September 3rd, 2009

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Fall Seeds Planted

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

This is an old post that I had neglected to publish. This is how the tomatoes currently growing in the garden got their start. I started them indoors just because it was so hot outside (100+ daily).

6/21 – planted seeds of six tomato varieties for fall planting.

6/24–eight seeds already germinated. I did not get the grow light set up until the next evening, so the early-germinators are spindly, stretching for light. I have since read that you should immediately get full light on the seedlings as soon as they appear, or you will get spindly stems. Oops.

Poor Seedling Stretching for Light

Poor Seedling Stretching for Light

6/26–added second grow light, definitely helped

6/30–planted three pepper varieties

Here’s the tomato seedlings at 18 days:

Tomato Seedlings at 18 days

Tomato Seedlings at 18 days

Earthbox Underway

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

Finally fired up the Earthbox a couple of weeks ago (on 8/23). Was pretty easy to set up (I had read up on some tips at the Earthbox Forum, which helped). Planted four types of squash. Seems like an overload for the box, but that is the official recommendation for squash.

Used Hi-Yield potting mix, two bags. The type of mix is important–no soil allowed in an Earthbox or the wicking action will not happen.

Hi-Yield mix used in Earthbox

Hi-Yield mix used in Earthbox

I sowed the seeds directly into the Earthbox, two in each hole. They came up on the third day. Thinned them by cutting off the extras at the base after about a week.

Seeds sprouted on third day

Seeds sprouted on third day

Seeds coming up on day three

Seeds coming up on day three

I planted two types of zucchini and two types of yellow squash. I’m just hoping that the dreaded squash vine borer is not familiar with Earthboxes.

Earthbox squash at one week

Earthbox squash at one week

Earthbox at one week

Earthbox at one week

Tomato Tip

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

Seen on Renee’s Roots several weeks ago (and currently being implemented at the Pineapple Palace Horticultural Center):

The last time I planted tomatoes I had a terrible time with birds and squirrels ruining just about every piece of fruit. This year I am using summerweight garden fabric and I find it has several advantages over bird netting: it doesn’t snag so it’s easier to work with; animals can’t see the tomatoes through the fabric, so they aren’t attracted to the plants; the fabric blocks 15% of the light, cutting down on sun scald; and best of all, it reduces problems with horn worms, tomato fruit worms, and leaf footed bugs. I am using Texas Tomato Cages, which I wrap with the fabric, and I use clothespins to hold the fabric in place. I ordered the fabric from Gardener’s Supply Company. (Google “summerweight garden fabric.”) I bought the tomato cages at Gardens on 35th.

Also, I noticed in a post at the Johnson’s Backyard Garden blog that they have Bush Early Girl tomatoes by the assload, so those must do well around here. Will have to try those next season.