So, we have just begun the next big wave of planting season here at Harp & Shamrock Croft. We had a beautiful weekend for it and also help from a couple of friends that know their way around a garden. If you ever find yourself needing to do a whole lot of planting on one day, remember that many hands make light work!
Our first item was to decide what to plant (we are selling seven different varieties of tomatoes, so a couple of weeks ago we pulled out of our inventory what we want to put into the ground). Last year we sold black cherry tomatoes really well, so we decided to go heavy on those as well as Roma tomatoes which are always a big seller. We also have 4 different growing areas designated for tomatoes this year, so we had to decide what would fit well. We started by placing the plants where we wanted them, which helped us to make sure the spacing of the holes would be on target for the number of plants we want to grow.
After mapping out our tomatoes, we dug the holes. Tomatoes like to be planted very deep–up between the first and second sets of leaves. Planting them deep gives them stability and gives the roots nice structure. Before we placed the tomatoes, we dropped in 2 teaspoons of kelp meal. Then after placing the plant and covering up the base, we side-dressed with an ounce organic blood meal on each plant to give a shot of nitrogen. Then we staked each plant with a tall, strong bamboo stake. Later in the evening we watered well with our drip irrigation system (we are currently working on a post regarding our irrigation!). Tomatoes need plenty of water at transplanting, but be careful not to water during the heat of day or else the sun can scorch the leaves where the water lands. Young transplants are particularly susceptible to sunscald.
While we still have many, many tomatoes to plant, we are very thankful to have accomplished the planting of all the red cherry and black cherry plants. We will be doing the same thing with our Romas and Moskviches this week and eventually Brandywines, German Pinks, and Green Zebras. It may take a few weeks, but we are purposely staggering our planting in order to extend our harvest.
It’s so great to see plants growing in the garden instead of empty boxes! How about you? Have you put your tomatoes in the ground yet?