It is now after Mother’s Day so I KNOW it is time to get the rest of the garden in the ground. The problem has been, it has been too cold, too wet or too hot for this huge prego lady to be out digging in the dirt! But last week there was a break in all weather related qualifications and I was able to get int he garden and get the tomatoes and peppers in the ground. You may remember from last years post I do more than just pop a plant in the ground. This year will be no different. I had such success with my ‘experiment’ last year I decided to go for it again. Last year we did not have one tomato with blossom rot and we had a pretty high yield in my opinion. So if it aint broke don’t fix it…unless you can improve on it.
So here is this years cast of characters. On the left you have tomato and pepper plants. Most of them I got at Lowes during a B1G1F promotion they were having. (Sorry I am pretty sure the deal is no longer running) A few of them I got at my local nursery. Be sure to check out your local nursery for specialty items. The big box stores don’t always carry them and your local grower will be able to tell you all about how to care for your special purchase.
I also am keeping the ‘pain reliever’ aka. Tylenol in the mix. I read that it helps build the immune system of the plant and does all sorts of good things to ward off diseases. It doesn’t cost me much so to me it is worth the price to take a chance on warding of diseases for my plants.
You will see eggs in the mix this year. With having chickens in the yard it is super easy to get eggs and or egg shells. Got to love calcium for your plants!
Yes….that is a whole salmon. And NO I did not pay for it. And NO I did not steal it. And NO I did not go fishing for it. As far as I know there are no salmon round these here parts. I simply went to my local grocery store and asked if they had a whole fish that was about to expire or did expire that I could HAVE. Turns out my local grocer gets one in weekly and never sells it. I guess people are scared of a whole fish and never buy it. She said it is more of a show piece for them. What a waste!! But this salmon had a purpose. He is going to be food for my plants in my garden! It doesn’t have to be salmon. In fact any fish will do. Even better just heads and guts are preferred. If you have a local fish market or are friends with a restaurant who processes their own fish ask them for the heads and guts. They may look at you funny but you might be able to get free fertilizer for your tomato plants!
Next step is to dig the holes. I dig a pretty deep hole. Deep enough to hold a piece of fish, the pain reliever, an egg or two and the tomato plant. When you put the plant in the ground you are going to be planting the thing up to the second set of leaves. Not just the ‘root ball’ or the dirt that came out of the package. Stem, leave, everything, the whole shebang. All those little hair-like fibers on the stem of the plant will spread out and become roots given the chance. So give them the chance by putting them in the ground.
Here is how I spaced my holes. This garden is approximately 30′ by 13 ‘. I think I was starting the ‘nesting’ process of being pregnant this day. I was about 33 weeks pregnant when I was digging these holes in 80 degree weather. No baby came out so I guess all is well.
I knew you would want to see the fish head. So here he is. Just toss him in there. The little blue pill is NOT viagra but the pain reliever. I put in anywhere from 2-4 of the pills, a fish piece and an egg or two. I had a 3 year old helping me at the time so there was only so much control I had as to what went into the holes.
Another shot of a piece of fish with an egg and the pain reliever. You don’t have to have your pieces of fish this big. My knives are not as sharp as I would like them to be to this was the size I was comfortable cutting them into for safety sake.
So there you have it. Tomato plant is in the ground. I have him buried up to his little neck with dirt and all the goodies under ground. Water infrequently but well. This will encourage deep root growth. If you water often and little the roots don’t have to go far to get the water. By saturating the ground ( but with out drowning the plant) you are encouraging them to dig for water. At least that is my opinion.
Now this is not the end all and be all of how to plant a tomato plant. But this is what works for me and this is how I am working toward pinching pennies for my family. Hopefully we will yield enough tomatoes to get us through the summer, give (or force them) to our friends, and get a bunch of salsa and tomatoes canned up for the off season. Doesn’t get much fresher or organic to me folks. Hope this works for you.