this is the first major update to my original post " indoor tomato grower "
in this instructable I will be sharing with you the progress my tomato plants made and also share with you couple of my gardening tips/tricks, such as;
- how to mix soil
- how to transplant plants
- how to water plants
please make sure to read the original post to get up to date, I still update the public online calendar to keep track of growth. add this to your calendars if you want to see the log since seed stage.
here we go,
Step 1: Soil Mixing & Transplanting
1. drill drainage holes. if you are going to grow tomatoes outside and if you are living in a rainy area, I would also drill a couple of holes on the side of the buckets as well, this will help keep the soil aerated.
2. add rocks to cover the bottom. this will guarantee your soil to be aired out and dry at all times, especially the bottom of the bucket area. this is where the root rot happens in a poorly drained soil. rocks will act as a filter of air between the drainage hole and the roots/soil. a cheap and easy precaution.
3. now we mix soil. I chose to mix 4 parts soil 1 part perlite. you don't have to mix perlite, most soil comes pre-mixed tho. perlite acts as air pocket holes inside the soil and keep the soil more aerated, more alive, easier to breath, faster growth rate since the soil can't pack tight over time from gravity + watering. it pretty much evens out the soil inside the pot..
4. transplant. I am planning on an instructable just on this topic alone, along with a few other gardening tips/tricks. to for now I will be using the help of other community members to teach this step. you should check out these amazing posts to learn more about how to safely transplant plants;
- Transplanting tomatoes by Twofinger
- Transplanting Seedlings by Organictronic
- How to Easily Transplant a Tomato into Your Garden by TheRustedGarden
5. cover the top with rocks. just like at the bottom of the bucket, this time a little less amount, just along the sides. this will act as mulch, but also keep the top of the soil leveled as you water. imagine the soil in nature. it is not just pure brown material. soil has rocks, wood pieces, sand, clay all mixed up in there. these simple steps can be taken to imitate nature better, and this does work better than just dumping soil in there and put a plant in it - trust me !
6. water thoroughly. in the following video, you can see my " make it rain " watering system. it is nothing but a quart size chinese soup container with no lid up top and many tiny little holes in the bottom, made by using a thumbtack. at one hand I hold a pitcher of water, and I pour the water into this container, with the help of gravity, I am able to imitate very soft, gentle rain on the leaves - and they love it, trust me once again ! but even more amazingly, if you have a big garden that you have to hand water, you can carry around a bucket with you, and scoop the water out with this device and use it to water your plants, I guarantee you that your trip to fill the bucket up will reduce 3/1 ratio. this saves tons of water, it waters perfectly evenly and accurately..! try it yourself and see, just make sure to make many small holes instead of few large ones, this may damage the plant and will create unnecessary holes in the soil...
Step 2: Conclusion + Future Plans
first we have the original overall picture, but now with the buckets actually being used
believe it or not, I found a little helper in my " indoor grow " - I have brought 3 plants in from outdoors, it must have been on one of them, I didn't realize it until it was big enough.. thank you little helper, you will be missed
my lychee trees also got transplanted and are still growing strong. I believe that they are 4 months old now, I didn't date them - bad mistake.. always keep a log, at least a sticker with the date on the pot..! the lychee trees are grown with the plant shelf, using only 11x 1W LEDs, absolutely incredible !
thank you for your interest and time,
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love & peace