Friday, May 1, 2009

The Egg Trick

We've had some questions regarding the “egg trick”.

In short, here's what we do when we plant a tomato:

Dig a hole. Go down as far as you can, the deeper the better.

Put some planter mix or potting soil and/or compost into the hole. Not too much, though or it gets too expensive. Maybe a third of the way or half of the way in the hole, depending on the depth of the hole.

Put the dug dirt back in the hole.

Turn the dirt, mixing the dirt and the good soil together until fluffy.

Take the dirt out again. If you end up digging the hole a little deeper and wider, all the better.

Place a whole egg in the bottom of the hole. No, don't crack it, a whole egg. We amuse ourselves a bit by rolling the egg in from the lip of the hole. The idea is that when the roots of the plant grow downward, they will reach the egg, crack it and have a slow release fertilizer for nutrition.

Fill up with dirt, but not all the way. The rest is dependent on the tomato plant.

Take your tomato plant and remove the lower leaves (if the plant is long enough), leaving about four to five inches of growth above ground. Frequently, you'll have to dig out the hole a bit with your hand to get the appropriate depth.

Fill up with dirt.

Step on the freshly dug hole around the planted tomato, taking the “air” out of the ground. Add more dirt as needed.

Make a “moat” around the tomato plant. This is for when you water. The wider and bigger the better. Seriously. All of our “big” plants have had big “moats” while our laggards have had smaller, shallower “moats” that needed to be fixed later.

Purchased Husky Cherry Red Replacements

During the day, my wife called me to say that Black Zebra started wilting and per her opinion, it wasn't going to make it. Coming back from the gym, she called again to say that Husky Cherry Red wasn't going to make it, either.

When I got home I had to agree. It's not clear if these plants got hit again with something or that it was a delayed reaction to what happened three or four days ago. But I could add another one to the list – Eva Purple Ball was wilted in a similar fashion.

Later on in the evening we went to the WalMart in Porter Ranch to look for Husky Cherry Red tomato plants. It took a little searching, but we found them and bought two.

Still it was a bit of a sad evening. The tomato plants have been attacked twice in a month, having now lost 22 plants to vandalism of some sort. We have no replacement for Eva Purple Ball or Black Zebra. The new ones will be started quite late.

By the morning we were better. Oh well, it won't stop us.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Replacement Found For Green Zebra

My wife went to Green Aarow and purchased two Green Zebras, a Vintage Wine and Silvery Fir Tree. The damaged Green Zebra will be swapped out with one of the new ones.

My wife also planted seven tomatoes in Aunt Lucy's yard. She was very happy for that!

As to where we'll plant these three other new tomatoes, who knows...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Watered The Front Yard Tomatoes

I watered the front yard tomato plants this morning.

After watering I took a look at the backyard plants. Sweet 100 has five tomatoes on it, Sweet Olive has four tomatoes on it.

Red Currant does have some minor growth but it's more horizontal, not vertical. However, I did notice some very tiny buds forming.

Things look reasonably good with the exception of the three damaged plants.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Damage Assessment

As my wife mentioned in a comment, it appears that Black Zebra, Green Zebra and a third plant, Husky Cherry Red have damage due to perhaps “marking”. The front yard tomato plants were fertilized with fish emulsion and my wife thinks that this may have played a part.

Green Zebra lost about 85 percent of it's leaves and is a near total loss. If my wife finds another Green Zebra, she'll replace it. Black Zebra lost about 20 percent of growth but should be fine. Husky Cherry Red lost about 25 percent of its' growth and one tomato.

Jaune Coeur de Pigeon continues to impress and grow. Red Currant is now fully green, but hasn't shown much new growth. Black Zebra had really taken off until yesterday's problem. And with the exception of one or two plants, the back yard tomato plants look great and have new growth.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Image of Seedlings in the "Koi Pond"

Here's an April 11 image of the tomato seedlings growing in our “koi pond”.

The Two Zebras Are Damaged

I met my wife for lunch today. In passing, I mentioned that the two Zebras (Black Zebra and Green Zebra) had leaves that looked “burned” when I checked the front yard tomato plants this morning. I thought it may have been related to the latest heat wave, though I didn't notice any damage when I watered them this last Saturday. My wife said she'd check it out.

My wife had some bad news. Both plants were damaged, apparently with a RoundUp type spray. Black Zebra was hit with a glancing blow and will apparently make it, but Green Zebra may be a total loss.

Catching Up On Things...

Not much to report about our tomatoes...but we visited my mother in law yesterday and her tomato plants look great!

I did do work on her computer, clearing out the Internet Explorer temp files and turning off Indexing Service. Now her machine is peppier and she may be posting more.

I have a backlog of things to do, both in life and relating to tomatoes that I hope to get to this week. I'm overdue on posting images and the tomato documents, but those should both happen this week.

Sunday, April 26, 2009