This week at the TC3 Farm – Potting On Our Tomatoes – Student Post By Hannah D.
This week on the TC3 farm our big project was transplanting, or “potting on” our tomatoes. While the weekly tasks of seeding, weeding and harvesting did not cease this week, potting on our tomatoes was a major project that had all hands on deck. The reason for potting on at this time is because our tomato seedlings were beginning to outgrow their trays. In order to keep them happy and growing at a healthy rate and avoiding getting root bound it was necessary to transplant them to larger cells with more room to grow.
Of course with so many varieties of tomatoes that all look the same at this stage of growth, we had to be vary careful to transplant everything correctly with the proper tags. This is important so that whether we sell these plants to customers or plant them for our own, we are not expecting one thing and getting another. If a customer were to buy a plant expecting one type and got another, not only would that look bad on the farm but they may not be a returning customer.
So with that in mind we have to take the utmost care to ensure our seedlings have been properly transplanted and labeled. That being said, the act of transplanting the seedlings is actually fairly simple. It’s mostly just filling larger cell trays and pots with soil and gently, carefully, moving the delicate plant from its old tray to the new one, making sure along the way that everything is properly labeled. The long term goal for these precious plants is to have them grow big enough and strong enough that they can be sold to customers and then planted in their gardens or planted on our farm, with the hopes of providing many fresh delicious tomatoes. While transplanting can be overwhelming, especially with so many plants and varieties to move and keep track of, the students of ENVS 140 all came together as we always do to work together cohesively as one and accomplish this monster task for the week. One major transplanting done for the season, many more to go!