The great gardening risk...

on Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I did something in the garden this evening that i've never done before!

No, no... garden naked day is this coming weekend! ;-)

I planted some of my tomatoes well before our last average frost date. Crazy, right???

The weather has shifted from cold, wet and gray to warm sunny days and a forecast of rainy but warm weather soon.

Now this is the first year I'll be growing my tomatoes in the raised beds... no more in-ground gardening with the heavy clay soil where plants rot in place. This means I have less space to crowd my tomatoes in. But it also means soil that warms earlier, is lighter/higher quality, and has better drainage.

So today I took a risk. I found I could fit 7 tomato cages along the length of one raised bed, and decided to plant varieties where I have a backup plant that's also really healthy. And for most of the plants I put in the soil, the cup actually had more than one very healthy seedling because I still hadn't thinned them (slacker!). So I snipped off the spare seedlings with scissors and stuck them in the bed outside of the cage... cut off tomato plants will sometimes root and keep growing!

Now this is all an experiment. If the weather gets nasty bitter cold, I can use the hotcap covers Mary gave me for my birthday to provide a mini greenhouse effect over the plants in the raised bed. And if they still bite the dust, I've got spare plants as backups!

Check out the root growth in the picture... I think I potted those tomatoes up maybe three weeks ago, and they already had roots spiraling around the base of the pots. This would be a really good time to pot the plants up into bigger pots, like maybe gallon size? That is if I didn't have enough going on already...

Fingers crossed that this all works out well!
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