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!
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.
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.
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!