Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Weekly Gardening Thread (Transplanting Tomatoes) Vol. 10, March 9, 2012
Friday, March 9, 2012 | JustaDumbBlonde

Posted on 03/09/2012 10:51:08 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde

Photobucket

.

Good afternoon gardeners! After a high of 81 degrees yesterday, we are at 50 degrees today after experiencing high winds and 3 inches of rain last night. Radar would indicate that there is more rain to come, as I see it in Texas right now. I hope that all of our Texas gardeners are catching up on much needed rain! PTL!

We have so many new gardeners in our group, in addition to folks with the desire to begin gardening, that I thought a primer on transplanting might be useful. Please feel free to add to the discussion with your regular practices. And, as always, please feel free to ask any questions that you may have. This group loves to share information, and advice is free for the asking!

Because I plant over 100 tomato plants every year, I've got my transplanting down to a science that works for me and allows me to move down the row quickly. My tools are a bulb planter, a old spoon from the kitchen, a small bucket and several 2-liter soda bottles. (One day I'd love to do a thread on all of the common non-garden-related items we all use in our gardens.)

I start off my mixing up several bottles of a starter fertilizer, either the TNT pictured below, or Miracle Grow Quick Start. Whatever you use, make sure it is a low-nitrogen product, or you will grow lovely leaves and not much else. I also put some tomato food around the base of the tomato after transplant. Please notice the N-P-K formulation on these products. Similar products from any manufacturer are fine, these are what stores in my area offer for sale.

Photobucket

Photobucket

My tomatoes are planted through a commercial quality landscape fabric for weed control and moisture retention. It has other benefits, but weed control is my major concern. I begin by measuring off 30 inch increments and marking them on my fabric, then I go back and cut X's in the fabric and fold the corners under to access the soil.

Begin by digging your hole. I use a bulb planter because it makes the perfect diameter hole for a transplant that comes from a commercial 6-9 pack, or the small newspaper pots that I make myself. Tomatoes should be planted "deep", so dig your hole accordingly.

Here is an example of a bulb planter:

Photobucket

By "deep", I mean that you are going to plant more than just the roots, you are going to plant at least half of the stalk as well, up to 3/4 of the height of the plant is perfectably acceptable. Bonnie Plants, which supplies the likes of WalMart, Lowes and Home Depot garden centers, used to suggest 80% of the plant stem, but they have since backed that off to 2/3. This method is really the ONLY way to grow the strongest possible plant. Roots will develop on the entire length of the stem that is buried, giving your plants lots of roots to anchor the plant, as well as the ability to absorb more moisture and nutrients. In the photo below, the top of my index finger is indicating how deep I'm going to plant this tomato.

Photobucket

The next photo shows that I have pinched-off the leaves of the plant up to the point that I will bury the stem. This is not a required step, many folks let them stay, but it is my personal preference to remove them to avoid air pockets around the new roots.

Photobucket

Next, gently place your plant in the hole you've prepared. You can see from the photos below that there is enough room in the hole to surround the delicate roots with looser soil to accomodate quick spread and avoid transplant shock.

Photobucket

Photobucket

In the next step, you should replace the soil you removed with the bulb planter, just enough to cover the existing rootball. I use the small bucket to break up the soil and hold it until I'm ready to put it back. If you're not working on landscape fabric, of course you can keep the soil on the ground next to the hole. The important thing is making sure you break it up well.

Photobucket

Then water that soil in with your starter fertilizer/water mixture. Water until the loose soil is underwater and then allow it to soak in. It only takes a minute or less.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

After the water soaks in and settles the loose soil, fill in the remainder of the hole, and build it up to a small pyramid. The next rain or watering will take that pyramid down to level ground and, if it doesn't, that's okay too. At this point if you have not already fertilized your soil, place a tablespoon or two of a good tomato fert around the base of the plant. DO NOT let the crystals touch the stem!

Photobucket

My final step is unfolding the landscape fabric to cover the soil, and standing back to watch the growth!

Photobucket

.

