Saturday, June 19, 2010

Urban gardening 2010: tomatoes (May and June)

The last time I posted about the tomatoes, it was late April, and we had just transplanted the seedlings outside. The seedlings were protected from the menacing squirrels with mesh screens but we're not sure if the mesh prevented the sun from getting to their tender little leaves, or if the coffee grounds and eggshells we had supplemented the dirt with were too intense, but they just were not doing well. They were sickly and yellow, and the couple days of really windy, cold weather probably didn't help. Although P was sympathetic, he told me I was coddling them too much and to let nature take its course...

The transplanted seedlings are barely taking root after 2 weeks... so disappointing! 
(Early May)

By mid-May, the seedlings had been outside for 3 weeks, and were still tiny, so we ended up replacing them with much larger, established plums and cherries from the Borough Hall Farmer's Market. It hurt too much to throw away the poor seedlings, so we just popped them all into one small pot and stuck them in another corner.

 The new tomato transplants from the Farmer's Market (plums and cherries) along with the oregano and basil from last year. 
(Mid May)
The following week, the new tomatoes were definitely growing, phew!

 Our first tomato blossoms! (Late May)

The first tomato! It's a plum! (Late May)

More plums (Early June)

and more plums!! (Mid June)

By June, the new tomatoes had shot up to the top rung of the trellis. We have been lucky that it's been really warm and sunny, unlike last year's soggy summer. 
 Early June

 Mid/Late June
 The cherry tomatoes! (Early June)

 The cherry tomatoes! (Mid June)

Oh, and those poor little tomato seedlings that were barely alive in mid-May...
The four tomato seedlings are in the plastic orange pot on the right- kind of hard to see them because of the basil planted in with them and the petunias in the background. Also shown are lavender, rosemary, sage, and cilantro. In the foreground are marigolds that we planted from seed- their scent is supposed to deter pests from the eggplants and squash, so we've got a bunch going. (Mid May)

Everyone's growing in well, even the tomatoes! (Late May)

Ummm, OK... so the "poor little seedlings" had a growth spurt and now they've sprung into giant, healthy tomato plants! They got so big that we had to split them up into two pots, and even those look too small for them! I guess nature did take its course and they were just really slow starters... so I really was just an overly concerned plant mommy... It's really uncanny how describing the plants is so similar to describing children!!

The strapping young tomatoes!

To add to the parallels of parenthood, my coworker Joerg lent me his "Plant Cam"while he's away for a month. NO, it's not like one of those baby monitors that parents use to check in on their babies when they're sleeping or whatever- it's actually a very cool, all weather time-lapse camera! We've set it up to take photos every few hours for a whole month to track the tomatoes' growth. 

We'll post the video when it's done- we hope it works out! 

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