How 2 Grow And Plant Tomatoes

2 tomato

So my dears today I am posting something for My University on here.  The assignment was to create a learning activity and write a blog about it. Well we know I am all about self sustainability and what is more self sustainable then growing your own food? So today’s post will be how to grow tomatoes!

Why the Tomato because they are very healthy and good for you (are thought to ward off cancer, prevent DNA damage, reduce the risk of heart disease, protect against thrombosis and ward off inflammation )and because Tim and I discussed actually doing a second planting of them in our garden this year because our summers are so long.

Tomatoes are commonly thought to be a vegetable but they are actuality a citrus fruit. It is hard to believe that before the mid 1800’s they were almost unknown in the U.S and only then became the staple food we know today. The tomato’s botanical name is Lycopersicon esculentum, although it needs a lot of warmth and sun to grow it is versatile enough to grow at least one planting seasons in USDA Hardiness Zones: 2 through 10. Tomatoes need full sun exposure loamy (Soil composed of a mixture of sand, clay, silt, and organic matter) acidic soil is best for them.

So you want to grow and plant tomatoes- there are two routes you can take you can grow them from seeds or buy a young plant from your local farmers market or garden outlet.  You can either buy seeds or harvest them yourself. Now if you are harvesting your tomato seeds yourself you first need to make sure that the tomato you are getting them from is not a hybrid otherwise you will have no idea what kind of tomato you will grow from the seed they will not look  like the parent. Also My aunt Marie Helen the garden Queen told me never to plant different types of tomatoes together because they will cross pollinate and if you want seeds you will once again receive hybrids.

1 tomato

So you want to get your own seed-  that is actually really simple you cut your tomato in half then you pit out the pulp and seed and put them in a strainer; then you use clear water to wash off the pulp from the seeds till only they remain. Once you have your seeds you lay them on paper to dry et voila next year’s crop is right there waiting for you.

So now its late winter early spring about 6 to 8 weeks before springs last frost date now is the time to plant your little seeds. In an article on the subject I googled today the author Doreen Howard recommends using setting seed flats or pots on a heat mat to accelerate germination. Once the baby plants peek out their little heads she then removes the pads then uses gowlights two inches from the plant tops to complete the job. She recommends using a small oscillating fan directed at the plants for cooling, to check on the baby plants every day and to adjust the height of the lamp if needed to prevent them from being burnt.

Before you little green babies are ready for the big world you should prepare your soil for them. For best results you need to dote on them like a Jewish mother and plan your every move. Two weeks before transplanting your seedlings till your soil to about 1 foot and mix in aged manure and compost.

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So now 6- 8 weeks later your babies are about a hand length long and are ready to graduate to moving outdoors. Make sure the last frost has passed and your soil is warm,  then choose a spot with full sun and well-drained soil where your plant receives at least 6 hours sunny goodness. If you live in a warmer climate as in Americas south you either have to water you plants a lot or choose a spot where they have a bit of afternoon shade so they won’t shrivel and die.

Plan where you want them to grow you will need stakes or cages later on to support them unless you have a lot of room and just want to let them spread out (Support systems really help prevent rot if you live in a humid climate). Plant your baby plants two feet apart from each other. Cut off a branch or two from the bottom leaves then plant the root ball deep enough so that the remaining lowest leaves are just above the surface of the soil. Then water generously tomatoes need a lot of water and keep watering generously for the first week. Keep watering your plants consistently they will repay your with yummy fruit. Five weeks after transplanting Mulch the soil around you tomato children to retain moisture. If you are limited on space you can plant your tomatoes in large planters and they will thrive just as well follow the above steps just in your little containers.

Tomatoes are susceptible to a verity of plant illness and pests.  The most common are tomato hornworms and whiteflies.  But there are a lot of other nasty little monsters that will go after your plants such as aphids, flea beetles and late blight, a nasty fungal disease that not only ruins your crops but also can contaminate your soil. You will recognize it if you see grey, moldy spots on the leaves and fruit of your plant which later turn brown. Sadly the only way to keep it contained is to destroy and throw away the affected plants. But do not put them in your compost of the fungus will contaminate you next crops all over again.

There is so much more to say about tomatoes but because this was just supposed to be a piece on how to plant them I will leave you with the two following videos as good bye note.  The first is on planting the second on planting and a little insight on some of the varieties of tomatoes out there.

