Growing Tomato Plants In Pots

As you know, there are several varieties of plants you may wish to grow in pots, but being the most popular amongst homeowners are tomatoes. Why tomatoes? This is because tomatoes are basically easy to grow and maintain. There’s no need for fancy and expensive gardening tools required. Knowing the right soil, location, application of organic fertilizers of choice, and love of work is all that it entails.

The Tomato Checklist

  • Size does matter – when it comes to growing tomatoes in a container or pot, always remember that bigger is better. The essence is the soil capacity – a bigger container means the more soil it can hold. Growing tomatoes requires the roots to have more space to promote optimum growth. A typical tomato plant can grow for up 6-8 feet tall depending on the soil, maintenance, and fertilizers you use.
  • Soil – with regard to the soil composition, many non-organic-farming professionals argue that it is better to use a potting mix because it significantly yields favorable results. However, others also pointed out that using natural potting soil promotes better growth and is a safer method. Either way, it all ends up to the decision of the gardener. Note that potting mix is obviously expensive but as they say, and probably will always say, it is worth the money.
  • Fertilizers – if you use fertilizers, you need to understand first that not all fertilizers are the same. Considering that you are growing tomatoes in pots, you want to use fertilizers that provide a well proportionate and balanced fertilizer that has higher nitrogen content, especially when your tomatoes are young; you need more leaves and foliage growth.

Some Common Mistakes in growing Tomatoes in Pots

  • The use of small containers – the roots of tomatoes need more space so be sure to use bigger containers.
  • No Stakes – even determined tomatoes still do need some proper staking. It is not that complicated though. You can use metal rods, sticks, or basically anything sturdy for growth support.
  • Too much water – don’t binge on watering because too much watering will result to Blossom End Rot, split tomatoes and stressed plants. But make sure that your tomatoes are also not deprived of water. The key is to have a working drip irrigation system of basically watering them sparingly.
  • Know when to stop and change – stop the use of fertilizers that are rich in nitrogen upon maturity and opt for using fertilizers that are low in nitrogen, high in phosphorous and potassium. Never use fertilizers rich in nitrogen once your tomatoes are flowering.

Few Things to Plant This Fall

Turfgrass

Other than late summer, early autumn is the best time to plant new seed. Reseeding in the fall will lower the amount of weeds the seed has to compete with. The cooler weather also means the soil is not too wet for the seedbed. Reseeding in the fall also means the plant seed will grow slowly due to the cooler temperatures. But though it is cooler above the surface, there is actually a lot of growth going on beneath the surface.

Fall is also a great time to fix small areas that have grown bare. When filling in patches, make sure the seed has plenty of contact with the soil so it can fully germinate and mature. Aerating the soil before planting seed, with use of an aerator, can ensure the seed have enough soil contact.

One thing to keep in mind when planting new seed in the fall is that because there isn’t a lot of growth going on, the bugs are going to be looking for fresh turf to munch on. The types and amount of bugs you will see depend on where you live. Be sure to check your freshly planted turf seeds to watch for bugs and monitor turf growth.

Shrubs and Trees

Come fall, you will probably see a lot of greenery at great sale prices. And most of the shrubs and trees you see on discounts are ready to be planted and will do rather well in the cooler weather.

Many people are not aware that the cooler temperatures of fall can protect the roots of the newly planted shrubs and trees and keep them from drying out. The roots will be able to stretch and grow deep down into the soil so that when spring rolls in the roots of your shrubs and trees are firm and healthy.

When planting late in the season, there are a few things to consider that will better the health of the trees and shrubs you are planting.

  • Try not to bother the plant. Just like newborn babies don’t like to be disturbed, freshly planted trees and shrubs don’t either. Be careful not to damage the roots while planting and once planted, avoid damage to the plant by avoiding any pruning. If you choose to use an aerator in the fall to help your turfgrass in areas around your planted shrubs and trees, be careful not to add stress to the roots you just planted.
  • Don’t over stimulate it. Try not to be too aggressive with the soil surrounding the plant. A small amount of compost can help enrich the soil, but try to avoid fertilizers until the weather warms up.
  • New plants are thirsty. To keep the roots from drying out in the cooler temperatures, be sure to regularly water the shrubs and trees recently planted.
  • Protect the plant from freezing. One way to protect the plants from too much exposure to the cold is to apply a layer of mulch to the surface. This acts as an insulator and protects the roots and plant from damage caused by freezing.

Spring Blooming Bulbs

Annuals and perennials can be planted early fall, before the first frost. Beating the frost is important because it gives the roots enough time to develop so the plant can mature properly. Sometimes bulbs don’t sprout, to ensure you have bulbs that pop up plant several bulbs. After the bulbs are planted, apply a little mulch to trap in moisture, protect against cold temperatures, and to keep weed growth to a minimum. Be sure to water after planting to ensure the bulbs have enough moisture to develop.

