Saturday, May 12, 2012

Finally, the Tomatoes are in DIRT!

Tiny Red tomatoes in the yellow planter...
I finally got around to planting the tomato plants!  I know, I know..."Why didn't you do that weeks ago silly woman"!  But, I did have a semi-good excuse...I didn't have any soil for my planters!  I don't have a good spot to go "in the ground" with my plants, the window boxes just aren't big enough to truly utilize (though my tomato plants grew huge in them, they hit the roof and I only got very small tomatoes), the "hanging from the under side of a planter" didn't work at all last year, so....I'm trying ginormous planters this year!  They are 15-inch planters...that's 15-inces across at the top and about knee high on me!  I told ya they were huge...  I got them at WalMart a few weeks ago for around $6 a piece.  I love, love, love the bright colors too!  I got two planters in bright yellow and two in bright red (they were my only color choices or I would have gotten all different colors)!

Dark Purple tomatoes in a red planter...
Another "new" thing I am trying this year is that I have planted the tomatoes deep into the soil.  When I say deep, I mean deep too!  I read an article (most likely someone's blog post on the subject, but I couldn't tell ya who) that if you plant them with only the top few inches showing above the soil, that the rest of the stem will produce more roots, making the whole plant that much stronger (after pinching off all the lower leaves of course)!  So, I tried that this year too...that's why they all look so tiny in the photos.  The Black Prince (dark purple fruits!) reaches nearly to the bottom of the planter under all that soil!

Yellow tomatoes in a red planter!
I even used up some of my "old" soil that I found in the garage a few weeks ago when we cleaned it out!  You see, when we moved from Bend, OR, I had to bring six rhubarb plants with me...mostly because they were doing so well, and just a little bit because the home owner of the house we were renting there made a comment to me when she found out that we were moving out that she couldn't wait to get that rhubarb to her new home!  Yeah...I don't think so lady, it went with me.  So, I bought some cheap (huge) planters, and a ginormous bag of potting soil (Miracle Grow with all the nutrients to help the Rhubarb survive the 400+ mile road trip).  However, I only ended up using about half of the bag and so it got moved with us too...and then stuffed in the back of the garage.  I did use some of it the first summer we lived here, the house came with a set of four planters under the front window...I dumped them out, added new soil and my own flowers that first spring.  I soon realized though that no one can actually see those planters from the road and the only ones enjoying them were the freaking squirrels who were digging up my pretty flowers to bury peanuts in my planters!  So, I haven't touched those planters since...I really should just get rid of them.  Anyway, there was enough soil still in the bag to partially fill one of the new tomato planters, so that bag is finally gone!

Orange tomatoes in the last yellow planter...
In the end, I did not need all four bags of new potting soil that I least not for the tomatoes!  I used the old bag, and then three and a half 20-quart bags of potting soil, leaving me with two and a half bags remaining (I had two more bags of Turf King left from last summer too).  All I really have left to get into pots or planters are my Lemon Verbena, Pineapple Sage, four Coffee Plants (those are going to be hung inside), and that odd looking palm-like foliage that I have in my kitchen window!  I don't think that will require all the soil I have, but having spare is nice for those impromptu purchases in the garden center that I know I'm so good at doing!

Here is to a happy "garden" filled with many fragrant herbs (Lemon Verbena, Pineapple Sage, Apple Mint, and Chocolate Mint this year) and many, many colorful tomatoes!  I know it doesn't sound like much of a garden this year...but I wasn't going to do any!  Oh, and I finally found a recipe for turning my Sugar Bush (Stevia plant) into a sweetener I can use!  I just need to dry the leaves and buy a bottle of Vodka...

What are you all growing this year, if anything?

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