Note: Catch the first update here.
So when I planted my veggies a month ago, I wanted to plant a variety of tomatoes. I chose 2 determinate tomatoes - a Bush Goliath and a Roma - which because they don't vine and sprawl, I am growing in containers. Those were purchased in the larger single plant peat pots.
For the 4' x 8' square foot garden bed, all across the back row I planted indeterminate, vining tomatoes of the Better Boy variety; in the smaller 4' x 4' beds I planted another variety of indeterminate, Big Beef tomatoes, along with some cucumbers and melon. Both of these tomatoes were in 9-cell containers of smaller sized plants. There will be vertical supports all across the back (north) side of each bed to support all the vining plants.
Well, all these weeks, I have had leftover Big Beef tomato plants that I wasn't sure what to do with, so I had them sitting in their original container on an empty square by the squash and just kept watering them. Clearly not the ideal situation to get a healthy plant! They're very scrawny and leggy and not at all in very good shape.
Today, I decided to try the 'tomato in a bag' way of growing a tomato plant. While these 2 plants will be a little behind their brothers and sisters that have been sitting in lovely soil for over a month now, it'll be a neat experiment to see just how a tomato in a bag performs in comparison. So, don't have time to do a whole garden this year? Anybody has time for one of these. Want to join me?
Now, I'll be doing my tomato in a bag using a bag of Black Kow composted cow manure, because they are the ones who showed me how!
Place your bag where you want your tomatoes to grow, keeping in mind that they'll need a good 6 to 8 hours of sunlight to do well. Poke 12 holes in the bottom of the bag. A 3-prong hand cultivator is perfect for this.
Space the holes out across the bottom of the bag fairly evenly.
Flip the bag over and make sure that the soil in it is pretty level. About 8 inches from the top and bottom edges of the bag, cut an "X" into the bag.
Fold the edges up underneath, or cut them off. I just folded them under.
Do this on both ends of the bag so that you have 2 planting squares.
Scoop out some of the dirt from both holes, but set it aside. You'll need at least some of it to fill in around your plant.
Stick one plant into each hole and gently press it in. Return as much of the dirt to the hole as needed in order to bring the soil back level.
Grab some Espom salt...
... and sprinkle 1 tablespoon around each of the plants.
Mix up some good old Miracle-Gro. You'll need about 1/2 a gallon.
And pour the Miracle-Gro evenly between each of the two holes, watering in the Epsom salt. Go ahead and cut away any lower branches and small suckers that are coming up in the crooks of any branches. This will help to encourage growth and provide for larger tomatoes. Mine were pretty leggy so they didn't need much in the way of trimming.
Stick a tomato cage in the middle and carefully press it into the bag. As your plants grow, you'll need to tie them to the cage for support. By the way, I have found that nylon footies or old pantyhose cut into strips, works great for this. Doesn't cause damage to the tomato vine and holds fantastic.
Now, let's watch it grow and see what happens!
Next, we give the Topsy Turvy Upside-Down Tomato Plantera try. CHECK IT OUT HERE!
Oh, and Hubs and I will be putting together the vertical frames for the square foot beds over the next day or so. Keep an eye open for that post too!