Vegetables for Cooler Seasons

Depending on the area in which you live, you can plant cool-season vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, radish, and other cool-season vegetables. Most of these vegetable plants can endure shorter periods of frost. To ensure the vegetable plants have enough time to mature before temperatures are too cold, it is best to plant them no later than early fall.

Plant Garlic in Autumn

Selecting Quality Garlic Seed Stock

Some gardeners prefer to grow garlic from actual seeds. It is a tough process and one of the reasons most growers prefer using cloves.

Start by researching which varieties grow best in your area and climate. I prefer German White, which belongs to the hardneck garlic family. A moderately spicy flavor and plump cloves set this garlic apart from other varieties. A German White bulb typically has up to six cloves. The bulbs store well in Michigan when kept in a cool area.

You can buy garlic anywhere. It is not recommended to use garlic from local grocery stores as they may have been treated with chemical agents to slow down sprouting. Nonetheless, you can plant the cloves if you are in a pinch. On the other hand, the best results are obtained if you buy bulbs from reputable on- or offline seed dealers. Start with a moderate amount. You can increase your seed supply over the years by using more and more of the cloves you harvested.

Garlic Planting Time

Plant too late and the root system will be weak. Plant too early and the cloves grow above ground shoots. Find out for your area when frost sets in. Check the weather forecasts online. Start planning when temperatures start to go down and stay low.

Planting Instructions

Prepare your planting bed by adding well-composted manure. Remove weeds. Garlic prefers a well-drained, sandy-clay soil. Separate and inspect the garlic bulbs you selected for seed just before planting. Remove blemished cloves.

I lay all the seed cloves out on the bed to eyeball acceptable spacing distances. Space the seed about six to eight inches apart. Plant them at least three inches deep in the ground, with the pointy end facing up. Water the bed thoroughly. Keep the soil moist to allow the cloves to grow roots. You may even need to water during the winter if you live in a mild climate. Do not overwater as the seed will rot.

Popular Garlic Varieties

  • Softneck garlic has a flexible stalk and keeps longer. Silverskin and artichoke are usually sold at supermarkets.
  • Hardneck varieties have fewer, larger cloves. They are more delicate because they have a thinner outer bulb wrapper. This also reduces their shelf life. I dehydrate most of my garlic and grind it into garlic powder, which will stay fresh until the next season. The three main hardneck garlic types are porcelain, purple stripe, and rocambole.

Companion Planting

The sulfur that garlic accumulates as it grows turns it into a natural fungicide. This can be beneficial to plants attracting pests easily. Naturally-occurring fungicide can help protect your plants from diseases.

Garlic works well in various situations as long as it is grown in full sun. Plant it near broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, eggplant, fruit trees, herbs, kale, kohlrabi, peppers, roses, tomatoes, etc. It does not like parsley, peas, potatoes, or legumes like beans. Try not to plant these near your garlic.

 

Different Types Of Indoor Plants

After identifying the purpose and how much maintenance you are willing to spend on it, you could start looking for your ideal plant. There are different varieties and kinds of indoor plants. If you are looking for something that is easy to care for, then you could get a cactus. Is that the only thing you could get? Here are some popular choices when looking for indoor plants.

If you want colorful flowers, then begonias are good choices. They have white, pink, red and yellow flowers. They could grow well throughout the year and they could be kept in dark places. African violets can be kept easily and could be watered only every two days. They can grow both in natural and artificial light. The same goes for Philodendrons which can be kept hanging in the corners that do not have enough light.

Shamrocks are great indoor plants. They have white flowers which could totally brighten up your room or office. They are among the House Plants easy to care for. They don’t require too much grooming and could be placed in a sunny spot. Another type of indoor plant which would easily grow in a sunny or a dark place is the peace lily. Aside from being beautiful evergreen plants, they are natural Air-Purifiers. Areca palm is another natural air purifier. It does not only make your room beautiful, it cleans the air from different pollutants like xylene present in paints, gas, or pesticides.

Plants like spider plants should not be watered or fertilized too much. They are natural air cleaners and could easily grow in low or medium light. Just avoid putting them in places where they would get direct sunlight. Snake plants, interestingly also called mother-in-law tongue, can also get by with little water.

The choices are endless. If you are planning to have indoor plants, it is important to have an idea what would work for you and your space. Aside from that, you would need to know how to care for the plant. There are some indoor plants that need to be soil-changed every year. While others would take a while before they grow a flower.