Photobucket

The Weekly Gardening Thread is a weekly gathering of folks that love soil, seeds and plants of all kinds. From complete newbies that are looking to start that first potted plant, to gardeners with some acreage, to Master Gardener level and beyond, we would love to hear from you.

This thread is non-political, although you will find that most here are conservative folks. No matter what, you won’t be flamed and the only dumb question is the one that isn’t asked.

It is impossible to hijack the Weekly Gardening Thread ... there is no telling where it will go and that is part of the fun and interest. Jump in and join us!


TOPICS: Agriculture; Food; Gardening; Hobbies
KEYWORDS: garden; gardening; tomatoes; transplant
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-5051-100101-150151-200201-245 next last
To: All

Waiting for this camellia to bloom for the first time (just planted it last May) has been almost (but not quite) as bad as waiting for a mare to foal. It looks like we're making some progress .... color showing now. :-)

51 posted on 03/09/2012 12:19:43 PM PST by MissMagnolia (Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't. (M.Thatcher))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: txhurl

Oh my gosh, LOL! Might I recommend some timbers and landscape fabric??? A soil corral, so to speak?


52 posted on 03/09/2012 12:23:55 PM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 49 | View Replies]

To: JustaDumbBlonde

bump


53 posted on 03/09/2012 12:28:04 PM PST by Tammy8 (~Secure the border and deport all illegals- do it now! ~ Support our Troops!~)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JustaDumbBlonde

That’s the fix, and buckets with holes drilled in the bottom!

I don’t know how many here have HEB plus!es in their neighborhood, but they carry a line called Chef Jeff’s that is
incredible. All the little plants are deep dark green, never leggy, perfect health with tons of varieties. They even are selling peanut plants this year, which is a great living fertilizer companion plant.


54 posted on 03/09/2012 12:32:19 PM PST by txhurl (Thank you, Andrew Breitbart. In your untimely passing, you have exposed these people one last time.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 52 | View Replies]

To: JustaDumbBlonde
Soil test kit arrived yesterday. Started a spreadsheet to track the readings and the actions I take to try to adjust levels. How long should I wait if I want to test again to see my results?


55 posted on 03/09/2012 12:33:38 PM PST by Darth Reardon (No offense to drunken sailors)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: patriot08; All
Here's another 'recipe' for consideration. I used this one last year very successfully - I'd been hearing about it for a couple of years on Andre Viette's radio program so I decided to try it:

Mike's Tomato Soil

Evidently, Mike uses the same soil every year, with no crop rotation & has great tomatoes. I had some of the nicest, most trouble-free tomato plants that I've ever grown.

56 posted on 03/09/2012 12:36:04 PM PST by MissMagnolia (Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't. (M.Thatcher))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: Darth Reardon

Can anyone tell me what to add to the acidic soil around my hydrangea to make the flowers come out blue this year?


57 posted on 03/09/2012 12:36:29 PM PST by GracieOMalley
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 55 | View Replies]

To: JustaDumbBlonde

Thank you for the great tutorial on planting tomatoes. Even though I can’t plant them here until Memorial Day.


58 posted on 03/09/2012 12:38:48 PM PST by GracieOMalley
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JustaDumbBlonde

I’m in total agreement both on thankful for rain, but it has been an unbelievably wet winter. Good luck to the guys getting that corn in.


59 posted on 03/09/2012 12:39:39 PM PST by Gabz (Democrats for Voldemort.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: JustaDumbBlonde

Great info I was gonna put my maters out tomorrow but its gonna be too wet I’m afraid..I can wait till Sunday afternoon I guess...

could you add me to your ping list?

I’ve been back reading and you have a lot of good info.


60 posted on 03/09/2012 12:41:31 PM PST by Rightly Biased (How do you say Arkanicide in Kenyan?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JustaDumbBlonde

Very nice tutorial!

Note to self: time to get busy making paper pots!


61 posted on 03/09/2012 12:41:39 PM PST by ApplegateRanch (Islam: A Satanically Transmitted Disease spread by unprotected intimate contact with the Koranus)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JustaDumbBlonde

Hi! Please add me to your list.


