Last week we had an inch of rain which was just perfect timing for our first succession of transplants to get the much needed water required for them to flourish.
During that rain storm, which lasted the entire day last Thursday, we worked in our tomato greenhouse driving T-Posts, with a little help from Arnold, whom we named our air powered T-Post Driver. Arnold drove 72 T-Posts in just a little over a half day with little complaints! (That is why we named him after Arnold Schwarzenegger who we think of as a strong, smart feller.) You would think it easy to drive these posts in our greenhouse but we even have rocks in the greenhouse. After each two T-Posts, we secured the cattle panel to the T-Post with wire, then on Friday we transplanted roughly 330 tomato plants into the nicely tilled greenhouse dirt. We grow our tomatoes in the dirt, it may be done using hydroponics; however, using that growing practice would violate our strong beliefs that our food should be grown as naturally as possible. We feed the soil by cover cropping, and this past season we used mostly mustards, and periodically we add compost hoping to build the biological life in the soil which we believe aids in healthier and happier plants, thus providing us with better nutrition. There are not many studies proving this (there are some), which I think is because agri-business funds studies, so why would they want to fund a study such as this?
The cattle panels are used for trellising our tomatoes. We have found no easy way for trellising tomatoes but by trellising using cattle panels is much more forgiving when one gets behind on suckering and tying the tomato vines to the cattle panels. We are notorious for missing a week or two of suckering/trellising during May when we are trying to get all of our peppers and winter squash transplanted out to the field. Perhaps if tomatoes were our main crop we would trellis differently but for now this method works great for us.