Thursday, May 31, 2012

Update: The Great Tomato Experiment

Believe it or not, last week the temperature around here dropped to around 32 degrees one night and hovering just above that 2-3 other nights. We even got the slightest dusting of snow. {Sigh... } Such is life on a mountain.

The good news... my tomatoes did GREAT! I wanted to get them in early so that they would get a jump on the season (since it's so short here), so I planted them before the recommended May 31st date.

Since planting them in the ground in buckets (read about that HERE), I just used the bucket lid to cover them up. It was a super quick and easy task that my kids could help with. And despite high winds two nights, they stayed in place without any issues.



Only one plant had extended itself beyond the rim in such a way that I couldn't use the lid. I don't know if I failed to plant it as deep in the bucket or if it's just a larger plant much sooner (I believe the latter), but I just inverted another bucket on top of it and it did fine.

I've also noticed that they are doing really well for this early in the season. I believe the concentrated water with hay to prevent drying out has helped, but even more so, the heat generated from the bucket has created a great environment. And the bees are very interested in these plants!  As a side note, I've realized that the buckets have offered protection from wind, hoses being dragged through the garden, and saved them from the little feet of my helpers! It's much easier to notice the white buckets than a small green plant.


So as of today, I'm definitely pleased with the bucket experiment (more updates to come). If I can obtain some more before the weekend is out, I'm going to do this with my peppers as well. They typically struggle and limp along in our cooler mountain climate.

Anyone trying this experiment that would like to share how it's working for you?


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