Namste

Alex

Sources: My aunt Marie Helen, Myself and Doreen Howard and her blog  Tomatoes From Seed the Easy Way.  http://www.almanac.com/blog/gardening-blog/tomatoes-seed-easy-way

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State of the Nation June 5, 2013 very very Long post!

Long time no post, I am well aware and apologise. Things have been quite chaotic here at Mutanthouse but we are working though it. Our financial situation is not the best but it has improved I (Alex) finally received my school funding and Tim has been getting more hours at work. All in all we are only 5 days late on the Mortgage and more money is coming in July which will bring us current.

All in all the past few months have been a challenge My health has been more than wonky, some of our furries had medical emergencies, and we had to take in new residents and some refugees. Once again we had to fight the false allegations of our nemesis across the street( the retched guardian of Poor Axel who we tried to save earlier this year) who has been calling the city and animal control on us claiming anything from that we are collecting trash behind the house to fighting our dogs. We are well aware it is retaliation for making his abuse and neglect of poor Axel Public and while the constant visitations from the law are frustrating they are also unfounded so there are no real consequences just annoyance. We can live with that, and do not regret trying to save his dog nor holding him accountable for his death!

New residents

cats and Kittehs:

In the past few Months we have taken in two more pooches in need and three more kittehs.
The first to Move in was little Oliver a male tuxedo cat who sat in front of Kay and Tim’s door and proclaimed he was moving in. Then there was little Sebastian who Kay found in the Wal-Mart parking lot and the last of the Kittehs to join was Bastet Delilah who like Oliver sat in front of the door for 3 days till we decided that one more won’t kill us. but someone in the cat underworld must be giving out our address because they keep shoeing up 😛

new cats

The ballad of Little Captain Jack Sparrow and Titine Atari Starfire Empress of Bahuahua:

This part is both sad and happy so brace yourselves. My daughter called me for help she had been trying to help a little boy puppy that was very ill and dying because his guardians forced him baby food when he had become too weak to suckle. The house the poor Pup lived in was a pestilent hell hole full of faeces and cockroaches. The people living there had 5 dogs, two males and 3 females, who all had puppies because those ignorant idiots refused to have all but one of their dogs spayed and neutered. All the puppies where flea and worm ridden and smelled so bad I almost vomited. From the first littler only one little eight week old female was left over. Overall she seemed to be in Ok shape although her belly was grossly extended due to parasite infestation. The second litter, to which the little male puppy belonged, were all four weeks old. All of them where under weight and parasite ridden but the little male was by far the worst off. I (Alex) decided to take him to our vet and whilst driving decided that he was not going to go back there if he would survive. We noticed that the little guy had only one eye and taking that for inspiration we named him Captain Jack Sparrow hoping that the Pirate’s luck in dodging death would rub off on the little guy. It seemed for a little while that he would make it but in the end the worm infestation was too severe and we lost him. I was devastated because he had fought so hard to live. We took Jack home and buried him under our Chinese plum. Although you where just with us for a few hours we love you little jack may you sail the sea of souls happily till we meet again I salute you <3.

cj

We went back to the house of horror to update his former family and to deworm the remaining puppies. I also brought a shot for the little girl because her guardian said that she would not afford to give her her shots when I explained how dangerous Parvo was the woman told me she had had a previous littler that had died from it in the house. Yet she was giving me attitude and was not willing to let the puppy get her shots. 50$ later the pup was mine and we named her Titine Atari Starfire. In two weeks we will be deworming the remaining pups of horror house and will try to find them homes if possible . We are not sure how far these people will let us help though because they waver between threats and greed.

Meet Titine :

Titine

The Little girl has recovered well from her worm infestation and is growing like a weed. Titine is very popular of course Momma Moo has taken her under her wing and is (S)mothering her 😉 Wifi is completely in love with her and engages in long howl sessions. And she loves Her auntie Kay and Uncle Tim.

friends

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Wifi the magnificent:

As you can see in the Picture Our WiFi has grown up to be a strong young man. His problems with gait and running have vanished and he recovered well from his operation. In July he will be undergoing “the Procedure”. We will keep you updated.Our WiFi is very dramatic in nature and very vocal which got him the nick name Dennis Rodman of dogs :p We believe that if he where not a Dog he would be a drag queen with his own show in Hollywood. His favorite pastimes are eating, which is the reason of one of his other nicknames chubby or Chubbo. His best friends are Bhaaloo and Malcolm who he adores and little Titine is the apple of his eye.

wifi

Amyrah the Survivour:

Another success story is our Amyrah remember the little shy girl who was afraid of her own shadow well now she is a happy well adjusted girl who is part of the young pack. We are so happy she has found her way out of her shell 😀

Amyrah

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So what else is new at Mutanthouse?

