Raising the Fun: Teaching about growing tomatoes outdoors

Growing tomatoes outdoors is fun for kids and a lot of fun for adults, too. My kids loved the show as well.

A tomato bush always grows behind my house. Then, when I cut off a leaf from the lower part of the bush, I carry it down in a large bucket and give it a bath. I dip it in pungent diluted brandy and set it right back up where it came from. The kids are forever running down to see what happened to their creation.

Spending a little time outdoors with your tomato will make you feel a lot better than spending a lot of time inside.

Growing tomatoes outdoors is fun for kids and a lot of fun for adults, too. My kids loved the show as well.

Although this is really for kids, I’ve grown many tomatoes in the wild. They’re tall. In some places they’ll grow way above eye level and also hang low from branches. Some of the things I’ve seen are:

Their leaves are big enough to hold food and sticks. They’ll even spread tiny sheaves of grass and sawdust to make a shelter for their hungry but hungry tomatoes.

They give good water supply to thirsty plants. The tomatoes generally enjoy a moderate level of moisture. If they’re not getting enough water, they get large and seeds fall out. That’s not fun. So we walk the grounds to get water and cover the tomato bushes.

When they get big enough to grow more quickly, I take them to the compost pile and spread out some peat moss. Their long downy layers of leaves will help shield the leaves from the sun. They look quite wonderful on a patio or deck after being laid out on the compost pile.

I plant highy staking them to make them stable. They get annual hugs from Mother Nature to keep the plants in balance.

I will also spread shredded newspaper in the spring to provide shade to the growing trees and for the tomatoes to grow. The leaves will have time to decompose before tomato tomatoes get stressed out.

Besides providing a growing space for the juicy red orbs, it’s fun to enjoy watching the tomato plants grow.

In cooler months, these beauties can be grown in an outdoor structure. A heavy duty sapling center is perfect for growing tomatoes or hanging baskets.

My kids and I watched this beautiful structure grow from a skinny pile of shredded newspaper just a few days ago. We pulled everything we could from the heap and put it into a box. Once the huge green box was filled with shredded newspaper, all the tomatoes inside were firmly rooted.

Once they are planted in the garden and get above ground, they can be taken outside in boxes or large baskets in the autumn, for some fun decorating.

The tomatoes get well cared for indoors, too. Keep them in a warm dry place where they have some water. It’s important for these fruits to start blooming early.

Any tomatoes grown indoors should be kept cool. During the winter, keep them watered and fed. These little eggs of deliciousness may spend a lot of time indoors, but they actually hang out much more outside than they do inside.

Grow some plants where kids can watch you grow them, too. You’ll love seeing them emerge from the ground next to your house.

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