Trouble is a given when you are starting a tabletop seedling collection. As you already know, I had started way too early, testing my expertise as well as my trust that things would go as planned. They did and they didn’t.
After Zucchinis, I think it is the Tomatoes that grow the fastest. After that, the peppers. Then, thankfully, the eggplants have begun to nod the grains of dirt off their emerging necks, and have finally appeared.
So, things get a little hectic when you have to watch carefully for water content, not let them dry out too much, and not let too much water drown the roots while they are in their critical infant stages.
Today, I pulled some tomatoes, a ‘san marzano’ cultivar, and dropped them into pots that should be okay until they go outside for hardening.
Here are the steps:
- fill the pot partially with soil;
- find or have an auger which will help push the dirt into a hole for the small plant to be sunk into.
- remember, tomatoes, and peppers and such have hairy stems. Those teeny hairs will eventually help the plant by growing into roots and they will help anchor and protect the plant when put into the garden.
- place the plant (you may have to pull them apart) into the pot, and continue to add soil up the stems.
- place the pot(s) in a tray of water, to moisten the dirt from the bottom. You can also run water over the soil, but be careful not to drown the leaves. I do this often!
- return the plants to their location inside, and continue to support and water as needed. They may and probably will wilt, but that is only temporary. The turgidity of the stem will resolve soon, and it will continue to grow.
You may find that the advantages to this type of planting, albeit not so soon in the year, is that you have sturdy, confident little plants to put in your garden to continue to fruiting stage. You will have personal confidence as you reap the benefits of your patience and fruitful endeavors.