69 tomato plants in the ground! 5 more to go


The tomatoes in their Wall of Waters to stay warm at night. Doesn’t look like much now but come July the tomatoes should look like a jungle.

What a whirlwind week. Elodie Holmes and Mernie Elsesser helped me plant 35 tomato plants on Monday and on Friday Janet Hiron helped me plant 24 more tomato plants for a total of 59 in the main garden. Great to have such good friends help with what would be an overwhelming task for one person! Thanks to all!

Sunday I planted 10 more in the greenhouse and still want to plant 5 more in the raised beds by the house but the bulk of the work is done with the tomatoes. There will be a total of 74 tomato plants this year for the Tomato Lady. We put wall of waters around each plant. Even though we are past freezes at night here in Santa Fe, tomatoes (and peppers) do not like the cold nights and 45°F is cold to them right now. They don’t like any temperature from 55°F and lower and it will be a while before we get above 55°F at night. The wall of waters act like little greenhouses keeping your tomatoes and peppers warm at night after absorbing all that sun in the daytime. By the time the tomatoes outgrow the wall of waters, the night temperatures will be warmer and we can take them off.

This week: Planting giant pumpkins and the start of the rest of the veggie garden

7 comments on “69 tomato plants in the ground! 5 more to go

  1. Bring on the jungle!


  2. Reblogged this on Linda's wildlife garden and commented:
    Lovely post may I ask why so many tomatoes and are they all for showing ?


  3. Susan Hamby says:

    Thank you for this wonderful blog, Jannine. My husband and I are considering Santa Fe for our retirement in about 7 years. My main requirement for a retirement location is that I am able to grow an incredible vegetable garden, and you’ve just proven to me that it can be done in SF! I hope you are still at the Farmer’s Market and working with the Master Gardener program then – I’m going to need your advice. I’ve been gardening in Houston, TX, and it’s going to be quite a shock to go from hot and humid to cool and arid. 🙂


    • I think growing in Santa Fe might be easier than other parts of the country. The main things are we must heavily amend our soil, give more water and the growing season is short so we have to think what can grow in our timeframe.


  4. genes0504@gmail.com says:

    Hello Jannine,

    I appreciate so much just how much a gardener who knows how to do it right goes about gardening. Your attention to detail is a constant challenge to me.

    The GH is re-erected and growing a wider variety of plants than ever before. All my tomatoes are inside this year since I do not want a repetition of all those green tomatoes after frost which occurred the last two years. Your recommendation of the California soil testing which sent me instructions to quit adding fertilizers to my GH soil is sinking in. I planted some tomatoes deeeep this year in beds and killed them all. Luckily, I get a supply from Dr. Skelton at the GH in Las Vegas school district, and replaced them with plants planted in a normal depth and they seem to be doing fine. Dr. Skelton also gave me devices for holding the tomato branches when they are heavy with fruit. These are plastic “rings” that snap open and you suspend them from lines hanging from the ceiling. They are now hanging in place and can allow the branch to move in a variety of directions but NOT down to the ground. I look forward to using them.

    Good gardening to you.

    Gene Solyntjes


    • Hi Gene-
      I have 10 tomato plants in the GH right now that are doing well so far. I took off the ‘ends’ of the GH and replaced them with screens and have fans going on in the daytime which has helped but still with this heat the temp is getting between 92-100 degrees inside and this week is going to be a scorcher. The tomatoes love the heat but I’m concerned they may not be able to pollinate effectively when it gets too hot. So my next step is to make a fogger system not over the top of the tomatoes but over the middle section (where no tomatoes are) so the water won’t hit them directly. I notice when I go in there during the day and water down everything (pebble walkway, ceiling and screen ends the temperature will drop 6-8 degrees and the humidity goes up from 20% to 40%. So I will put this new ‘fogger system’ on a timer to go off periodically throughout the day to help cool the GH. I also still have the last of the lettuce in there (which I will be taking out this week) and some chard which is doing fine and will stay. Also some transplants (peppers/eggplants) are still in there as well waiting to go into the garden. I will write about this more once I get the foggers in but for now I’m headless getting the rest of the garden in the outside garden space.


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