The Tomatoes Move Into Their Home and Meet the Neighbors

Third time’s a charm

-Said by a lot of people

As many of you know, I discussed the topic of transplanting tomatoes TWICE and it was contrary to many gardening belief systems. I defied that idea using  Emilee and Jere Gettle’s wisdom and Winston Churchill’s words to back my theories. Some things just need to be repeated.

After having had my tomato seeds growing in eggshells, I thinned the seeds so that one hardy stem would grow from out of each shell. Next, I gently cracked the egg shells to make room for the roots to grow while the eggshell was breaking down, and buried the tomato plant root balls plus part of their stems into a larger container so that the plants would grow more roots. After the tomato plant grew larger, I buried a little more stem one last time as I transplanted the tomato plants into larger containers. The weather here just shifted from warm to HOT and it was no gradual shift. That can be quite a shock to new tomato transplants who have lived in a 75 degree air conditioned home for the last several weeks. This is why gardeners “harden off” their plants. So to harden off the tomatoes, I draped a thin scrap piece of fabric around their stakes. What this did was allow a little bit of sunlight in but it was softened by the thin breathable fabric (I did not completely cover them either so there was good airflow). This allowed the plants to acclimate to the hot weather a little more gradually. Often people leave them in a bit of shade 2-3 days for this same reason and that works as well. I have now removed their cover and will reveal to you their progress over the last week and how they are now looking.

DSC02988 DSC02989 Dragon Wing Begonia  DSC02990 Garlic   DSC02992 DSC02993Compost as Fertilizer   DSC02994 Clothespin Labels May 26  DSC02995 Stakes from the 100 yen store  DSC02996 Nasturtium in front corners  DSC02997 DSC02998 Marigold in back  DSC02999 Carrot/Mosquito Deterrent?  DSC03000 DSC03002 Side by side Comparison of Yellow Pear Tomato May 26th and May 31st.   DSC03003 New Flower blooming   DSC03006  Speckled Roman May 31st  DSC03005 Better Boy May 31st

DSC03007 Tomatillo May 31st

You’ll notice that the Tomatillo has a stem that is a little thicker and bigger looking than the other tomato plants, but I buried it’s stem once instead of twice. So in actuality, the other tomatoes probably have larger root systems already even though they aren’t as tall from the soil level. They all grow fast though.

The Yellow Pear Tomato plant is going to share it’s space with the following companions: an unidentifiable carrot which I thought was a mosquito repelling herb (if only I knew Kanji), garlic, and a vining flower which I have seen paired with small tomatoes in other books. These plants are a  combination of pest deterrence and beauty making them great neighbors. From what I’ve read, all are compatible with one another. The topsy-turvy will need frequent water, but it’s nearly impossible to overwater it since drainage is designed so optimally.

The Speckled Roman Tomato and The Better Boy Tomato are paired up with a Dragon Wing Begonia and Garlic. Once again, it is a combination of beauty and pest deterrence. My hope is that I will also be able to sprout a few more flowers in this large grow box. I have sprinkled Marigold and Nasturium Seeds in the corners of the planter because both flowers deter pests that I want off of my tomato plants. No one wants pests in their home right?

For now, Tomatillo is only sharing it’s space with garlic, but I hope to add something to it’s container as well. I have read that Basil is a great companion but I am nervous about such a hardy plant sharing it’s space with my Tomatillo. I already have a Boxwood Basil so my intention will be to start seeds with a red basil for variety and looks. I will also keep it trim to avoid the over-running of one to the other. Of course, my trusted resource “Carrots Love Tomatoes” hasn’t steered me wrong yet, it’s been in print since the 70s, and the author specialized in knowing which plants “get along”. I think I will be safe trying that combo.

Different tomato varieties set their fruit in different conditions. Some will set their fruit for one season than quit and wither away. Others will set fruit every time the weather hits a temperature they like which may be a bit cool or may be very hot. Some will go on living and producing as long as there is no hard freeze. In time we will know how these fair on this porch in Okinawa.

Grow on,

Marissa

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