Tomato planting time

I have not a single photo to share but I’ve spent the day in the garden, focused on planting. Will you forgive me? 🙂

Given the forecast for the next week won’t drop below 6°C overnight and the days are predominantly warm, I figured I would plant out my tomatoes. It’s officially tomato planting weekend anyway (Melbourne Cup weekend is considered the time to plant tomatoes in Melbourne and surrounds) so I roped Martin in to help.

We’ve planted Money Maker again after it’s most prolific fruiting last year, as well as Roma for bottling. I’ve not planted any cherry tomato seeds but instead snapped off the shoots from the tomatoes that have struggled on through neglect and cold on my back deck to grow. I’ve plenty of cherry tomatoes all in need of bigger pots. 🙂

I also decided to clear out my seeds this year. I’ve many varieties I’ve collected over the last couple of years, some I’ve just not planted, others I’ve tried and they didn’t sprout or got forgotten etc, but seeds only maintain viability for a certain amount of years, likely less given their haphazard storage here so I reasoned I’d grow a few of each and if I liked them I’d figure out if they were worth keeping or not. From memory I have Purple Cherokee, Black Russian, Purple Jasper, Pink Oxheart, Mr Stripey, Yellow Pear (cherry), Green Zebra and 1 or 2 others. I’ve planted out about 2 of each and we shall see what impresses the palate. 🙂

We also planted out some of the pumpkins, gherkins, spaghetti squash, cantaloupe (rockmelon) and honeydew melons. I’ve got some purchased watermelon seedlings yet to go in but to be honest, I’m stuffed after today so they will be required to wait until Tuesday.

All the plants have been tagged with aluminium plant labels. Now for those that know me I’m not a fan of aluminium. The jury is out on food safety, I’ve heard connections between aluminium and Alzheimer’s and it’s pretty energy intense if I can remember back to the assignment I did on the stuff in grade 6 but sometimes the stuff finds its way into our house and this time, rather than popping the cans into the recycling bin I decided to emulate a friend and use it to make plant labels.

Take 1 empty soft drink or beer can and cut off the top with a sharp knife (carefully – it’s slippery stuff). Then, using scissors, cut down the height of the can, cutting strips as wide or narrow as you desire for your labels. Then, again using scissors, cut each label off the base of the can. The leftover pieces go into recycling and you have your plant labels. If you plant the same varieties each year then they will last forever! Using a ball point pen (a dead one is perfect), write on your labels, pressing hard. The pen almost engraves in the soft metal and you never have to worry about permanent marker being less than permanent. 🙂 The only issue I can see is that they edges can be sharp.

Anyway, I’m off to put my feet up for 15 minutes before dinner. 🙂 What have you been up to this Melbourne Cup weekend (and if you are lucky enough to have the Cup Day holiday on Tuesday, what are your plans?

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2 thoughts on “Tomato planting time

  1. Jo says:

    I am hearing you on seed viability. I have been using up old seed and have been very disappointed so far this year:( No zucchinis yet, but I think one popped up of its own accord in the compost, so that was a win. Had to buy tomatoes from a lovely local 90yo gardener, as mine were dug up by the dog, and possibly too old anyway. The vicissitudes of gardening..

    Well done on your mammoth spring gardening effort:)

  2. Lynda D says:

    I have a box of labels for you made from the pile under the guillotine at work. Made of traffolyte.

    I could use a few of them myself. I’ve put seeds in and cannot remember where?

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