62 posted on 03/09/2012 12:42:33 PM PST by VeniVidiVici (Liberal Democrats love direct democracy until it's time to vote on something)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 50 | View Replies]

To: MissMagnolia

Wow! What a story.


63 posted on 03/09/2012 12:44:17 PM PST by Gabz (Democrats for Voldemort.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: MissMagnolia

I guess this illustrates another REALLY good reason to use rebar! :-)

...and a mallet or hammer!


64 posted on 03/09/2012 12:47:00 PM PST by ApplegateRanch (Islam: A Satanically Transmitted Disease spread by unprotected intimate contact with the Koranus)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: MissMagnolia

Wow! A tender hug from me for your aunt.


65 posted on 03/09/2012 12:53:25 PM PST by lysie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: ApplegateRanch; JustaDumbBlonde
Note to self: time to get busy making paper pots!

You and me both - now that wood stove season is over I get to use the newspapers :)

66 posted on 03/09/2012 1:06:59 PM PST by Gabz (Democrats for Voldemort.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 61 | View Replies]

To: JustaDumbBlonde

Lovely Job.

My tomato seedlings are about an inch tall.


67 posted on 03/09/2012 1:09:13 PM PST by TASMANIANRED (We kneel to no prince but the Prince of Peace)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JustaDumbBlonde

Finally getting around to replying. Got bot my plots tilled and put into rows yesterday after adding some manure compost and peat mulch. I have a bunch of tomato plants in small containers saved from years past. My neighbor has a LOT of volunteer tomato plants in a couple of his veggie beds.

We are still in the low 40s with rain showers hanging in the better part of the day. Lord knows we need rain here in central Texas. The lake is about 50 feet low and I hope the storms west of here dump a few feet into Lake Travis. My parsley plants are growing like crazy. Our neighbor loves cooking with it and I told her to help herself.


68 posted on 03/09/2012 1:20:36 PM PST by Arrowhead1952 (Dear God, thanks for the rain, but please let it rain more in Texas. Amen.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: lysie

We’re going to go see her early next month - her “little brother”, my dad, is 89. Her memory is failing - when he called her for her birthday, she got confused and for a short while, didn’t know who he was. It will probably be the last time they see each other .... he has CHF and she’s a tiny little thing .... I think a strong wind would blow her away. They don’t “make ‘em” any more like my dad & Aunt E .... the best of the best. I’ll be sure and give her that hug!!


69 posted on 03/09/2012 1:21:08 PM PST by MissMagnolia (Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't. (M.Thatcher))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 65 | View Replies]

To: Red_Devil 232

Glad to hear that you got your stuff moved safely. Getting “unboxed” and organized was a huge chore for us and we still cannot find some things.


70 posted on 03/09/2012 1:21:51 PM PST by rightly_dividing (You cannot put a gun rack in a Volt !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

Got bot = Got both
71 posted on 03/09/2012 1:22:26 PM PST by Arrowhead1952 (Dear God, thanks for the rain, but please let it rain more in Texas. Amen.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 68 | View Replies]

To: MissMagnolia

That’s quite the story.

She is one tough lady.

Sending prayers for her.


72 posted on 03/09/2012 1:34:41 PM PST by TASMANIANRED (We kneel to no prince but the Prince of Peace)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: MissMagnolia
They don’t “make ‘em” any more like my dad & Aunt E .... the best of the best.

Feisty yet loving and caring. I know what you mean. Give dad a smoocheroonie. ;-)

73 posted on 03/09/2012 1:34:51 PM PST by lysie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 69 | View Replies]

To: Gabz

Could someone remind me which gardening thread had the newspaper pot construction in it? Or another source would be good too.


74 posted on 03/09/2012 1:35:51 PM PST by doubled ( never in the field of human con tricks has so much been owed by so many to so little effect - Steyn)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 66 | View Replies]

To: JustaDumbBlonde

Great looking garden! I wish I had that much area to plant every year. Time for me to move to the old farm. I use rebar as well, and cut swim noodles into 1 1/2 - 2 inch pieces and but them on the top. I almost took out an eye a few years ago. Get the pink or red. I find them along the road during the summer.


