Monday I deserted my relatives for a few minutes and planted out my tomatoes, peppers, and tomatillos. These take a long time to plant as I actually dig a deep hole for the tomatoes and amend the bottom of each hole. I put in one cup of 5-3-3, one cup of bonemeal, one cup of powdered eggshells, and one cup of Azomite. Above you can see how I protect my tomatoes from cutworms. Those are hosta flower stems from last years flowers. I like this way of doing it as the stems just rot out over time and they are very quick to stick in. I used to use cutworm collars made out of newspaper, but were just too fiddly to get right. Occasionally the cutworms will climb the stem and cut off a branch, but not often. We get a lot of cutworms here. I even killed about 12 cutworms that I found in my onion bed. I'd never seen them in the onions before, so didn't check. They killed about a row of the plants and severely set back a few more. I mean really? Onions? Onions are supposed to help repel these things.
After I was done I still had a flat of tomatoes left. I'll plant one of each variety at the new house in the bed behind the wall, but I still haven't had a chance to do that yet. I'll probably get to it this afternoon as we are getting a warm spell and the tomatoes will just take off with the heat. The 10 day forecast has lots of mid 70Fs to lower 80Fs with nights in the 50Fs and 60s. This is very warm weather for May.
Behind every other tomato plant I put in some Ground Control marigolds that were from seed I saved last year. They grew quite well. Now I don't amend the ground below these at all. They can get rather large and unwieldy. If anything I keep them cut back during the year to control them.
I planted out 12 peppers. I only have 25 total. So the other house will get 13. I'm contemplating if this is enough or not. I can always buy more seedlings. I'm so used to growing them again that I don't think about it, but I think I will get a few six packs of nasturtiums so they will start off bigger. I have seed, but never even thought about starting them. I think some nasturtiums trailing down the wall would be pretty.
I also planted two of my four tomatillos. I keep wondering how big they will get. I told myself I would always support tomatillos from now on, but I don't want to buy supports for both houses. Last year my cages were tossed as after 19 years they had rusted through and didn't support well anymore. I might just stake them. Stakes are cheap. As you can see the tomatillos are a bit yellow. They have been growing so fast and struggling with my treatment of them. I accidentally left them inside (with the lights turned off) for two days. The poor things have been recovering, but they still aren't happy.
At the end of the bed I planted out some really tiny basil plants. I have no clue as to why they didn't grow well for me. Maybe they just needed more time. Or maybe they needed more fertilizer. I've found the fertilizer that I add to my soil blocks lasts about three weeks in the small blocks and four weeks in the larger blocks. I need to get some liquid fertilizer for next years seedlings if I keep making my own soil. The Fort V soil from the Vermont Compost Company was better soil than I made. Things grew better in it. I just wish I could buy the large bags somewhere here around where I live. The small bags cost too much and if I ship it costs too much.
But now the plants are all out in the garden. I tried to row cover as much as I could for a couple of days. It helps with transplant shock as it protects from the seedlings from the wind. Sadly I don't have a large enough row cover to protect the whole bed. I think today I'll remove the cover as the weather is supposed to be so good. I think the direct sun will help them grow fast. Grow tomatoes, grow!