Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tomatoes Everywhere

A few of my friends know I'm not very good at laying out my garden on paper.  Despite my best intentions throughout the winter, come planting time I end up planting whatever needs to get in the field wherever I can get in the field.  Last fall I raised a few rows and mulched them in the lower end of the east garden just in case it was too wet to work at a time when I had seedlings that needed to go out.  We ended up using these beds this spring to plant our cherry tomatoes in.  We used scrap rolls of field fence from fencing projects around the farm for trellising these tomatoes.

Then we planted two rows of heirloom and one row of hybrid tomatoes in the big field.  We mulched these with hay and have started putting in t-posts for trellising but haven't made a final decision as to whether we are going to trellis with wire or twine.

I had a handful of a hybrid tomato we are trying this year called Scarlet Red and decided to stick them in a short area in the smaller garden.  I just happened to have a section of black fabric mulch from a few years ago that fit in this spot so we popped the seedlings down in the old holes.  Since the last crop we had in this fabric was spaced much closer together than we can space tomatoes we had a middle row in each bed that was being unused so we filled those holes with sunflower seedlings that should be out of the ground about the time these plants are putting on their first tomatoes.

Finally, back in January I started a few Cherokee Purple tomato seedlings with the intention of taking them to market in one gallon containers.  The crazy warm weather this spring made them grow faster than I expected so despite the fatal outcomes of my past container gardens, I put four of these plants in old cattle mineral tubs a neighbor had given me.  I'm very not good at container gardening and there have been a few times already that I wasn't sure these tomato plants were going to survive the next day, but here they are and they have pretty decent size tomatoes on them.

I'll try to remember to get a picture of the entire container system soon.  III decided to help me out and put the mineral tubs inside other mineral tubs to make me a water reservoir (under and over-watering have both been problems for me in the past) and while he stuck wooden stakes in for trellising, it is pretty obvious these plants are soon going to outgrow the stakes.  Of course he has a plan for that as well.  It may involve picking tomatoes from a step ladder or the bucket of the tractor but I have no doubt these plants will remain vertical.  

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