There are a few reasons that I don’t plant the young tomato plants in the garden. The main reason is their little stems are still not strong enough. In Texas we have some very windy days. And the rain is still a problem (don’t get me wrong, we love rain and really need it) but for young plants still trying to strengthen their stems, this could be a problem. It’s like raising young chicks, if you turn them loose too early, they don’t know what to do and get into all kinds of trouble from predators.
The same thing for planting too early is that the weather could break their stems and you just can’t help them as much as you can when they are in trays. It’s easier to hurry and move a tray inside out of the wind, than it is to cover an entire garden.
This week I will show you how to stake the young Roma Tomato plants. I use bamboo stakes and cut them approximately 16″. You can purchase bamboo stakes at nurserys or even at retail stores like Walmart. Or you can purchase and have them shipped directly to you!
You can purchase Bamboo Stakes:
I slide the bamboo stake next to the tomato plant all the way down to the bottom of the pot. Then I take the plant label that I have made for each of the plants. (I typed Roma Tomato several times and printed out, cut out the printed Roma Tomato, used the poor man’s laminating which is scotch tape and fold over the edges, punched a hole in the little signage and used an opened paperclip to hold the little signage in the pot) Now I will be removing the paperclip and use a tie, taking it through the punched hole, around the stake and the stem of the tomato plant. Note: I make sure that I place the tie above a leaf branch so the signage won’t drop to the soil. When I transplant into the garden and remove the stake, I keep the tie with the little signage on the tomato plant. I do this so I can label all the different tomato plants if I have more than one variety.
We are still watering the wicking way, by filling the aluminum tray with water allowing the water to be pulled up and not watering from the top of the pot. We want the leaves to also get greener and healthy so it’s time to give them a foliar spray and feed them with some nutrients too.
Plants can take nourishment not only through their roots, but also through the pores or stomata on their leaf undersides. Stomata are tiny mouths that breathe in CO2 and exhale water and oxygen. By spraying nourishment on the underside of the leaves where the Stomata are, the Stomata can transport nutrients up to 10 times more efficiently than the root systems. It’s like us taking a multi vitamin. This is meant to be a supplement feeding and not the plant’s main source of nutrients. We take vitamins, but we also eat our food.
You will want to foliar spray your tomato plants in the evening in the cooler temperature. The Stomata are opening up and taking in the CO2 at this time. If you grow plants and you notice at night their leaves close or lift upward, they are allowing their undersides to be exposed to bring in the CO2.
In a spray bottle, mix water and Medina Liquid Fish Blend in a diluted strength. 1 ounce Liquid Fish Blend to 1 gallon water. Using a fine mist spray the undersides of the leaves until the excess liquid drips off the leaves.
I hope you enjoy this week’s video:
Next week we’ll be feeding with Bloodmeal….you can purchase your Bloodmeal:
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Your Backyard Genie