The goal for this year is the same as always, grow something interesting and learn something new. An additional goal this year is to compete in the GVGO Team Tomato Challenge, GO TEAM 8!
This first post will be a biggy to catch up on everything I've missed.
After panicking and thinking I should have started months ago, I get going. Thanks to some advice from fellow Team 8 members I relax and get my seeds going.
Tomato Challenge picks:
Tomato 5.03 Hunt 17
Tomato 5.36 Hunt 17
Tomato 5.36 Lyon 18
Bushel Gourd seeds ( My own from 2019 Approx 45lb, and from the 2019 GVGO seed package)
I started the tomato and mangel in paper towels, inside of small tupperware containers. The Bushel Gourds I start in paper towel but ran out of tupperware so used ziplock bags.
Several seeds have broken out and are looking good. I make some news paper cups and plant the tomatoes. I place them under an LED grow bulb.
The mangel I have read don't like to be transplanted. I probably should have sowed them directly in soil to start, however due to the Covid lock down I was unable to get any soil to start with. However I now have both soil and my new fabric pots, so in they go! I'm leaving these pots inside for the most part.
The bushel gourds don't appear to be showing any signs of activity. The ziplock bags usually feel cool. I've tried keeping them in sunny windows, and on heat vents, but to no avail they are always cold. I'm having doubts.
Tomatoes are poking out! Keeping them watered, and under the LED light from 8am-11pm every day. And I've put a little fan near by, sure they are to small but I better get into the habit, and I figure it will hopefully help them to be a little stronger.
Sustaining growth on my tomatoes! Keeping the same light schedule, and watering when necessary. I have read some people use a diluted fertilizer, but I'm to afraid to change anything since I feel like things are going well, so I stick to plain old water.
The mangel still are not showing. I've been bringing the pots outside on nice warm/sunny days.
I'm giving up hope on the bushel gourds. Maybe next year. After all they do spread and vine like crazy and did get a little out of control. Maybe next year I can get a good place for them to vine and try again.
Tomatoes have some real leaves and are looking good!
The mangel have also shown up to the party finally! I've got a few popping up so it looks like I'll have a couple to choose from. I have been bringing the pots outside on nice warm/sunny days, being careful of sudden May snow storms.
Tomatoes are getting a little big for their paper homes. Time to move to a slightly bigger plastic cup. This will also let me water from below. Another new item I learned which is apparently good for them. I let them rest in a doorway to get some shade and a hint of what it's like outside.
The Mangel continue doing okay.
A friend gives me some left over yellow fleshed potatoes, so I go ahead and plant a few of them. They are in the same family as a tomato, so it could prove interesting to see how they fair. Plus who doesn't love mashed potatoes?
Tomatoes are being brought out on nice days for a little fresh air. Starting with my hardening off process. I'm going for 2 hours at a time for a couple days, then jumping to 4 hours for a few days. etc. Theres a few days where its cloudy but warm, so I left them out all day.
Mangel look good, but a few over zealous waterings on my part are giving them a run for their money.
Potatoes might be from the same family but they don't look the same as a tomato!
The tomatoes are getting bushy and smell really nice.
Yup, my heavy hand with the waterings have proven my downfall. A few of the mangels have some stem issues, and can't stand up on their own. One whole pot is not looking good at all, so I pull them out and try to transplant (despite knowing its not great) in hopes to have more then just one mangel. I leave the strongest looking one on its own, and the two weaker ones I move to the other pot.
I get some more pots finally for the tomatoes along with more potting soil. Time to put these bad boys in their forever homes. I snip the two seedling leaves, and some lower leaves in order to get the plants as deep as possible in their pots, and let those roots grow from the stems as I have read. I think I probably needed more soil for all of these pots, and could have planted a few of them deeper.
Also featured here two pots of future Zucinni loafs.
Any feed back on what I have done would be appreciated.
Next step is to figure out how to cage Giant tomatoes. I've grown a tomato plant once and it was a disaster, branches were hanging all over, the cage couldn't contain it, and most of my tomatoes ended up on the ground.
As well, I am going to start looking into proper feeding schedules and nutrients.