Sunday, April 7, 2013

Get Ready for a Long One!

A picture-intensive post today. 

I am doing this today, or rather, just got finished doing this: 

More transplanting. 

As you can see, the tomatoes, in their deeper seed starting trays, were doing very well. 

They had grown up to kiss the grow lights above them. 

I used a tablespoon to lift them gently from the liners.  See the root ball? 

Now, biggify this, and you will see roots hanging down six inches below the tomato! 

I put these more vigorous plants in large Jiffy pots. 

I very gently plucked off the cotyledons, the first two "leaves" that open on the tomato.  I put these cotyledons in each pot, to get some good from them as they compost in the starter mix. 

Now, do as I SAY, not as I do.... clear your table before starting to work... of the flashlights, miscellaneous papers, the Sunday morning paper, your car keys, your pasture camera and extra pots and planting materials. 

At this point, I am going to have to say that of the three tomatoes I started, the Burpee Super Sauce is not as vigorous as the two heirlooms ("Abu Rawan" and "Gypsy".  Their plants (some on the right, here) are strong and well-centered on their stems, and you can see them "standing up" in the pots, especially the larger ones.  The Super Sauce tomatoes, on the left... are not nearly as strong and nice, but I'm still growing them on. 

For an interesting discussion about the Super Sauce, go HERE.

Here is one tray on my rinky-dink set up in the office.  If we bump into that board sticking out, it's all goin' down!  Those are perennial flowers started next to the tomatoes, and I sure wish I had waited to start them.  They take so long to germinate though, that I will be growing them on for months.  
You can see through the doorway to the other growing set-up in the bedroom, with the light shining on the rest of the tomatoes.  These tomatoes will droop for a day or so, and then perk up and grown on, which is just what we want. 

Keith has gone to Home Depot to get the materials to close in the front of our little barn, so that if a critter or critters come our way, their new home will be weathered in and ready for them, and we will have a way to enclose them away from predators.  Not sayin' what's comin'..... yet. 

We're going to haul brush down to the brushpile today, and then I am going to plant some flower seeds, as we expect rain for the next three days.  We still need it badly here... and hope we get it.   A few days of tromping around in my wetboots won't hurt anything. 

I had the front door open to hear the birdsong as I worked... and my two helpers were laying in companionable silence together... how we love our faithful dogs! 

Oh, a word about the planting medium I used... I used Pro-Mix for the majority of the starts and transplants. I was running low so picked up some Jiffy, which I used for many years.  After comparing the two, I'm going to order some more Pro-Mix or try to find it around here, I think it was the superior of the two. 

Also... I am re-using my plastic liners, I'll clean them with the hose, and then store them away until next use, so I save some money on them. 

Our last frost date here is technically April 15, so we're nearing the point when I could get these tomatoes outside, but I have a long way to go... growing, and then hardening off... before doing that. 
I hope to share some of all three tomatoes with Kathy, next door.  

Off to do some work outside before Keith gets back...

That's it for a lovely spring morning at Calamity Acres. 


  1. You have been really busy! Our last frost date here is the end of May! LOL. I've got a ways to go. When you are done there will you come help me get my plants organized? :) I hope you get lots and lots of tomatoes!

  2. Your tomatoes look wonderful. I bought some flower seeds at Baker Creek last month & hope to try to start some later this summer.

  3. I live your long picture posts! I too am planting tomatoes today.

  4. correct drives me nutz! That should read "I LOVE "

  5. April 15! Lucky you! Ours is June 11. Really.
    Your tomatoes look so big and healthy!
    Very exciting that you are working on the barn!!!

  6. For the 2nd day in a row I got to get out and work in my flower beds, just raking leaves and weeding at this point. Our stuff comes up every year and we rarely plant anything new anymore. Just keep separating and thinning things out. It's nice to see something turning green finally and growing. The weeds seemed to have appeared overnight. Your tomato plants look wonderful. I've planted some of those in the past same size. I never grew my own from seed though. You really do have a green thumb. It got up to 70 here today but it'll be cooler with rain for a few days here this coming week too.

  7. Looks like you're going to be busy!! Lots of good looking tomato plants.

  8. I look like I'm beat up after all the briars I pulled out of the flower beds on Sat. I got my oriental bed weeded and all the tree seedlings pulled out of it. Started on the next section, but gave out. Then planted all my porch containers with refreshed soil and annuals.

    I buy two flats a year and that's the only place I use annuals. Dug up several perennials and moved them to different places. Did plant 3 (store bought) salad tomatoes and 2 Japanese eggplants in huge containers. And pulled enough weeks and popped out tree saplings to fill a trailer. And that was only on Sat.

    Then yesterday we both worked in the hay field all afternoon. Sprayed the weeds, cut small trees. Dug up trees and transplanted them. Picked up limbs...... I was one whooped woman. And then the hubby fixed me supper!

  9. You've been busy! I had to laugh at your suggestion to clear the table beforehand. I am notorious for not doing that! And then, of course, I have an even bigger mess.

    I've been working outside the last two days - and made the mistake of trying to tackle the brambles - OUCH and OUCH again!



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