Thursday, May 9, 2013

Bucket Tomatoes

 In the greenhouse I have planted my tomatoes that I started from seed into buckets. It is so cool to see a thriving plant that used to be just a seed. I don't think I will ever get used to the miracle of that!

 I used a ratio of 2 sand: 2 sawdust: 1 pearlite. How we measured that was with a water pitcher. Two pitchers of sand, 2 of sawdust, and 1 of pearlite.
  • We mixed it in a wheelbarrow, then put it in the buckets until they were within 2 or 3 inches of the top rim.  
  • Then I mixed some pre-plant mix into the top 6-8 inches described HERE
  •  When that was done, I watered the bucket until water was coming out of the holes I drilled into the bottom of the buckets previously. (6-8 1/2" holes).
  • I let the mixture sit over night to absorb moisture and then put the plants into the mix the next day. You probably don't have to do that. It is just a habit for me. 
  • To put the plants in, I pinched off the little leaves (cotyledons), the first leaves to sprout, and put the plant into the soil up to the first leaves. New roots will grow from the part of the stem that is in the ground making a much sturdier plant. 
  • When the plants were in, I sprinkled about a Tablespoon of Urea(nitrogen) on the soil mixture and watered it in.The nitrogen will give them a good head start and protect from transplant shock.
 The plants have been in the buckets for a couple of weeks and are growing rapidly. I give them about a Tablespoon of weekly feed once a week and water it in. Daily I check to see if the soil within the top 1/2" is dry. If it is, I water until it starts dripping from the bottom again. I have found that if I do that, it distributes the fertilizer good, leaches out extra fertilizer, gives good moisture content (obviously!), and keeps the soil fresh.

  The greenhouse is going to have 80+ tomatoes in it this summer! I have never grown that many tomatoes at once and I have never grown in a greenhouse before. This could get interesting!

Happy Healthy,

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