The Great Tomato Transplanting

The traditional time for planting one’s tomatoes around here is after Mother’s Day. But we like to thumb our nose at tradition and we’re overeager to get our garden going, so after studying the ten-day forecasts, we decided the temperatures weren’t going to get below 50 degrees again after this weekend and gave the tomato transplanting the green light. Our wee baby tomato seedlings have become towering giants of strength and are totally busting out of the cold frame. They’re also busting out of their little peat pots:

The time has come for them to get into the garden beds and get growing!

Benny the bunny showed up to observe the proceedings as we worked some bone meal into the soil where the tomatoes were going, and then dug some nice, deep holes.

Stay out of the garden, you little bastard!

We try to be as ignorant as possible about gardening in general, perhaps hoping to catch some of that beginner’s luck we scored our first summer as gentlewoman farmers, but one tip we couldn’t avoid learning was to help your tomatoes overcome their naturally shallow root structures. The idea is that if you bury your leggy seedlings up to their leaves, they’ll develop roots all along the buried part of their stalks. Another, probably better way to do this is to dig a trench and essentially plant your seedling sideways, but we can’t be bothered with fancy stuff like that. Just digging a deep hole and dropping the seedling, peat pot and all, into it was intense enough for us:

We decided to get tomato ladders this year instead of using cages or building tomato teepees or whatever.

Our crops this year will include five San Marzanos and four Black Plums, scattered in a few of the beds, and also in two barrel planters we moved around from the deck into the garden.

The little guys made it through their first few nights with no seeming ill effect, but one of the San Marzanos is looking troublingly diseased. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that being in its permanent home in the sunshine and Springtime warmth will nurse it back to health.

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