You Say ‘Tomato,’ I Say ‘They’re Planted!’

Baker Creek Heirloom SeedsLife is busy lately, putting a crimp in my gardening vibe.  I’ve been fitting things in here and there, but long for an uninterrupted day to catch up on a few projects.  I started to worry that I’d never get the tomatoes into the earth.

Timing is everything when it comes to planting. April is prime seed-starting season in our neck of the woods so I needed to get to it. This week I did!

Once again, I started my crop in a pair of City Pickers. Much like the Earth Box, but double the size, the City Picker is an all-in-one planting system. Further, the boxes are portable, so they can roll from place to place for maximum sun.

My friend Doug, a nurseryman at a local garden center, gave me half a dozen Baker Creek heirloom tomato seeds a few months back. He received two sets of seeds from the Baker Creek rep and generously passed on one of the sets to me. I am one lucky gardener.

Of course I’m a stress case now, because the pressure is on. Will they sprout? Will they grow big and tall?  Will the squirrels, birds, rats, mice, snails, etc., let them be? The seeds sat on my desk for several months, full of promise and potential.  Now they’re out in the real world, no longer abstract. Grow babies, grow.

You say ‘tomato;’ I say ‘please grow.’ I’m thinking of changing the name of my blog to ‘The Worried Gardener.‘ What do you think?

City Picker Tomato Collage

Here are the steps for planting your City Picker:

1. Assemble as shown
2. Fill with potting mix (not potting soil) to about two inches below top
3. Add a thin layer of Dolomite (Agricultural Lime)
4. Create a two-inch trench down the center of the planter.
5. Add 3 cups of organic fertilizer.
6. Mound with dirt.
7. Plant
8. Cover with plastic mulch
9. Stake your tomatoes early. After a couple of hot days, you’ll turn your back and they’ll have grown like weeds.

10 thoughts on “You Say ‘Tomato,’ I Say ‘They’re Planted!’

  1. Congratulations on your sowing session! I’m sure all will be well but I know what you mean about hoping they grow. The pots are great and I like the idea of wheeling them to find the sun. I look forward to seeing your results. Good luck!


  2. Hey, I clicked on a link in popular posts by happy accident and saw the City Picker and read along and left a message. Then I realized I was in a post from last year LOL. So ditto my message from there and mwaaa mwaaa mwaaaa, LOL. I’m pretty sure everyone here buys a 6 pack or potted plant for the big head start. No tomatoes plants will see any sunshine in Edmonton today, but they’re saying 22 C by Sunday next. Fingers crossed.


    • Last year I did both, some seeds and some starter plants. Within a month you couldn’t tell them apart. Isn’t that interesting? I was really surprised.

      Thanks for commenting in both places. You’ll have warm weather to greet you when you return! Hurray for that.


      • If you can believe, I’ve only grown Tomatoes once. I never had a veggie garden, only flowers. But one year I grew a potted tomato hanging basket. I didn’t think they did especially well and never tried another. Good for you for being so adventurous. I looks like a blast growing your own food. I must say, you’ve got me more interested in it than I’ve been before. Summers for us were all about keeping up the yard for the next group of company. So busy, but in the best way. I hope it’ll be a little green when we return. I tossed some lettuce into the park that we didn’t use up. There’s lots of bunnies hopping around. It’s the greenest thing out there LOL.


        • Oh sweet. Little bunnies in your park! How fun. I used to see bunnies on our hike in Almaden, but I’ve not been up there for awhile. Hopefully we can go together.

          It is fun growing your own food. Fresh tomatoes are the best and so are the raspberries.

          You must miss the good times you had at the lake. What an incredible place to have lived.


  3. I used.the city pickers for the first time this year. I am sold. I have a total of 7 plants and I am harvesting an abundance of tomatoes. I talked to an elderly at Home Depot, who was buying tomato plants.
    She told me to use Epsom salt and bone meal in the hole prior to planting, covering it with planting soil, then put the tomato plants on top. She assured me I would have the most tomatoes in the neighborhood. I also found the same suggestion in Pintrest. It apparently works as I have an abundance and everyone around me are questioning me about my large harvest. Check out Pintrest, and give it a try.


    • Wow, Merle. What a great story of your tomato success. Nothing beats an abundant tomato crop from your own garden, not to mention bragging rights for that terrific crop. I appreciate the Epsom salt tip and will give it a try next summer. Thanks so much for passing that along.


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