Well we had a few Birthdays. Moobert and Mooria turned 7 on March 10th, Bhaaloo turned 1 on April 3rd, I (Alex) Turned 45(ouch)on April 13th,Cassiopeia turned 6 on May 17th and Kay turned 33. The next Birthday coming up will be Tim’s on June 21st 🙂 Oh and Tim is training for the Boston Marathon and will be running a half marathon in Greensboro in October. Go TIM!

birthday

The cat room

We decided to clear out and rearrange the cat room we got rid of all the damaged toys and are currently working on turning several huge branches that was torn down during a storm into a giant cat tree. We will keep you updated on the progress.

vbn

As always the Vet bills are killing us between routine checkups, heartworm medication and shots between all our furry beings the cost are up there , add in the occasional rescue , us helping those who refuse to help their animals and random antecedents and the Pacman of wallets does his deed.

PicMonkey Collage

Our Bhaloo got into a scuffle needed an operation on his ear >

bhaaloo ear

Our Sophia has been struggling with her allergies and tested heartworm positive 😦 , we had a lot of Rabies shots last month and Harriet still has issues with her colitis.

vet2

If you would like to make a donation to help us with our vet costs or our project in general here is the link to our

WePay >https://www.wepay.com/donations/mutanthouse-support-fund

😀

The refugees:

Refugees2

We have taken in some refugees at Mutanthouse My daughter Morgaine and her fiance Franky were evicted from their home. We decided to let them stay here with my grand furries Misty, Molly,Roy,Tequila and Garfield until things get better. because they are not vegans ands also are not currently interested in becoming part of the project there status here is defined as refugees 😉

The amazing Grand Furries:

refugees1

The garden:

This years garden is very simple no raised beds no real structure but it is a garden and out first step into that venture, We have tomatoes,bell peppers,peppers, watermelons and squash. We have 2 fig trees , 2 banana trees and one pair tree. Our boison berries yelded great this year and we are expanding 🙂

green

As for myself My health has not been the best so I am trying to go completely raw vegan and want to see if I cannot fix my situation or at least massively improve it.One thing I am planning is to get a membership at the local YCWA so I can go swimming and get some exercise. Tim and I found a Farmers market and a family of farmers who are cutting us great deals so suddenly Raw seems achievable.  I will be documenting my progress on on a Facebook page called Reclaiming Life >

https://www.facebook.com/ReclaimingLife

and on a Blog >

http://veganreclaiminglife.wordpress.com/

under the same name within the next days.
To date my fave raw dish is spiralised Zucchini with tomatoes 😀

me

So that concludes This monster Update, thank you for your interest and continued support. i leave you with this last bit of wisdom 😉

Jubilee

Namaste

Alex

To build a garden the first step toward Independence

This year we started small but we are proud of our little tomato and bell-pepper plants 😀

TOMATO

BELL PEPPER 😀

But we have great ambitions toward planning and creating a full fledged garden for 2011.

We have decided that we would love to engage in both conventional and hydroponic gardening as well as aquaphonics. For this we will eventually need a green house. Because Mutanthouse is a VEGAN project we will not be stuffing our fish in ugly dark tanks but will be building them a habitat. We want to create a beautiful living space for our fish with tons of room to swim and play. We decided that the greenhouse should be sustainable therefore should be built out of old windows and doors.

Here some ideas that inspired us

Here more ideas that inspired us:

If you would like to contribute to this project there are several things you can do –

Donate building material – we need:

Wood – planks, poles, fencing, lattice, Doors, posts, pillars, old windows
Red or/and black bricks
Stone or concrete tiles
Seeds, Plants and fruit trees
Bamboo plants to keep out nosy Neighbors
Chicken wire
Tin roofing
Food grad PVC pipes
Wooden water barrels
Any kind of garden tools and equipment
pond liner
gravel
water pump
Solar panels (even damaged ones )

Or you can donate you time and help build it

Please contact me via message on our Facebook page if you are considering these options:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Mutanthouse-Project/193566447344664

You can also donate to garden fund here >

http://www.chipin.com/mypages/edit/id/78f8144bb8ae9daa

Every penny help and is appreciated 😀