Growing pots

protecting tomato seedlings from the sun with potsNo, I’m not growing pot. I’m growing pots – or that’s what it looks like anyway.

It’s been so hot (which isn’t unusual for Perth’s summers) and my dad puts empty plastic pots on top of his smaller vegie plants during the heat of the day so they have their own little shade house. When I told him about the death of my beans, he suggested I plant more seeds and put pots on the plants when they’re small. The death of my beans made lots of room, so when I planted the bean seeds, I also planted the last of my tomato seedlings (which I grew from seeds). And I’ve taken up my dad’s method of shade manufacture.

protecting a tomato seedling from the sun with a pot I water the plant in the morning and put the pot upside down on the plant. This is only for the hottest part of the day. The plant can still photosynthesize in the morning and late afternoon. And it’s only for newly planted out seedlings and just-popped-up seeds. Larger plants which have their roots spreading throughout the ground can handle the heat.

I have too many empty ice-cream tubs and I thought they would work as well. Then I realised they don’t have the holes that pots have. I removed them before too much damage was done. I have to borrow some empty pots from my dad. It doesn’t matter what colour the pot is, even black is ok, as long as you remember to water first. If you didn’t water, the plant would cook in the nice little oven you just made.

I’m not sure how these new tomato plants will do. They’ve been sitting in their seedling tray since December, while their siblings have been thriving in the ground. I don’t really mind if they don’t grow well because I have lots of other tomato plants which are flourishing. The beans are more what I’m looking forward to, and so far this very hot week, they’re getting bigger.

marigold protecting my tomatoes I always grow marigolds (as well as basil) among my tomatoes. The marigolds keep pests away, particularly nematodes from the roots of tomato plants. I love the splashes of colour in amongst all the green of the vegie garden. I’ve been saving marigold seeds for a few years and they come out in amazing combinations of yellow, orange and red – like this one (right). Some are even spotty, or at least splotchy.


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