Beginner Gardening: What veggies/fruit loves sweltering Tennessee Summers and.., 1 by Gymgirl
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It took me a minute to review my 2013 Spring/Summer timeline to answer your questions re: the MULE TEAM tomato in the picture.
12/31/12: Sowed seeds for 24 bell peppers and 84 tomato plants:
01/06/13: Five out of nine trays have popped and are under lights, right on schedule, six days from sowing...
01/09/13: 72 total tomato seedlings under fluorescent lights.
01/17/13: My tomatoes under lights have taken off, and are too tall for the 4" pots anymore. They are also telling me that they are about to be ready to EAT! The stems are long (but not leggy), so, looks like I'm gonna have to pot them deep into the tall drinking water bottles from this weekend until hardening off on February 9th. That's only 4 more weeks before plant out on February 16th. I'm actually ON SCHEDULE for a change! Life does get better!
01/29/13: Batch #1 of the Tomato seedlings have gone outside for hardening off Target planting date is weekend of 02/16/13, depending on 1) the weather and 2) when I can get them in, schedule-wise...
01/29/13: NOTES ON 100% ROOTS ORGANIC SEED STARTER MIX EXPERIMENT. The remaining seedlings that are still inside under lights have taken off like a bullet, and are looking more and more like those in drthor's pictures. These are the ones I planted in 100% fresh Roots Organic Potting Soil (vs. the others that were planted in 50% RO and 50% old, refreshed potting mix). Took them awhile to kick in, but they finally sucked up the steroids, and are now growing like they are ON steroids. Totally beautiful!
02/23/13: I managed to get seven tomato plants (MULE TEAM) in after mixing up a topper of topsoil, MG garden soil and Microlife. Put the hoop up and covered it with the perforated plastic sheeting. We're going to the high 30s all next week, so, I'll break out sheets and the frost blanket. Glad to finally have the contingencies in place!
03/04/13: I remembered that I hadn't mixed any Dolomitic Lime into the planting bed, so, I sprinkled a handful of EP and a handful of lime over the root balls of each plant and watered it in. Hopefully the mix sank far enough down to the root balls. REMEMBER TO ADD LIME!!!!
04/01/13 WEEKEND UPDATE: The tomatoes have "greened up", and are starting to crank out marbles!
04/10/13. I was securing the tomato plants to the stakes this morning, due to expected high winds. I spied at least three tangerine-sized tomatoes hiding underneath the leaves -- Mule Team.
04/18/13 GARDEN UPDATE: I have tomatoes on all the vines, and most are cherry tomato or tangerine size. Most are Mule Team in RB #3. Two Kimberly Cherry varieties planted in one EB and one pot are also marbling.
One MULE TEAM looked like it was blushing on the underside, and no sign of BER on any tomatoes, PRAISE GOD! First time no BER!!!
I'll have to remember that I forgot to mix the Dolomite into the new soil when I topped the beds. I made "wells" in the soil over the roots of each plant, sprinkled the Dolomite in each well and watered it in from the top. It looked like milky cream in a pool, but, it soaked into the soil right over where the root balls were...I might do another application of Dolomite lime this weekend, just to be sure...
(Note: did not do second application of Dolomite, however, I noticed some changes on the ends of one or two new tomatoes coming out as of 5/10/13). May be time for a second application after all...
04/24 & 4/25/13
•Have to spray the tomatoes for little green worms
•The MULE TEAM tomatoes are about full tangerine size, in clusters of 5-6 tomatoes.
•I've NEVER had this many tomatoes, this early in my season!
05/02/13 GARDEN UPDATE
•My Mule Team tomatoes are bigger than tangerines, and there're plenty of them!
•But, I have encountered tomato worms and Leaf Footed Stinkbugs!
•I sprayed Bt Friday evening for the worms, and we had a gully washer Saturday...
•I sprayed Bt yesterday evening for the worms, and this morning we had a gully washer..
•(NOTE: Bt was applied twice with the sprayer, & washed off by rain, but the worms are under control 15 days later, except for a rogue I need to find - keeps chewing holes!!!).
•I checked this morning, and one of the tomatoes in the cluster is a full tennis ball size, and rusty red on the entire bottom half! And today is only May 6th!
•The worms are under control, the vines are full, and setting new blossoms everywhere!
This is the best season ever!
05/07/13 Garden Update: Snapped this morning!
#1 FIRST real tomato of the season - Mule Team!
#2 Kimberly Cherry Tomato cluster (I picked three ripes ones Saturday!)
#3 VERY, VERY, VERY late transplanted cabbage in Earthbox. Shouldn't even be alive...
#4 Bell Peppers under Tulle
#5 Mule Team Cluster
And, there you have it! My 2013 Spring/Summer Tomato Timeline!
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