Deep and angled makes a terrific tomato
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Mom was a great teacher.
She showed me how-to using lots of descriptive words and
examples, and then let me have at it. That gave my brain several
ways to remember what she'd said, while also giving my muscles
independent means to recall the process. So, ask me how and I might
say, "ummmm" but give me a trowel and a tomato plant, and my hands
would get it right.
It doesn't need so much stem right now. Let's let it make more
I saw muscle memory at work in Mom herself when, lost in
Alzheimer's in her last years, she could not talk to me about
sewing any more. Yet sit her down at a sewing machine and she could
sew a line straight and true.
She's with me now, every time I set out tomato plants.
- Janet -
If a tomato has more than a couple of sets of leaves I dig
the hole deeper and wider than the root ball requires, pluck off
the bottom leaf or two, and set the plant deep and on an angle.
Angled enough that the original roots remain near enough to the
surface to grow well, deep enough to bury the plucked node/s
(arrows). A node in the damp dark becomes an additional point where
roots develop, increasing the plant's stability and its uptake of
water and nutrients.
The top of the plant looks crooked for only a very short
while -- sometimes straightening in hours because it's growing so
fast. It's especially appropriate to apply a mentor's advice to
this tomato, heirloom 'Paul Robeson'.