Posted in Oh noes!, Plants

They’re bouncing back! *whew*

So far, so good with the tomatoes.  *knocks on wood*

As far as I can tell, swapping the tomato plants from the south kitchen windowsill to the top of the radiator cover in the downstairs bath at dusk, then swapping back again in the morning has not been harming them more, which as I mentioned before I was a bit concerned about. I did trim off the first leaves on both plants because they were dying.

Click below to open a comparison gallery to see the difference between two days ago and today.

I have tried to watch their water levels in the bottom feeding bowls, but was concerned about how with the Napoli’s soil just seemed denser and wetter than the Candylands.  Again, we’ve never gotten tomatoes this far since moving here (though one summer many many moons ago I bought a grown cherry tomato plant that did alright when I was in Michigan for a summer stock job), so I am n00b level with tomatoes and learning what I can as fast as I can to try to ensure these victims of my blunder don’t perish from said blunder.  I also dug out my little plant mister to spritz the leaves on both early this morning with rain barrel water to try to mimic morning dew a half hour or so while before taking today’s image and that seemed to have helped a bit more with the leaves looking dry.  I don’t think they’re out of the woods yet, but just that one spritz definitely made a difference.

I was going to attempt to make a homemade fertilizer today to help boost them since we had not bought potting soil since I think 2018 or 2019 so I wasn’t sure if somehow it being older would be an issue because there was a small voice in the back of my head that seemed to think it wouldn’t be as good, and our compost is frozen solid right now (it dipped down to the low 20s° F last night.)  When I went down to the cellar to check how much potting soil we had left, I realized that we are actually out of potting soil completely–hoo boys.  I was in no mood to try to chip away at the compost and try to warm it up so I could screen it and then do the same for some soil from the yard to mix them!

So I called our local Agway and ordered a small bag of potting soil (sungro All Purpose potting mix).  I figured since I’m on the phone ordering, as I was a bit worried about making my own all out fertilizer for the first time ever when these two plants probably should not be subjected to potential first timer mistakes, I added a small jar of specifically tomato helpful fertilizer concentrate, and also finally picked up a compost thermometer while I was at it since I can also use that to test soil temperature as well.  (Something new we’re going to be trying this year to determine when might be best for putting anything in the ground–I’ll be posting about that at some point this month.)  I did say I wanted as organic as possible and would trust their judgement since this would be a pickup.  (My partner got them on the way home from work.) As far as I can tell from the quick research I did since I had them in my hands, they are and they both happen to come from local companies.  The fertilizer (Neptune’s Harvest-Tomato & Veg 2-4-2) is actually one I remember being suggested back when I took a class last year at Agway before the pandemic shut those down.  A local lady does most if not all of the classes.  That reminds me–I need to dig up my notes from last year so I can find her email and ask about that one garden related email list she talked about.  I had totally forgotten about that until the clerk at Agway confirmed they were holding the classes again this year, just outside to meet social distancing requirements.

I have never used a bought fertilizer before.  So this is a first for me, and something I had tried to avoid.  We’ve been able to amend over time with double digging, compost and other things like making teas to use for sprays when needed or adding chopped pine needles or banana peels to holes before trans/planting.

So now I’ve got everything I need in the house, save the hand trowel I meant to grab when I put more fruit and seed out for the birds earlier (though I know the Acorn Bombers will drop by as well–one rather fat Robin was quite happy gobbling down fruits this morning).  So these should be upgraded to bigger pots by nightfall.

Wish us luck!  The poor plants may still need it.

Care to share thoughts on this?