March 11, 2013

Potting Up the Germinated Tomato Plants

Today, I went ahead and potted up 18 of the taller and leggier of the tomato plants that have sprouted this week into individual styrofoam cups. The seedlings get buried deep since tomato plants are so good about forming roots along their stems, and only one got her little stem bent but hopefully she'll heal up well. All in all, there are now 25 tomato plants growing from fourteen of the twenty-two varieties planted. The newly potted plants are now sitting on top of my husband's table saw out in the unheated studio under a clip-on light. The light will be left on twenty-four hours a day, and another light will get added once more plants have germinated. Being out in the cooler temperatures seems to keep the plants from getting leggy, the stems get stout and leaves thick.

The peppers and eggplants have yet to poke their heads up out of the soil. But I am very hopeful they will get a move on soon. It is a bit late in the season for starting peppers and eggplants since they take so long to germinate and I like to the seedlings to be at least 8 weeks old when they're planted out in the garden. Last year the peppers and eggplants were started in January, this year March. Ah well, better late than never. Outside planting is usually done between the last week of April and the first week of May. I think we got our first tomato the first week of June last year.

The floating row cover I ordered off of Ebay came in the mail a couple of days ago. I'm pretty excited about using it this year. And I got to pick up a couple of fifty feet soaker hoses at the tool store today, they were on sale for ten dollars apiece and were nye irresistible at that price.

This year the tomato plants will be supported using my husband's interpretation of the Florida weave and the peppers will be tied to tall bamboo stakes. The last time I grew anaheim peppers a torrential downpour snapped branches and bent stems. Even with a few broken pepper plants, 2010 was a grand Salsa Year where I was able to can 24 quarts of thick and juicy, sweet and spicy tomato salsa. Yum.

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