With all of the main crop tomatoes transplanted, I quickly transplanted a few new ones a customer sent me. They had gotten very leggy, due to lack of sun. But, I’ve found that by transplanting them deeply into large Styrofoam cups with a hole in the bottom, I can bury most of that long stem, just leaving the leafy top sticking out of the soil. You know those little hairs on tomato stems? Well, when buried, they become sturdy roots, all along that stem. So, you end up with nice, sturdy plants, not floppy, sad ones. That works great with larger transplants too. I just plant the long stem lying in a shallow trench, with just the leaf part sticking out of the soil, bending the stem gently as I fill in the dirt. No more flop and the plants really take off!

These last tomato seedlings got way too leggy.
I plant those leggy seedlings very deep in large cups.
With just the little leafy top sticking out, they’ll take right off.

Will has finished putting the boards on the floor of the old manure spreader and our friend, Mike, was over today with Dara, and he helped Will hook up the chains that hold the drag bars, which pull the manure back to the beaters. Now, if Will can just find the end of the power take-off shaft he “put somewhere safe”, last winter…

It’s so nice to see water in the beaver pond and grass in the yard!

It’s so nice to look out on the beaver pond and see water instead of ice, grass in the back yard, instead of snowbanks. Wow, it makes you want to work, work, work! — Jackie


  1. Here is far north California, we’re back to winter, rain for a week. It’s so unexpected in the month of May when we should be in the 90sF. But, my transplants are kinds liking it, having plenty of time to take root. Even my hardy plants are new and up from seed; squash, melons.

  2. Hi Jackie, I just got my garden worked up yesterday. I have been battling chickweed this year. My garden is full of that stuff and it is a huge pain to get rid of. I tried burning it, (too green, wont burn) mowing it (it just lays down under the mower) and finally tilled and took the rake and raked it out. Those darn seeds are all over the garden so something will need to be done this fall to hopefully prevent this problem next spring. I did winter sowing to start my plants and they are growing well and are ready to transplant. I will wait until next week I think as i live on a creek bottom and am still having cold overnight temps. 27 last night and 31 this morning. I am so glad spring has finally arrived and am so ready for warm weather. We are desperately needing rain at this point. We have missed a lot of rains and it has been a dry spring with a winter with little snowfall. It might be a dry year for us. Prayers for a blessed week and continued healing for your leg.

    • Thank you Marilyn. We’re worried that because winter was so long with so much snow, all of a sudden we’re going to get hot and no rain. Chickweed is so hard to get rid of. Keep at it and cover what you can with deep mulch. That has worked the best for us.

  3. I only have 27tomato plants but many of them are more than a foot tall in 4” square plastic pots. I have my grow bags prepped, 1/3 full with starter fertilizer and hope to start transplanting tomorrow if the wind is down enough to move them safely. I plant them deep as you mention. Still mid 20s at night so I’ll have to run the wood stove and start the tank top propane if I need to sleep more. Gardens still have a foot of snow! I’m glad I don’t have as many as you! It seems to be a late spring even though I’m in Copper Basin Alaska. Relatives in Seward had several inches snow yesterday?

  4. We just put our spreader back together yesterday too. Looking at buying a whole new apron chain and it’s $1800! That’s insane, without the paddles. So my husband is hoping her can have his work cut the links and we can just put it together that way. The chain is wore out and needs some work. It would work for a while but we have a lot of manure to spread. And those PTO shafts are sneaky and get lost often!

    I need to transplant my tomatoes today. I only have about 110 but it’s looking better than last year. Hopefully my husband will stop and pick up some styrofoam cups tonight. My ones from last year got squished.

    The warm weather is nice. I’ll take 55 over 35 any day!

    • Yep, those apron chains are expensive. That’s why Will rebuilt ours! And he did find the end of the PTO shaft; down in the barn, sitting in an old metal child’s wagon! We have had such nice weather these last few days!! Hooray!!

    • Yep. And some folks have criticized me for using them. But I have a few that I’ve used over 8 years, running. And they’re still good. I think the insulation helps the roots too.

  5. Having something “put somewhere safe” is all to familiar! I had to chuckle at that.

    Happy planting to you and Will.

  6. I’ve lived most of my life in that kind of climate. I used to love the cold and snow. Now I live in the south and my 3/4 acre garden is all planted except for the melons which I’m transplanting today. Such a different world! Wishing you some of that beautiful spring weather with warm sun and singing birds that makes the whole world feel right.

    • Your wishes came true! The sun’s out, it’s 60 degrees and the birds are singing. So am I! It’s so much fun hearing from different folks, in different climates.

      • You’re in such an ideal location: away from the maddening crowd! That’s key! But, never away from the Lord. How great is that! The best of both worlds.

  7. Hi Jackie,
    Your tomatoes are looking good and very good idea to bury them deep like that when so leggy.
    I’ve had to do this with some of mine as well.
    I planted some cover clover and chicken foraging blend for the new chicks about 8 weeks old now.
    It’s finally warmed up here in Iowa and it is nice to look out on grass, trees blooming, elderberry and apple trees coming back to life and things growing rather than snow drifts and ice.
    It’s going to rain for a few days but I don’t mind the rain instead of snow.
    I usually love winter and the snow but this year I’m quite over it. Been such a roller coaster ride of weather.
    I hope you have a super enjoyable day and remainder of the week.

    • Thanks so much, Cindy! We’re so over snow now. We’re longing for green and it’s starting to arrive. Hooray!
      I’ve seen folks throw away leggy plants and that makes me so sad. Such an easy fix is there for the doing.


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