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Grass with Dew

BEE a Naturalist

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June 6, 2024

My Tomato Plants Are Growing!

I'm long overdue with this update on my tomatoes. Spring has been a busy time! But here is one of the four tomatoes I introduced back on April 5 as a young seedling. Look at it now, three-feet tall. This plant already holds many yellow flowers, each which is to become a fruit--the tomato!

I won't be documenting here the various methods of pruning care you can provide tomatoes. Just search this on YouTube. My point is simply to engage your interest in the idea of growing your own tomatoes.

I will check back with you when the first tomatoes form. By the way, here's a photo I meant to post on May 9, but that's when my old computer decided to fade away.  It took me a couple weeks to get a new one.

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As you can see, a tomato plant grows quite quickly once it's a month or so old. You'll want to get it out of the container and into the soil.

April 9, 2024

Transplanting the Tomato Seedlings

Last time, just a few days ago, I showed you four of my tomato seedlings. By the way, I planted these seeds on March 18. Seeds can sprout quickly or slowly. This crop took at least ten days. These seedlings now need to be separated and transplanted into a larger container. That's what I'll be showing you today.

 

First I prepared four containers filled with potting soil mix and some added compost. You can buy these in the garden center of most stores. Make sure you press the loose soil into the container to pack it, not too densely but enough to provide adequate soil for growing. Then I pour water into each of the containers before moving the transplanted seedlings.

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If you've deep window sills inside, then place them at sunny windows. Seedlings need sun, warmth, and daily watering to keep them growing. After their thin roots begin to grow in size, you don't need to water them as frequently. But definitely in the first several days, be sure they get a drink once a day. 

Next I water the seedlings before I pull them from their original container. Their roots will be thin and fragile, so you don't want to waste any time getting them into their new pots.

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And here comes my dog Rosie. She has to inspect everything I do. My other dog Henry isn't so concerned. He's in the yard, too, but busy chatting through the fence with the neighbors' dogs.

Because the day was sunny, I wanted to put my plants outside, but it was too cold, in the 40's. So I put them in this pop-up greenhouse to keep them cozy.  But if you do, make sure to keep the door flap wide open because otherwise the "greenhouse effect" will turn this plastic shelter into an oven!

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April 5, 2024

Do You Like Tomatoes?

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If you like tomatoes, why not grow your own? You don't need a large backyard to grow a few plants. In fact, some people grow them in containers on their balconies! If you're not a fan of tomatoes, then what fruit or vegetable do you like?  You can buy a large variety of plants by seed, and these seeds can easily be purchased in many stores.

As for me, I LOVE fresh tomatoes, and I love to grow them from seed. Putting a seed in a little soil and watching it sprout from that soil fills me with joy. Of course, not every seed you plant will sprout. That's why I put a few in each container. Lucky me! In this small container four plants have sprouted! I must soon transplant each one to its own larger container. 

Follow the process with me. Come back soon to see me transplant these seedlings.  By the way, to date, I've about 21 seedlings!  I usually plant 12 tomato plants in any given year, but I might plant more this season.  

Lots of friends and family eagerly accept tomatoes because they're so good, nothing like store-bought tomatoes. I also take tomatoes to my local food bank that provides fresh produce to its customers.

Growing food is wonderfully rewarding in so many ways. You can experience the fun and joy of it right here! 

Until next time . . . 

March 18, 2024

It's Spring!

Tomorrow is the official start of spring, my favorite time of the year.  (Check out last year's post to learn a little about the astronomy of spring.)

Yesterday, this weeping cherry tree was abuzz with honeybees. Not so much this morning . . . maybe because it's a bit cold outside.  I don't doubt they'll be back soon. I love spring because the Earth comes alive with new growth. 

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I've all manner of planting projects for this spring. Check back soon to see what I'm up to! Until then, enjoy the spring!

January 17, 2024

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It's Cold Outside . . . 

If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, then you know that it's cold outside. I live in southern Pennsylvania, and right now it's 19°. Up from 13° this morning.  About five inches of snow fell on Monday, and the birds outside are hungry! 

I always feed my backyard birds, especially in the winter after a snowfall.  Birds are like people, they can starve and freeze to death if they've not adequate food or shelter.  Nature isn't as bountiful with its food these days as too many people maintain sterile lawns.

Many people don't allow wild plants and bushes to grow on their

properties. Yet these wildflowers and native bushes produce the

flowers and fruits birds need in the summer and the seeds they need

in the winter.  So how can you help birds?

I feed the birds visiting my backyard black-oil sunflower seeds. I think

this is the best food for seed-eating birds because most overwintering

birds eat them. Put them out on a tray and/or scatter them over the

ground.  I always have hundreds of birds in my backyard in the winter

because I make sure they have food and water. You can, too!

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Want to see older posts? Follow this link to archived postings for the year 2023.
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