I didn’t post about my first attempt because it didn’t last long enough to be significant. I bought 6 tomato starters, transplanted them, and then thought that 15 degrees at 11:00pm meant that it would not freeze that night. I was wrong.
I did things a little bit differently the second time around and I’m hoping and praying for better results. I actually said a prayer over my tomatoes.
Since I killed my first 6 tomato plants in less than 24 hours of purchasing them, I have learned a lot about tomatoes. Some sites I read say that they are easy to grow. Most say they are not. They can either be “hugely satisfying or a flat out disaster.” Here are some of the tips that I learned:
- They do not do well in cold, windy, harsh weather.
- Cover them at night.
- Fertilize regularly (every 2 weeks or so) until they start blooming.
- Water lots but don’t over water.
- Avoid getting water on the leaves.
- Make sure your pots drain well.
- Make sure they get 6-8 hours of sun every day.
- Pinch off all except the top leaves when transplanting because the fuzzy things on the stem will grow into roots.
I also got a couple of (free) ebooks off Amazon. I don’t have a Kindle but I put the Kindle app on my phone and computer. I have two ebooks specifically about container tomatoes and several more about gardening and container gardening in general. With all the reading I have done, I’m hoping for a bumper crop of tomatoes in the fall.
So yesterday I transplanted my tomatoes, with eggshells at the bottom of the hole, and put them in a sunny spot on my deck. I made sure to bury them up to the top leaves and watered them well. I was feeling pretty good about myself and held high hopes for the future of my baby tomatoes. Until the wind started. We had just over an hour of extremely fierce wind mixed with a touch of rain. So I dragged all of my containers in the house. Just as I put the last one inside and shut the front door, my tomato babies were viciously attacked by a baby bear! My littlest munchkin thought it was great fun to have dirt in the house and decided that containers with soil are just as much fun as the sandbox. Then he got upset when I reprimanded him and took it out on my plants. Half a leaf was torn off. That plant had an extra prayer said over it. Worst case scenario, it dies. I have a few back ups just in case.
Today is looking sunny already, albeit a little bit windy. My littlest allowed me to sneak away this morning and slept just long enough for me to move my containers back outside and water them well. He will realize they are out of his reach and my little spitfire will certainly let me know his feelings on the matter but, for now, both the tomatoes and my little guy are content. Now to see if I can keep them alive. The tomatoes I mean. I’m pretty good at keeping my kids alive for longer than a day! Please tell me that I’m not the only one who has had such terrible luck with tomatoes. And if you have good luck, what’s your trick?
The irony of it all: I don’t even like tomatoes. I only want them to make homemade spaghetti sauce.