How was your weekend? I planted our tomato seedlings – minus the 4 that the dog damaged in his little rampage – that had been hardening off for a few weeks. I should’ve planted them last week, but it was in the high 80s which isn’t the best weather for tender seedlings. As it is, the plants were rather lanky from growing a bit too long in their pots, but it’s nothing a bit of trench planting can’t handle! Since tomatoes root all along their stem, you can just bury the whole thing and help create even healthier plants, believe it or not.
With the shock of transplanting, my tomatoes often look like this – a bit wilted and sad when I’m done. And since we live in Oregon, I know that the weather will still have it’s moments of cold and rain, which tomatoes don’t like – no matter what the thermometer said a few days ago. So for the past few years I’ve done this right after transplanting tomato seedlings:
I cover the cages with simple spun row covers – attached with high-tech clothespins – that I anchor with rebar pieces on the edges. Those gallon jugs you saw in the first photo? Filled with water to help catch a bit more warmth to radiate out to the plants under the cover. The first year I did this I was just desperate to provide a bit more protection without having to spend hours filling the little channels of Wall 0 Waters like I had in the past. I’m not too happy with the look of them (my garden would never make the pages of Martha Stewart’s magazine…), but I was shocked at just how much the tomatoes liked the cover!
By July these tomatoes will look like this (photo taken 7.13 of last year):
And I will be counting the days to the first fresh tomato…
I’m going to post a full tutorial on how I plant tomatoes with lots more information on Thursday, so stay tuned for that! In the meantime, I’m looking forward to seeing what you all accomplished in your gardens (or what you made with garden produce) through our garden party link-up!