May 8, 2011 Leave a comment
It’s been four weeks since I planted a dozen of last year’s sungold seeds in a soil-filled container, and 18 days since the first (and only) sprout appeared. I decided to call it Seth, because I have a soft spot for religious lore; Seth was the brother of Cain and Abel, and is the progenitor of all mankind. So, you know, appropriate. All future generations (ideally) will stem from his line. I don’t much like the name Seth though, so I tend to just call it Tomato.
It’s been two weeks of trying to ensure that the plant stays appropriately watered, properly sunned, and a little mechanically stimulated. A couple of times a day, whenever I can sneak away for a moment, I’ve been giving its leaves a bit of gentle stroking, and maybe talking to it a little bit too — breathing lots of lovely carbon dioxide on him, etc. Providing light physical stimuli to plants imitates outdoor growing conditions like wind, rain, and animal passersby; it’s called thigmomorphogenesis, and it results in hardier specimens. Still, please don’t tell Heather I caress the tomato.
Today, our sole second-generation plant is doing very well. It’s sprouted a number of true tomato plant leaves, and stands at just over two inches tall. I created a little greenhouse dome thing for it by affixing a larger plastic container to the top of a smaller one. Usually I leave him outside during the day to stay warm and sunned (though it’s been pretty gray lately), but yesterday, I left the top down, so he could feel some real New England air for the first time. Now that he’s got the warm(er) air on his leaves and the wind at his back, I’ll pull back on babying it and just enjoy watching it grow. With some luck, it’ll be ready for transplanting at the end of the month. Ish. Wish him luck!
How are your tomato plants doing?