It’s time for a tomato seedling update! Do you remember back in the early spring when I shared this photo of my seedling pepper and tomato plants:
And that what was wrong with the photo was the fact that there are dog hairs sticking out of some of the plants (because our dog had gone crazy trying to get a mouse, we now assume) and jumped up on the wood counter, scraping it up and upending all my tomato and pepper seedlings?
Most of the seedlings survived, surprisingly, but not the plant markers – and the few that did make it were haphazardly put back by Brian (trying to hide the total horror of Samson’s destruction from me, no doubt), so I’m not sure they’re even in the correct spots.
What’s the big deal with the markers breaking?
Well, that’s the only way I knew what type of tomato or pepper it was – determinate, indeterminate, cherry, paste, hot, sweet, etc. I usually plant with the growth of the plant in mind, so it was kind of a big deal.
So, the season ahead was to be full of surprises, then – hot and sweet peppers growing together, romas and heirloom beefsteak mingling in the same raised bed.
Ah, but that is not all these ‘tender’ little seedlings had to endure.
After Brian and I left for our almost 3-week trip to Greece and Kosovo, our daughter tried her best, but she was a busy girl and sometimes forgot to water the seedlings. We came back to another couple of lost seedlings, plus really long, leggy, and skinny tomatoes – many with browning leaves.
At the end of April I started to harden them off outside, thinking if I could just plant them deeply in the ground before they all broke, and cover them with a row cover they’d survive.
And that’s where they were – outside, NOT under cover, being hardened off when we got a freak late frost in May.
Those seedlings looked SO pathetic, I didn’t even take a picture. Seriously – I was embarrassed to even be seen planting them!
The only thing that caused me to go for it was the fact that they represented more than $40 of plants I’d have to go out and buy – so I thought I’d see if I could get any to grow before purchasing replacements.
Tomato Plant Update: 2 Months Later
Guess what? Tomatoes are pretty hardy little guys!
The photo above shows what my sad, sad seedlings look like today, about 2 months after planting. I only had to buy one tomato plant – and that was because of our dog.
ALL of the seedlings I planted – leggy, pale green, and frost-bitten – have grown into lush, beautiful looking tomato bushes. I know – what??
I really do think it’s a testament to how much tomatoes benefit from being covered their first month or so after planting (if you grow in the north like we do).
You can see all the steps I take to grow tomatoes that thrive like this here – do this and you won’t be sorry!
And yep, those lush green plants are FULL of little green tomatoes!
NASA we have lift-off – let the tomato season begin!!
Of course, without markers I have no idea what type of tomato this is, though…
Kinda looks like it might be the beginning of some striped heirloom, maybe?