Sunday, March 2, 2014

Tomato Seeds Sprouted; Tomatoes 101 Class

Most of our tomato seeds have sprouted, though they sprouted late. We're rather excited about a few of them. However, these are not being raised with a grow light so we don't know how effective these seedlings will be. It's my thought that we'd save a seedling of each type and give away the rest.

We've had a medium sized trash can of bark and chicken manure for quite some time. I suggested to my wife that I dump and rake this material into our back yard tomato growing ground and let the rain wash it in. My wife agreed so I did just that. The whole process took only 10 - 15 minutes. I didn't turn it in to the dirt, just laid it on top.

Saturday morning, Stephen Baldonado did the CSUN tomato class ("Tomatoes 101"). Scott Daigre had been doing it for years (10 years?). Scott has done a great job with the class and frankly, I expected Stephen to be a step down from Scott.

I was wrong. Stephen wasn't just good, he was quite good.

Scott would provide a flurry of information and his presentation you couldn't help but not get excited for the tomato growing season. Who needs coffee when you have Scott to amp you up on a Saturday morning?

Stephen isn't Scott, but who is? Stephen came prepared with a computer and Powerpoint slides (Scott knows his stuff but his peripatic style makes it appear as if he just wings it) and had a good, smooth flow. He was working off of an outline (good!) to make sure he hit his points.

The only downside to Stephen's presentation is that he went over his time allotment. He was about 15 minutes over and he still didn't get to how to handle "critters" in your tomato garden. Now I know why Scott is amped during the class -- there's too much information!

On a scale of 1 - 10, 10 being best, Stephen gets a 9 at least. This is his first time with this material at this event. The time issues will handle themselves. Either he'll cut something out or we'll have the second coming of Scott Daigre. Either way the problem will resolve itself.

Per Stephen's presentation, I'll try to take out as much of the bark I just put in. The chicken manure won't be a problem as these were locally raised chickens grown in a loving environment. You see, I learned something!

There was plenty of rain so I'm sure the chicken manure leeched into the ground. And our backyard tomato growing area has a little bit of the "compost paella" look as explained in the last post.