75 posted on 03/09/2012 1:36:16 PM PST by Arrowhead1952 (Dear God, thanks for the rain, but please let it rain more in Texas. Amen.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: doubled; JustaDumbBlonde

JustaDumbBlonde, aren’t you the newspaper pot construction expert?


76 posted on 03/09/2012 1:41:47 PM PST by Arrowhead1952 (Dear God, thanks for the rain, but please let it rain more in Texas. Amen.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 74 | View Replies]

To: txhurl
Doesn’t seem to like us much, seems to prefer washing into the lake..

I was at one of the parks last week and there are areas that have several feet of good dirt. I feel like getting some for my yard. I found a couple of "rocks" while on my expedition. One was a small point and the other was the bottom half of a 4 - 6 inch knife.

77 posted on 03/09/2012 1:48:15 PM PST by Arrowhead1952 (Dear God, thanks for the rain, but please let it rain more in Texas. Amen.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 49 | View Replies]

To: rightly_dividing; Red_Devil 232
Getting “unboxed” and organized was a huge chore for us and we still cannot find some things.

Boy do I know that feeling --- and it will be 9 years next month since I moved. I'm not a real organized person, if you couldn't tell :(

78 posted on 03/09/2012 2:08:42 PM PST by Gabz (Democrats for Voldemort.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 70 | View Replies]

To: JustaDumbBlonde

:)


79 posted on 03/09/2012 2:10:43 PM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: rightly_dividing

Thanks! Even with us moving ourselves we are having problems remembering what some boxes have in them. Most boxes were marked well enough but at the end of the packing process we neglected to label every box and some items were just thrown in to boxes to fill them up! I know what you mean! Also I found out that this 64 year old is no longer 35. Ouch!


80 posted on 03/09/2012 2:11:27 PM PST by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 70 | View Replies]

To: JustaDumbBlonde

Wow! Beautiful!


81 posted on 03/09/2012 2:12:37 PM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: trisham

That was last year. I haven’t even started this year, except to get the stakes and the landscape fabric pulled up.


82 posted on 03/09/2012 2:14:53 PM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 81 | View Replies]

To: doubled

I have a 2 piece wooden thingamajig that I use to make mine. I do believe I got it through the Burpee Seed catalog/website.


83 posted on 03/09/2012 2:15:15 PM PST by Gabz (Democrats for Voldemort.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 74 | View Replies]

To: Darth Reardon

Lovely plant!


84 posted on 03/09/2012 2:17:36 PM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 55 | View Replies]

To: JustaDumbBlonde
I'm looking forward to your pics of this season's garden. :)

Your garden looks so perfect. Mine has never looked that good.

85 posted on 03/09/2012 2:23:26 PM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 82 | View Replies]

To: Red_Devil 232
Even with us moving ourselves we are having problems remembering what some boxes have in them. Most boxes were marked well enough but at the end of the packing process we neglected to label every box and some items were just thrown in to boxes to fill them up!

Same here!

86 posted on 03/09/2012 2:38:28 PM PST by rightly_dividing (You cannot put a gun rack in a Volt !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 80 | View Replies]

To: JustaDumbBlonde

We were going to plant tomorrow, but that may be called due to the weather.


87 posted on 03/09/2012 2:45:17 PM PST by rightly_dividing (You cannot put a gun rack in a Volt !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 82 | View Replies]

To: Conservative4Ever
I’m a newbie but would like to grow some tomatoes in a container this year. Thank you.

Are you going to use a double 5 gallon buckets?

88 posted on 03/09/2012 3:19:04 PM PST by painter (Rebuild The America We love!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: patriot08
*Most clay soils in this area already have too much super phosphate, which tends to stay in the soil for a long period of time. The local nursery people tell me, the best way to correct this is by adding ammonium sulphate which is 21-0-0.

If I remember my soils correctly, ammonium sulphate will sour the soil (lower the pH) and allow plants to take up the nutrients in the soil. If the pH is too high, the nutrients remain locked in the soil.

I've been using ferrous sulphate around my plants in the Hill Country for that same purpose.

