Saturday, May 16, 2009

Help wanted

My friend Kristen gave me a "grow-your-0wn-tomatoes" kit last fall. About a month ago, I threw the seeds in the provided metal bucket and watched them grow. Now the plants are this big (see above). What do I do?

There's a whole bunch of little plants. Do I need to move them over to some place bigger, and buy more soil? The instructions on the package, as far as I remember, only went up to the point of "...and watch them grow!!!"


Anne Sofie said...

Oh dear, you have a lot... You have to pot them up individually. Choose the three or four strongest/most vital and pot them in bigger containers as they grow. You'll end up with them in 10-20 liters pots or buckets (with drainage if outside and no roof). When potting, put the plant deep in the pot. Tomato plats grow new roots along their stems, so if you put them in deep they'll be fine steady plants. In time, depending on type of tomato, you'll probably need to stake them.

You have to find out wheather it is a bushy plant or a climbing one. (Take a photo of the seed package and mail me if you like.) A climbing one should have side shoots removed, in order to concentrate its energy on producing tomatoes.

Good luck!

Ah, and those plant you don't need: pot up the best (in smaller pots) and give away to any friend with a patio or balcony!

Anne Sofie said...

Yes, you'll need a lot more soil. Tomatoes are hungry, so you'll need fertilizer as well - organic!

Some more useful info:

If you use buckets and there is no roof to stop heavy rainfall: drill some holes about two inches from the bottom. Fill up to the holes with gravel or leca, put a garden fleece on top and fill up with soil.
Then you'll also have a water reservoir!

To prevent drying up: cover the top with some freshly cut grass. Ask for some when the lawn is mown! The fresh grass will provide nutrition as well as stop the water evaporate quickly on hot days.

Kristen said...

I just planted mine about a week or so ago. They're starting to grow (I'll probably post some pictures on Facebook), but they're not anywhere as tall as yours yet. It's great to see that they've grown so well inside. Mine are outside now and without holes in the bottom of the bucket I'm a little concerned.
Thanks Anne Sofie for the tips, and let me know how things work for you Vik!

Anne Sofie said...

Kristen, I think you can drill holes in your buckets now to avoid flooding in case of heavy rain. The ones I have on my porch, roofed, go without drainage.

I'm an dedicated gardener ;-) I usually grow around 20 varieties of tomatoes, and here you can see some of the tomatoes I've grown:

Below there are other albums, click around if you like to see some more pictures from my garden. I'm afraid the comments are in Swedish...

Vickan said...

Thanks for all the tips. I am heading off to Walmart right now to buy some potting soil and buckets/pots to put the plants in.

I don't have the seed package - it was just plain and white because it came together with the bucket and a little rake.

I am thinking they are "normal" tomatoes, but they could be cherry ones too - can't remember what the package looked like. (In fact, I think it just had an animated smiling tomato on it).