Saturday, May 15, 2010

Tomato: Transplanting day

So what's it been? A couple weeks since I last wrote in earnest here?..

To be honest, a lot of gardening is just sitting around waiting for stuff to happen. There hasn't really been much of note to talk about, so I won't bother you with the minutiae of watering and moving planters around.

Today was actually a big day here. The tomatoes have reached transplanting age, and I spent a few minutes this morning transplanting the healthiest tomato into a large planter. There are actually a few healthy tomatoes, but I honestly don't have room for all of them. There is a nice family that lives down the block who always have such great tomato plants, I may drop one off on their doorstep in the middle of the night.

The transplant actually began a week ago. Before the actual plant is entered into the pot, I prepared the soil. First, I added a bunch of the "compost" from my makeshift compost pile. On top of that, I added some pelletized manure and some strawberry plant fertilizer (it is a balanced 7-7-7 blend). After mixing the soil thoroughly, I watered it and let it stand for a week. Today, the soil was loamy and crumbly, in other words just right.

I picked the tomato with the broadest, healthiest leaves and cut its little plastic pot away from the others. With the pot still intact, I dug a hole in the planter soil and placed the plastic pot directly in. Once the pot was in place, I packed extra soil around it and watered thoroughly.

The reason behind this step is that the hole for the transplant is the exact same size as the soil block going in. Once the soil was watered, I took the plastic pot out and it left a perfectly-sized hole. I tapped the tomato seedling out of the pot and slid it right into the hole.

After the tomato went in, I packed a little more soil around it and tamped it down.

I have also added a guide stick which I will tie the tomato plant to. I'm all out of twine at the moment. Maybe I'll have some time to pick some up tomorrow.

Here's what it looks like in the new planter.

If you have need of a tomato seedling, I've got a handful left! Please let me know.

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