Planting Tomatoes

This evening, I planted the tomato plants in the vegetable garden. All the gory details to follow, but first:

A few saucy notes about the humble tomato:

  • The tomato is not a vegetable – it’s actually a fruit.
  • A native to South America, it was cultivated as early as 500BC
  • It made its way to Europe in the late 1400s, and from there spread around the world.
  • Thinking tomatoes were poisonous, neither the British nor the American colonists ate them until the mid 1700s.
  • About 130 million tons of tomatoes were produced worldwide in 2008.

Back in March, I planted tomatoes from seed, Celebrity variety.  It’s hard to find good quality bedding plants in our area, so we try to plant what we can from seed.  We thought we would have been able to plant the young plants in the garden in mid-April, but the weather has been too cool. It is finally warm enough now at night (mid 40s) that they will not freeze, so today I finally planted the not so young plants.

As you can see, they’ve spent too much time in their little pots and are quite tall.  (Kitty very kindly offered to sit next to the plant to provide scale. Ok, not really, but I like to dream…) Being too tall would be a problem if it was any other plant, but tomatoes can grow roots the entire length of their stems, so most of this is going underground, with about 4 inches staying above ground. Planting them deep is a good idea anyway because the deeper the roots, the longer they can go without watering. All I did was cut off the leaves from the stem area that will be below ground level,

 pull the root ball out of the pot,

and place the plant in the 18 inch hole Harland dug for me last night ( a wonder with a shovel he is),

fill in around the plant with soil,

and give a generous watering. Next, our secret weapon for warding off the cool nights:

The way it works is that the water gets warm during the day in the sun, and then the warm water keeps the little ‘mater plants warm all night long. I filled it with the water hose in the yard, moved it to the garden, and then carefully set it over the plant. See, there’s our little guy down there safe and sound:

As an added bonus, the water towers keep out the lovely KS wind, and they give our garden a festive look.

We’ll leave the water towers over the plants until the weather warms up, probably a few weeks from now, and then remove them, empty out the water, and store them for use next year.

More tomato posts to come as the little plants grow – stay tuned folks.

9 comments to Planting Tomatoes

  • Hi – I had to come and check out your blog after commented on mine. We are still a few weeks [like 5] away from being able to put out our tomatoes. Right now, they are here beside me, under the grow lights. Maybe I will try some of the towers – they would give us an extra couple weeks outdoors! Love your blog – we will have to compare garden notes through the summer 🙂

  • Glenda Perry

    Suzanne, what variety of tomato did you plant? How many plants?
    Since Kitty just LOVES tomatoes, are they safe in the garden when she goes out to play?
    The look on her face tells me she is plotting for my return.
    Thanks for the blog!

    • Suzanne

      We planted Celebrity variety, 6 plants. The fruit is not too large or too small, and rot resistant. The plants are safe enough from Kitty, but once there is fruit on the vine, all bets are off. Luckily, she’s a housecat- most of the time.

  • Did you buy these tower covers and where can I get them? lol. They are really intriguing and would definitely be nice for the cool nights. We’re actually going to try all of our tomatoes under a roof this year because we’ve had terrible luck with them in our garden. That is if we finally get around to planting some more seeds. Ugh.

    • Suzanne

      We ordered them through Amazon from a company by the name of Trident Enterprises Int Inc. They’re manufactured by Bonadea Gardens, and are called Kozy Coats. They come in packages of 3. Hope this helps. We had 40mph winds today, and they stood tall and strong by the way.
      Happy Growing!

  • What variety of tomatoes are you growing?

    • Suzanne

      The variety of tomato is Celebrity. We tried them last year, and were very pleased with them. Not a large large fruit, just medium size, but there were more than we could eat. Seemed to be disease resistant too.
      Happy growing!

  • […] we are getting the first tomatoes from our garden. Transplanted back in April, they have grown by leaps and bounds and have made a ton of green tomatoes, and recently some of […]

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