Honey I Shrunk the Tomatoes or How to Plant Tomatoes

I finally got the tomatoes planted in the greenhouse. They were getting tall and spindly and needed to be planted. Oops, Honey, I shrunk the tomatoes!

Honey I Shrunk the Tomatoes or How to Plant Tomatoes - IdlewildAlaska

Or How to Plant Tomatoes

This year we’re growing four types of tomatoes, Subarctic, Glacier, Black Cherry, and Black Prince. The Subarctic and Glacier can both be grown outside, so the majority of the greenhouse space was saved for both of the Black tomatoes.

Tomato seedlings tend to grown long and spindly. In those small seedling cups, the roots cannot go very deep to hold the tomato strong. So I typically plant my tomatoes when they are at least six to eight inches tall, sometimes a bit more.

Tomato Seedlings - IdlewildAlaska

I did use the organic “biodegradable” seed pots to start my ‘maters. I like the fact that they are organic, but the pots don’t really breakdown in our cool Alaskan summers, so I removed the seedlings from the pots before planting. (I’m not sure if I’ll use them again next year; they dry out really fast.) When planting the tomatoes, I typically snip off the several lowest leaves, leaving only the highest few leaves and branches (if any). This way I can plant the tomatoes extra deep, leaving only the top three to four inches of the plant showing. It’s important to make sure none of the leaves are touching the ground to avoid rot.

Planting Tomato Seedlings - IdlewildAlaska

When planting tomato stems this deep, more roots will grow off the stem and strengthen the plant’s foundation. Strong foundations build stronger plants; stronger plants don’t break under lots and lots of tomatoes.

So on the quest for stronger roots, my tomatoes have shrunk. They’ve gone from six to ten inches tall to under five inches tall. Honey, I shrunk the tomatoes, and I’m not sorry. I can’t wait to see our tomato harvest this year!

Growing Tomatoes - IdlewildAlaskaCheck out Grow.Pray.Build for great tips on growing great tomatoes! And don’t forget to prune those suckers!


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Busy Spring on the Alaskan Homestead

Ah, spring on the Alaskan Homestead. That time of the year when all those little outside projects which have waited all winter long need to be done. That time of the year when there never seems to be enough hours in the day (Even in Alaska!). As always, it’s a busy spring on the Alaskan homestead.

A Busy Spring on the Alaskan Homestead - IdlewildAlaska

Spring is busy for every homestead, no matter where they are. Chicks are hatched; calves are born. Seeds are started, and gardens and crops are planted. In Alaska, gardens aren’t traditionally planted until June 1st. The ground is still too frozen by the end of April to put in any new fencing (of which every homestead is always in need of). So our spring is extra hectic due to how short it is! Our To-Do list has been crazy. The homestead is full of half finished projects that seem never ending.

The new coop has it’s new floor and roost is in, but still needs to be insulated and the storage area built. The run isn’t quite finished yet, but it’s about halfway there and will be done soon. It’s not quite predator proof yet. (As soon as its done, I’ll share it all with you!)

Alaskan Chicken Coop Project - IdlewildAlaska

The greenhouse finally has its new roof. See it HERE. The potato garden has been tilled and partly planted (Pictured below on the left). The main garden still needs to be tilled, and the seedlings need to get in the ground. The greenhouse still needs to be cleaned and planted. We’re hoping for this weekend (Yes, we’re planting earlier than the traditional date of June 1st, but it’s been an unusually warm spring and they’re calling for an unusually warm summer).

Idlewild Alaska Homestead - IdlewildAlaska

We bought a peony and a Siberian Larch (right corner of the picture above). I’m still trying to decide where to plant both, so they’re still in pots, just waiting.

The rhubarb still needs to be split and moved from the old garden to the new garden area. The strawberry bed needs to be built. I’m also hoping to get some cold frames built soon too.

On a good note, one of the two molting hens is laying again! So we’re now up to three eggs a day, as opposed only two a day. We also have 24 Easter Egger eggs in the incubator, due in a couple weeks.

Fresh Eggs - IdlewildAlaska

The To-Do List on every homestead seems to be never ending, doubly so in the Spring. As my boss at the farm said the other day when asked what we needed to do that particular day, “Everything!” Ah, Spring on the Alaskan Homestead.

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Homestead Blog Hop #31

Welcome to the Homestead Blog Hop!
Homestead Blog Hop | IdlewildAlaska.com

It’s been crazy busy around here lately. I’ve been working at my new job on the local farm, planting is underway, and hard at work here at the homestead planting our garden too. Lots and lots of garden time and I’m loving it!

Now on to the hop…

Homestead Blog Hop will take place every Wednesday and is for all things homesteading: real food recipes, farm animals, crafts, DIY, how-to’s, gardening, anything from-scratch, natural home/health, self-sufficiency, self-reliance, natural remedies, essential oils, & more! Basically anything related to homesteading.

Meet the Hosts!

Jen- The Easy Homestead

Jenna- The Flip Flop Barnyard

Jennifer- Homesteading on Grace

Kelly- Simple Life Mom

Amanda- Idlewild Alaska (That’s me!)

Lindsey- Chickadee Homestead

Nicole- Little Blog on the Homestead

Bonnie- The Not So Modern Housewife

Featured Posts from the Last Homestead Blog Hop

Each week we will choose three posts to feature. Each post will be shared on all social media platforms by all of the hosts! Here are last week’s featured posts:

Featured on the Homestead Blog Hop: 6 bottom Line Issues We Must Face About GMOs by The Farmers Lamp

1. Six Bottom Line Issues We Must Face About GMO’s by The Farmer’s Lamp

Featured on Homestead Blog Hop: How to Harden Off Seedlings by Grow A Good Life

2. How to Harden Off Seedlings by Grow A Good Life

Featured on the Homestead Blog Hop: Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar by Floyd Family Homestead

3. Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar by Floyd Family Homestead

Congrats! Feel free to grab the featured on button for your post. Just right click and ‘save image as…’

Featured Post Homestead Blog Hop | IdlewildAlaska.com

Guidelines for Homestead Blog Hop

1. This is a family-friendly link up meant to inspire and motivate the homesteader in all of us. Please note that all giveaways, contests, and the like will be deleted from the blog hop, as well as anything not family-friendly.

2. Link your post back to the hop. If the hop isn’t linked to your post then you cannot be featured. All featured posts will be shared on all hosts’ social media channels.

3. When linking up your post to the Homestead Blog Hop please make sure you actually link to your post and not your homepage.

4. Please link up posts that you haven’t linked to the hop before. You are welcome to link old posts from your blog!

5. Link up to three posts each week!

6. Linking up gives us permission to use your photo on social media platforms {with a link back to your post) in order to promote your post if you are featured.

***Please note: in order to maintain the awesomeness of the hop all posts that don’t meet the above guidelines will be deleted.

Well, let’s see what’cha got!

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