Monday, April 04, 2011

30 Days In The Gardener's Garden: Day4

Got a late start today, and I really wasn't excited about the heat - forecast for 87* degrees - which is still way warm for early April.  So I kept my garden time pretty short.  I had to get my tomatoes planted!  After a quick 20 minutes of watering, I started making room for tomatoes.  I chopped down the spicy mustard, pak choi, and a couple of romaine lettuces.

(elbow room for my new tomatoes)

Here's one tip that some gardeners miss.  When your plants are done, DON'T rip them out of the ground.  Cut the plant away, then cultivate the roots into the soil.  Why, you may ask?  The roots are pulling nutrients from the soil, and, therefore, are full of nutrients.  I like to bury the old root stump so it can decompose releasing all those nutrients back into the soil.   I also dump a scoop of fresh compost in the hole to expedite the process.

(root stumps packed with rich nutrients)

Since I'm sharing tips, here's one of my favorites.  When planting tomatoes, bury 'em!  Literaly.  You'll notice at the base of a tomato stem some bumps or nodes.  When in contact with soil, these nodes will produce roots.  So, you can double or triple the roots, making a stronger more productive plant.  (This can also work with peppers and eggplant.)

I remove the few lower leaves on my tomato, lay it down into the planting hole (1"-2"inches deep), and cover it up.  The plant (above ground) will grow vertically with no issues.

 (making a cozy bed for tomato)

I planted five tomatoes today, with many more to come (8-12 more) once I make more space (and planting beds).  For the meantime, I took my pile of cuttings and headed across the street to see some new friends.

 (bygone pak choi, chard, mustard, nasturtium, and mint)

With a pile of old veggies for friends like these...

(Bagby Lady Birds!)

You can score a nice batch of these!

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