Thursday, April 19, 2012

How to Grow Your Own Tomatoes When You Have No Space, a Tutorial

Beginning Urban Farmers, this post is for you!  Or anyone who doesn't want to plant a giant garden without ever having done it and worries they might screw it up. 

I am not an expert.  In fact, I have no idea what I'm doing...and yet, I am not afraid.  Well, I'm learning.  I *have* grown plants before and helped in gardens, but never really grown veggies entirely on my own.  If you've been reading my blog, *have* been reading, haven't you?  People are.  Someone is.  I know because if I go to my "Stats" page, I have visitors.  Lots of them.  But I don't know who most of you are, so feel free to shoot me an email, comment, 'become a follower.'  Also feel free to use the buttons below posts to share on facebook or twitter.  And you pinsters ~ pin away!  I'm also on pinterest if you'd like to follow me:

So, if you've been reading my blog, then you know how much I love tomatoes.  I am even planning a vacation to visit my folks in Idaho this Summer to help can tomatoes (and eat tomatoes) fresh from their garden.  That's how much I love tomatoes.  I've long been wanting to grow my own, but I live in a small apartment with no balcony, and tomato plants grow to be about 5 feet tall.  Thus, I decided to grow tomatoes on my walk-up to my apartment.  Probably to the wonderment and irritation of my neighbors, but I decided not to care since any plant life is an improvement to this nondescript apartment building.  The idea of having fresh tomatoes this Summer along with jars of canned tomatoes at my disposal throughout Fall and Winter is far too exciting for me to not at least try to grow my own.  Of knowing where your food came from, of the idea of picking fresh and chopping it up and eating it right away...yummmm.  So, How to Grow Your Own Tomatoes (WISH I had thought to take pictures during the process, but if you go to Home Depot, they will help you every step of the way--they helped me with nearly everything).
  1. 2 large pots, 18-24 in diameter at the rim (make sure they have holes for fluid to drain)
  2. 2 large 54" tall cages (this is so that when the vines grow they can creep up the cage)
  3. 2 tomato plants. I bought 1 cherry and 1 Roma.
  4. 2 large bags of potting mix. You will need all of it, most likely.
  5. 1 bottle of plant food.  
 *I chose two tomato plants because I didn't want to go too crazy.  I figured starting small was best.
  1. When you get home, pick a sunny area; tomatoes love sun.
  2. Fill pots about half-way with soil.  Gently remove the tomato plants from their containers.
  3. Place the plants in the center of the large pots. 
  4. Place the cages around the plants, the plant should be in the middle of the cage.
  5. Fill in around the plant with the remaining soil.
  6. "Feed" the plant using the directions on the plant food you bought.
  7. Watch your tomatoes grow, watering as needed. 
I have read and am told by seasoned gardeners that you don't want to over-water, so you watch for any wilting of the leaves and water accordingly.  In 65 days (65 days!?  That means I have to wait until mid- to late-June for my tomatoes!) I hope to have wonderful tomatoes to cook with, and possibly enough to preserve and share the extras.  More on this post as my plants grow!  I am so excited!  Oh, P.S.  I got some peppers, too.  Here's a photo...I'll be updating their progress every few weeks as well.  xo, AB

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