Tomatoes, Tomatoes and more Tomatoes!
This year I have wanted to try and grow most of my crops from seeds as it is way cheaper and I have the "equipment" to make it happen. One of the main things I wanted to grow this year was tomatoes and peppers but especially tomatoes. I wanted to grow alot and place them all in my greenhouse so I can create our own pasta sauce since we tend to have spaghetti once a week. Makes my mouth water just thinking about my own pasta sauce, zucchini noodles created from my zucchini crops and our Italian sausage pig meat! Yum right?
I grew them first under my lights in the house and they started out a big leggy. I started them back in March. I transplanted them into small cups and planted them deep so they could get a bit stronger and they remained under lights in the house.
Here is some growth of one of the tomatoes. Don't they look pretty?
I then moved them out to the main greenhouse and transplanted them into red solo cups to give them more room for growth since I wasn't ready to add them to the five gallon buckets yet. I moved them out to the big greenhouse where they were going to live the next few months. I wanted to see how they liked it and they did well! It has been pretty hot here already for this area this year and I missed a day of watering and the leaves started to wilt in but watered and all was good!
So, yesterday I planted them all into 5 gallon buckets with the help of two lovely ladies! I was so thankful they came to help cause what would have taken me a couple of days and alot of sore muscles turned into a good couple of hours of a team of three and my four year old and we transplanted 40 tomato plants!
I used fish compost mixed in with garden soil for most of these and a few are in a mushroom garden mix so will see how they grow with the different compost mixes. I did like how dark and rich the fish compost mix was compared to the mushroom mix. I set up a water system in there and I need to actually raise the buckets up some so since hubby is gone for now I will just hand water. My daughter typically raises pigs during her summer break for 4H so this year since we aren't doing pigs she is in charge of these plants and watering them and learning a bit about how to grow tomatoes.
Can't wait to see them grow! There are many varieties in here from cherry red and white to my big Roma tomatoes. It is going to be a packed greenhouse and my bees that I have seen and been stung by (yes I got stung and it hurt...note...no more bright shirts in the greenhouse that could look like a big flower) in this greenhouse will help pollinate! I also know a few tricks with tomatoes such as adding epsom salt around the plant or in the hole (I ran out so I will add around the plants). You can also add basil seeds in there and help both plants grow. (I did plant a few basil seeds in a few buckets til I ran out of seeds). Also, as the plant grows you want to shake the plant slightly to help with pollination and also to help with the strength of the overall plant. I dont have a fan in here and would prefer not to use extra electricity so will help pollinate with the bees and by hand.
With them being in the greenhouse my plan is for them to have a longer season and protect from the rain hitting the leaves since tomatoes you want to water at the base not the overall plant itself.