bury the snipped-off parts of the stem, then gently shape the stem upwards 90 degrees.

As you can see, we can call her "Eileen" because while a tomato plant is relatively flexible, she's not quite standing up straight yet.

 But here she is last weekend, standing pretty straight and tall. And hopefully with a wide and strong root system, thanks to dad's planting advice.

Oh, and here is another picture from last weekend. (I also have a couple of tomatoes and a pepper plant growing in pots.) Tomato blossoms abound! And on Tuesday, I was investigating those blossoms a bit more closely and found a itty bitty green tomato peeking out!

Yay, summer!

1 comment:

  1. We can go through this poster to see proper way of planting tomato.Each cultivated variety offers a unique set of characteristics.