89 posted on 03/09/2012 3:23:24 PM PST by Sarajevo (Money cannot buy happiness, but it's more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes than on a bicycle.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: txhurl

It sounds like you may need some raised beds for your garden.


90 posted on 03/09/2012 3:26:42 PM PST by Sarajevo (Money cannot buy happiness, but it's more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes than on a bicycle.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 49 | View Replies]

To: patriot08

How about a fertilizer formula for potatoes? My potato patch has run out of gas and hardly puts out potatoes.


91 posted on 03/09/2012 3:26:47 PM PST by painter (Rebuild The America We love!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: TASMANIANRED
My tomato seedlings are about an inch tall.

I have some a foot tall.I started a month earlier.By the time I can plant them they will probably have tomatoes on them.

92 posted on 03/09/2012 3:32:02 PM PST by painter (Rebuild The America We love!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 67 | View Replies]

To: Arrowhead1952

I was at one of the parks last week and there are areas that have several feet of good dirt.


Yep. Some poor ol boy trucked it in, thought he owned the dirt but was just leasing it.

It’s all the way containers this year for me. My two wisterias FINALLY are sprouting a little green just today, those vines can play deader than any possum.


93 posted on 03/09/2012 3:38:53 PM PST by txhurl (Thank you, Andrew Breitbart. In your untimely passing, you have exposed these people one last time.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 77 | View Replies]

To: JustaDumbBlonde

I was at one of the parks last week and there are areas that have several feet of good dirt.


See, jadb? We really DO have to hunt around if we want dirt, then sit and plot ways to capture and transport it surreptitiously.


94 posted on 03/09/2012 3:48:23 PM PST by txhurl (Thank you, Andrew Breitbart. In your untimely passing, you have exposed these people one last time.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 93 | View Replies]

To: JustaDumbBlonde

I started planting tomatoes under landscape fabric several years ago, in an effort to make use of some of the empty space near the house that we’d landscaped. Those tomatoes did so remarkably well compared to plants out in the garden I came to figure out that what tomatoes really like is a stable moisture content in the soil. The fabric keeps the soil at a uniform moisture level most of the time. Also, I think the plants appreciated the partial shade they’d get when planted close to the house.

I built my cages out of hogwire, about 3 feet in diameter and 60” tall. Nowadays I grow too many tomatoes to have them all near the house, so I have started putting landscape fabric down in the garden and then covering with leaves saved from the previous Fall. I have to use a cage because otherwise the deer and rabbits get at them.


95 posted on 03/09/2012 4:25:24 PM PST by perchprism (To those about to revolt, we salute you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 52 | View Replies]

To: painter

I’m sorry but I don’t know anything about gardening.
I just posted the tomato formula because our local weather man, Dale Nelson, is famous for his tomatoes.


96 posted on 03/09/2012 4:56:04 PM PST by patriot08 (TEXAS GAL- born and bred and proud of it!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 91 | View Replies]

To: Sarajevo

I’m sorry but I don’t know anything about gardening.
I just posted the tomato formula because our local weather man, Dale Nelson, is famous for his tomatoes.


97 posted on 03/09/2012 4:57:16 PM PST by patriot08 (TEXAS GAL- born and bred and proud of it!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 89 | View Replies]

To: JustaDumbBlonde

I’m working on growing potatoes (with an “e”) in 5 gallon tubs this year. I’ve been collecting tubs off the sides of the road (bleaching & cleaning them as I go). It’s new territory for me, so we’ll see how it works out.


98 posted on 03/09/2012 5:04:35 PM PST by P.O.E. (Pray for America)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JustaDumbBlonde

Cashmere is not sure at this point, But she knows this is her house. She got out through a double gate in the fence and was right at the front door scratching to get in. After my aching muscles feel better I will take her out for a walk around the neighborhood on a leash so she will have an idea where she is and where her home is, if she gets out again. But for now she is sticking as close to us as she can.


99 posted on 03/09/2012 5:07:19 PM PST by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]

To: MissMagnolia

I have lusted for a Magnolia for 50 + years and here you are on FR...


100 posted on 03/09/2012 5:19:04 PM PST by tubebender (I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 51 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-5051-100101-150151-200201-245 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson