Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Three Pots Planted

I got three pots planted with three tomato plants per pot, as you can see in the picture. Notice that two pots have some mulch on top. This supposedly helps retain water and prevent weeds from growing in there.

The plants are doing well. I didn't notice any wilting with the second two pots, as I had with the first. No idea what caused that.

Oh hey, I forgot to mention that I drilled four holes in the bottom of each of these planters. If the dirt inside were to get too saturated, it could cause the roots to rot. We don't want that! When growing tomatoes in containers, it is important that they have good drainage.

Now you can see what is left in my original hanging planter. Seven more plants! I don't think I can leave more than two in there, or it will be too many.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Shopping for Tomato Supplies

I went out and got two more of the same type of square pots, plus another one slightly smaller than the rest. I also bought six metal tomato cage things and two big bags of dirt--Miracle Gro Organic Choice Garden Soil, about $8 per bag. This gardening stuff really is getting expensive. I've probably spent over $100 so far, which is a bigger investment than I expected. I thought growing some of my own vegetables would save me money! Well some of these supplies are reuseable year after year, so next year it won't be so bad.

I'm going to get all the tomatoes planted in their pots now. Oh, I also bought seeds for basil and chives.

Friday, May 16, 2008

One Set of Tomatoes Planted

I just got my first set of three tomato plants in the dirt, in their pot. For the first hour, they wilted. I feared the transplant did not go well, even though I tried to get as much of a root ball for each as I could. A little later, all three were standing tall and strong. Success on Day 50!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Dirt! Potting Soil, Top Soil, etc.

I have to be honest, I do not understand all the different types of soil available. Who knew dirt could be so complicated? I started my tomatoes out in top soil, although I've since read that this isn't the best idea. I dunno, the plants seem to be doing very well. I had purchased a bag of potting soil to add to the containers, but it seemed very sandy. I'm not so happy with sandy dirt when I'm paying for it!

Why am I buying dirt? Because in my small yard, I don't really have any. Okay, I have some. I dug up about half a container's worth of dirt from my flower garden. I got some more from some land behind my property, but it's full of rocks and difficult to work with. I'm combining this dirt with the sandy potting soil I bought to fill the two tomato pots.

Oh, and I've realized that two tomato pots are not enough. I'm going to have to get some more. And also, more dirt.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Delicious Discovery

I just discovered some oregano growing in my backyard flower garden. Apparently it was planted there years ago, and somehow has survived. So now I've got oregano and cilantro. I'm going to need some more herbs for a proper herb garden!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tomato Planter Pot!

This is the pot I got for planting my tomatoes. I bought two of them, actually. $12 apiece. I also got a bag of potting soil, $3. The cost is starting to add up here!
The pots are nearly two feet by two feet. I figure I can fit several plants per pot. I just read that when potting tomato plants, you should only do one plant per pot. The roots need plenty of room to grow. That sounds great. But I've got too many little plants and too few pots, so they're going to have to get used to growing alongside some neighbors.

Day 47, Progress

Cilantro is growing nicely. It's really starting to fill in! At some point I'm going to have to figure out how to transfer these guys into something larger--what you see is at least 15 different plants growing in there! Can't wait to start using it for cooking, too. Now I'm wondering why I didn't get more herbs. Mental note to get some!

I'm still following the same procedure: put the pot out during the day to get sunlight--cilantro craves direct sun--and then bringing it in at night. Nightly temps are still dipping down into the 40s, and this herb doesn't appreciate that.

Tomato plants are doing well. They look very healthy, and are loving being out in the sun. I'm going shopping for some containers to plant them in.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Vegetables in Sunrooms

When I start looking for a new house, I'm going to put a priority on a sunroom. Sunrooms offer the possibility of growing vegetables year round. How nice it would be to have fresh tomatoes picked from the vine in the middle of winter!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Politics of Home Gardening

This is not a political blog, and don't worry, I won't be endorsing any candidate here. ;) However, I can't deny the political dimension to my decision to grow veggies in my backyard. Like most people, I value convenience. I let the produce come to me (or more specifically, my grocery store) from farms near and far. And yet the "eat local" crowd makes a good point. I'm just not sure it is responsible to support the practice of trucking in veggies from thousands of miles away, given how much fossil fuel this requires.

I'm reminded of patriotic Americans growing victory gardens during the war in the 40s. It would be nice if we had a renewed spirit of patriotism today, by confronting some of our wasteful habits. Becoming more self-sustaining by growing our own food is one way to do this. How much more local can you get than your own backyard?

This is the first time I've attempted to grow anything edible. It's nothing fancy. I'm not going to save the world by growing some tomatoes. But for me, it's a start. I urge you to do the same! There, I hope that wasn't too preachy. =D

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tomato Growth, Cilantro Doing Well

I'm just checking in to report the progress of the plants. Here you can see the tomatoes are all doing quite well. I'm pleased with the quality of those Burpee seeds. I think every single one I planted is growing and looking good. Still planning to get some large pots. Let's take a look at the cilantro.

It's doing very well, now that I've been leaving it out in the sun all day. I bring both the tomatoes and cilantro in at night, because it still gets cold. The cilantro is growing a bit strangely, due to the problem I reported earlier. You can't tell from the picture, but the stems are all laying down sideways and some offshoots are growing up from them. I guess it's going to turn out okay.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Cilantro Overcrowding

My cilantro pot is suffering from two problems. One, overcrowding. I planted too many seeds in there! Two is a little trickier. Because it's still quite cool outside, I've kept the pot sitting by a window indoors. But cilantro apparently loves sunlight. All of the little sprouts have been bending and stretching toward the light, and now they look like they'll never be able to stand up straight and grow properly. I've started putting the pot out on the deck during the day so they get good light, now that it's gotten a little warmer.

See My Tomato Plants?

Here is a picture of my brandywine tomato sprouts in their hanging planter. As you can see, the little guys now have their secondary leaves. It is Day 34. See what I mean, though? Far too many plants growing in there! I think what I'm going to do is buy a few large pots and transfer some tomato plants into them. I'll keep the pots on my deck, which is one of the sunnier spots in my small yard. Will keep you posted on the progress.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Cilantro Sprouts!

Day 20, and I've got a bunch of cilantro sprouts. What do you know, the old seeds were good after all. I'll have to take some pictures. The tomato sprouts are growing. In fact, I'm beginning to think I've planted too many in this planter. I didn't expect all the seeds to grow. In past experiences planting seeds, not all the seeds actually grow! So now I think I have more tomato plants growing than can fit in the planter--will have to think of a plan of action to remedy this situation.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Tomato Spouts!

It's Day 15, and I've got some tomato sprouts breaking through! Exciting times. Nothing coming through in the cilantro pot, though.