... and I wonder how your plants are growing...?
I received this photo-tweet of a sunflower, and saw one of the tomatoes, but: what about the others? I'd love to see some more pictures, just post them!
-- For everyone of you who doesn't understand a word, because you missed the jimdo-US launch party - shame on you - a short explanation: metagarten presented the project web page and to promote the idea of instant gardening I gave away some starter plants to interested guests. This blogpost is primarily adressed to everyone who gave a new home to one of my little tomatoes or sunflowers. But: feel free to enjoy it anyway :) --
As some of you admitted to be well known as plant killers I thought it might be a good idea to write down some basics and encouraging words.
Did you find a nice spot in your backyard or garden or a nice big pot with compost for them?
Or are you - like me - a not so well prepared gardener, and the plants are still in their small pots?
I found out some interesting things about sunflowers:
Mostly it's said, that sunflowers need and like rich soil and quite a bit water/enough water.
But, interestingly, it is also said that sunflowers can survive in drier areas and even can help to ameliorate soil. Their strong roots go deep into the earth and help to loosen and aerate compact ground.
All my sources agree about the fact that sunflowers need enough space for their roots. So if you didn't find a garden spot, try to get a 5 gallon bucket full with compost for them. But if you have only a smaller pot, don't worry, just try it: The more space they get beneath them, the higher they can grow, so if there's less space they'll probably stay a little smaller.
Tomatoes basically like and need a lot of sun, enough water, well drained rich soil, they don't like water 'on their head', so if you water them, do it near the stem directly on the soil. For the drainage, pots have holes in the bottom, if you use a bucket cut or drill some holes in the bottom.
It's good to water the plants in the morning, before it gets too hot. Give them enough, that the whole soil around the plant/in the pot soaks some water, not only the upper layer. Every second day, every day when it's very hot and sunny.
As fertilizer I always would recommend compost, because I don't like the idea of buying fertilizer in plastic cans. And for me the idea of creating an edible biotop is more important than growing price winning vegetables.
Think of the stakes, mulching is also a good idea: take any greenwaste, cut into 1-2'' tall pieces and spread around the plant, leave some space to the stem of the plant.
There are a lot of internet resources for growing tomatoes, I will list some I found especially helpful for the start:
The most important thing is: Don't be shy, just try and if questions emerge: ask somebody or write me an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or post a comment to find out what you need to know.
Enjoy the summer with your hopefully growing new or old garden!