I am the worst blogger ever, I haven't posted anything in two weeks! With trying to wrap up closing on the new house, sorting through stuff before packing, finishing up the coops for the meat chickens, and little league baseball every night I just haven't had the time. Luckily, in that time my tomatoes have been flourishing in their temporary buckets! Occasionally I have been sprinkling them with some ground egg shells for a calcium boost to prevent blossom end rot, with a good soaking every morning and night due to lack of rain. If I end up keeping them in their buckets rather than transplanting, I will probably have to fertilize them some due to the limited soil. Regardless, plants are large, stems are thick, leaves are deep green, and I have blossoms!
The new septic systems is supposed to be complete by the end of the week. Still, if I transplant, the earliest this can happen is next weekend which is another week and a half away. Transplanting them at this stage when they are so large puts additional stress on the tomatoes and you risk damage because of the size of the plants and their roots. There is a lot of dirt in those buckets as opposed to a pea pot or even smaller. Trying to get it out with a shovel while handling the plant could be tricky. I fear that they won't survive the transplant, but if I don't take the risk, they may get root bound in the buckets and die anyway! I may transplant a couple, monitor them closely to see how they do, and if they handle it well transplant the rest.
Luckily, even though I won't have my massive garden, I will still have time to plant some late broccoli and green beans, and my mother in law planted corn for me. Let's just hope I have tomatoes to can! :) I won't be busting with produce as usual, but I should have enough of certain veggies to can or freeze. I hope everyone else's gardens are doing fantastic!
I am a big fan of making food in bulk and then freezing it for a later time. Whether it be sauces, dressings, cinnamon rolls, or nuggets, I like the warm cozy feeling that comes with knowing I have a freezer full of commonly used ingredients or prepared food for when I need it. One of the potential downfalls of freezing is putting everything in one container and then when you only need some, you have this massive block of frozen sauce or a bunch of cinnamon rolls frozen together. That's why when it comes to freezing sauces or ingredients you typically need in smaller amounts I use ice cube trays. FYI each ice cube equivalent amount is 2 tablespoons ;)
I was going to hold off on mentioning a word about it until after closing, but given my current garden situation I have no choice. My husband and I are officially buying a house and expecting to close within the next few weeks! As absolutely excited as I am, it has also been very stressful. Aside from the typical stress associated with buying a 200+ year old home, it is planting season! I had to accept (no matter how hard it was) the fact that I wouldn't be able to swing my massive garden this year. But my beautiful, textbook perfect heirlooms that I started from seed and have been nurturing and doting on hand and foot have to be planted. That's one thing that I can't budge on. I can't plant them where I live now (because I'm moving obviously) and the new house is getting a brand new septic system and leach bed whose location is up in the air at the moment. Although I got permission to plant at the new house before closing, I couldn't safely plant them anywhere for fear they would get dug up or plowed over with heavy equipment.
My only option was to find a way to temporarily plant them for now and risk transplant later once we are moved in and the septic is squared away. I can't say for sure this will work, and I have my fears that they won't do well if transplanted again when they're bigger. But, I am also afraid that if they stay in the containers then they will get root bound and die. I definitely am taking a bit of a gamble, but I have them started and I have to at least give it a shot. I will be keeping my fingers crossed on this one, and keep you posted!
Just a note, that if you are planting tomatoes in your garden, these are the same steps you would take! You just don't need to find containers to put them in or a good loom/compost mix!
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