Monthly Archive:March, 2009

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You see what happens?

Baby Tomatoes, if cared for, will grow into adolescent tomatoes.

Saturday, a tomato-lovin’ friend came over (thanks J!) and we potted up our 219 tomatoes of 34 varieties (including 2 husk tomatoes).

It’s a fairly time intensive task, but I find it very relaxing.

First, you separate the plants from each other (because their roots have grown together as they’ve outgrown the tiny cell where they were planted):


Then, you dig a small hole in the cup of dirt, add a tiny bit of tomato plant food, drop the roots into the hole and add potting soil to fill up the rest of the cup. If possible, it’s best to bury the stem with dirt up past the seed leaves, and if you want, you can even remove them if the plant has enough true leaves.

At the end of the day, we had a front yard full of plants:


Anyone need a tomato seedling or 10?

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Planning the Tomato Madness

Today, we had several big garden milestones.

First, day 13 after potting, we finally got one sprout of Aunt Molly’s Husk, the last of the 35 varieties to sprout. Somehow, we managed to germinate at least one seedling of every variety we tried to grow (keeping the seedlings alive, of course, is another matter, but still).

Technically, Aunt Molly’s Husk is a husk tomato or ground cherry (like a tomatillo, which we are also growing), so it’s not a true tomato, but once we were growing 33 varieties of tomatoes, given that the cheery tomato seeds I ordered over the internet came with tomatillo seeds and Aunt Molly’s Husk seeds, well… who are we to resist? Salsa verde, here we come!

Second, the tomato seedlings were allowed outside for their first exposure to the real world today. It was only 2 hours, but they seemed to like it and rewarded us with 8 new sprouts between last night and tonight.


Third, at tonight’s 13-day post seed-potting count, we are at 199/257 seedlings sprouted, for a germination rate of 77.43%.

Fourth, and finally, we got the busted concrete debris removed, cleaned up a bit of the winter garden, purchased some redwood bark for the walkways between the garden, and started the final transition to this year’s garden madness, aka The First Summer of Tomato Madness.


And yes, in case you were wondering, that is a very dead Christmas wreath hanging to the right of our front door. Perhaps we’ll take it down tomorrow…

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Tomato Seedling Update

Day 8 after potting I am proud to report that we have 60.46% germination!


That’s 153/256 tomato seeds (the total is an estimate — you shoot to put 3 seeds in each cell, but if you accidentally drop one, you only find out when your yield is > 100%).

I am excited to see what the final germination rate is — in the last 24 hours we got 28 new sprouts, and I can only hope for a similar increase tomorrow between day 8 and day 9.

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Our Babies

Well, as I said, E and I are committed to the garden this year.

And, I’m a tomato-lovin’ fool.

So, I’m trying to grow several varieties of tomatoes from seeds.

Basically, I’ve got a *grow room* in our garage:


And, it’s so cool.

When they first sprout, they look like this:


And, then, less than 24 hours later, after exposure to the one cool flourescent and one warm flourescent bulb, they look like this:


In the interests of safety in numbers, I planted roughly 250 seeds of somewhere in the neighborhood of 35 breeds of tomatoes and tomatillos. Even with the new construction, this summer, we have space for maybe 20 plants of this type if we want to have a summer garden with vegetables of any other type. It should be interesting to see how this plays out…