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Posts Tagged ‘tomato’

Brush tomato seedlings 1-2x/day

Brush tomato seedlings 1-2x/day

We sure spend a lot of time babying our seedlings. We start them indoors where it’s safe from the elements. We start our seedlings in excellent soil. Sometimes we use warm water or a warming pad underneath to help germination and growth. They bask under grow lights to keep them from getting spindley or leggy.

But guess what? Your tomato seedlings need a good workout every now and then, too.

“A workout ?”

You bet! The one thing that tomatoes miss from being outside is the wind. Movement helps build strong, thick stems, just like a Pilates workout will strengthen your “core”.

Older seedlings can use a more vigorous workout!

Older seedlings can use a more vigorous workout!

Exercise regimen:

  • When the tomato seedlings reach about 2-3 inches, gently brush the tops of the plants with your hands once or twice a day
  • Once they have their true leaves, and seedlings are over 4 inches tall, your tomatoes can handle a more vigorous workout. For nostalgia and entertainment, whip out those old Jane Fonda or Richard Simmons videos to get you and your tomatoes in the mood. Grab the stems and bend them back and forth. Do this to the higher part of the stems so that you won’t disturb the roots. A couple of times a day should suffice.

A research project from Cornell University and the University of Torino, Italy, showed mechanical brushing results in tomato plants that are shorter but stockier, have thicker stems, and are less likely to suffer transplantation stresses than seedlings that did not get a workout!

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So pooped after this big harvest!

So pooped after this big harvest!

It’s been a warm, dry winter here in N. California.  There’s a threat of frost and rain/snow in the forecast this weekend so ran out and salvaged the last of the cherry “grape” tomatoes.  Harvested about 4 1/2 lbs – it’s incredible.  And there’s still more babies left on the vines that will perish when the frost kicks in 😦

Am amazed these gems have lasted as long as they have.  The seeds are so hardy and pop up like weeds in the spring.  Send us a SASE and we’ll be happy to send you seeds for your next growing season: Plangarden, P.O. Box 1973, El Granada, CA 94018.

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It’s a boy! um … tomato

This is for real, common in our veggie garden!

This is for real, common in our veggie garden!

I can’t remember if this is the Stupice variety but this sort of extra appendage seems to be quite common in our vegetable garden.  What could it mean?  Perhaps:

  • It’s an expression of joy and romance for our coastside climate
  • The fruit wants to reach out and touch other fruit
  • It’s the first stages of morphing into an octopus

What do you think?

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