Date: 10 February 2023. Expensive Tomatoes.
As 2023 began I made a fresh start with my microgreens. Being able
to have my own Victory Garden provides me a feeling of
self-sufficiency in this sometimes chaotic world. In the meantime I
want to become successful at growing tomatoes aboard Seaweed.
Previous attempts can best be described as abject failures. For proof see
Upside Down Tomato Plant How-To
Tomato Rocket (Dollar Tree item)
The easiest way to have fresh salads is to sign up for
(free delivery/no tipping) which will bring fresh produce along with
loads of other products to your home within 24-hours. It is amazing,
and has truly changed my life.
has a similar service.
definitely not an expert however I am motivated. A fresh
would be a nice addition to a bowl of salad greens.
past year or two prices for everything have gone
through the roof.
Thank goodness for time on the water.
Cap'n Noel's dog Peaches
↑ enjoys life onboard Party Boat.
Over the years
Cap'n Noel has shared interesting observations about his family and
life in general. A recent email caused me to redouble my tomato
growing efforts. Noel wrote:
This seems like a normal thing to do. I mean,
people go to the store, and buy tomatoes as a normal part of
grocery shopping. Iím in Publix, and I politely ask the clerk who
is stocking, and accidentally blocking my access to the beefsteak
tomatoes, to please hand me one tomato. He does, and I put it in
my basket, and I purchase it.
When I get home, I look at the receipt. WOW!
Noel bought a single tomato for $4.87.
I absolutely do want more than simply microgreen
Paying nearly $5 for a tomato is mighty expensive though.
Microgreens provide me with salad greens however I want to
I went to Dollar Tree (where
everything is now $1.25) to purchase
another Tomato Rocket.
By mid January my tomato
plants were growing and appear to be doing well.
Previous issues with flies when growing tomatoes
caused me concern. This time I
began spraying the plant with Neem Oil shortly after leaves first
I bought Neem Oil on
Walmart for $10 in 2017. It is
concentrated. Amazon offers it at this *affiliate link:
Neem Oil Extract.
*Affiliate link: That means if you
purchase an item through my link a small percentage of the amount
spent will be sent to me. This costs you nothing and does benefit my
Cruising Kitty. I am grateful to those who shop via my Amazon links.
I do have
an Amazon link
at the top left
corner of every page on my website... in case you wondered.
In addition to the
tomatoes I am attempting to grow
chives and scallions. This is
my pathetic crop of those two thus far:
I am still learning this whole food growing business.
My motivation has been renewed by Cap'n Noel and his $4.87 tomato.
Noel paid nearly $5 for a single tomato. Since 2017 I have spent
way more than $5 and successfully grown just ONE tomato. If memory serves me this
is the list of expenditures: 2 hanging
baskets, 3 coco-core basket liners, 4 or 5 sets of tomato seeds, 3 bags
of special potting soil, one
plastic support for the plant, Neem Oil Extract, ring snaps to hold the branches where
I want them, plus time... a lot of time and effort have gone into
In February my tomato plant is bushy, bug free and growing well.
The yellow flowers will hopefully turn into delicious
my tomato plant produced one
small tomato. It was cute, and
Upon careful examination
I recently discovered the
first tomato of 2023. Finally, progress is being made.
This tomato is just less than 3/4" (2 cm) across. There
are a lot of
yellow flowering buds so I am hoping to find more baby tomatoes soon.
I wanted to be able to
guide the plant, keeping it
from spreading. There is not a lot of
space in my cockpit.
Plant clips were purchased on eBay. These are
reusable, at least
until the plastic rots in the sun.
Here is an
eBay link for you:
Tomato Clips. Once the search results load, look on the right
side of your screen just below the blue Search button. "Best Match"
will appear. Click that. Next scroll down to "Price + Shipping:
lowest first" and click that. BE CAREFUL!!! The first few will be
for a single clip. You will want more than one clip.
Also, I checked on
and the price is approximately half of what eBay sellers charge.
Again, be careful as some sellers are offering just one clip. On
Temu you MUST order a minimum of $20 from the website. The variety
of items is good. Search is not great. Shipping is free. The items I
purchased have been for the most part good quality. Here is a
https://temu.com (Temu does have an app which I have not tried)
Temu has an annoying pop-up advertisement when you first open it.
plant I started last autumn is doing well. Thus far
I have not experienced any bug infestations. That is in my opinion
due to the Neem Oil Extract I spray on the plant regularly. If I can
get a reliable harvest I will be pleased.
Walt Disney World inspired my initial growing attempts.
Their gardens supply
all the salads sold in the entire resort!
Since I discovered my first tomato I have been
for another. I've found one!!!
My newest tomato has arrived. You may see a
tiny bit of the yellow flower it emerged from also.
Though at first glance growing tomatoes aboard seems like a good
idea, this is not necessarily true. I have had bug infestations.
Thus far with the addition of
Neem Oil Extract
that problem appears to have been resolved. There is however one issue which may
put tomato plants out of reach of many small boat owners.
water requirements necessary
when growing tomatoes surprised me.
My tomato plant is in a plastic basket under the cockpit overhang
and shaded for the greater part of the day. The hanging basket I use
is 5" (13cm) deep. I am certain these plants are not usually grown
in such a small amount of dirt. For my boating friends with limited
water at this point I cannot recommend growing your own tomatoes.
approximately one pint (1/2 liter) of water to my tomato plants
daily. When I add less water the plant wilts.
There have been many attempts to grow tomatoes
When younger I was certain I
could not grow anything. In retirement aboard Seaweed I have proven
that untrue. My original goal was to harvest a salad a day. With
microgreens I have succeeded in that. This is not just a "put the
seed in the ground and in x-months food will appear" process. As for
me, I am happy to learn while I have easy access to grocery stores.
Though Cap'n Noel paid $4.87
cents for a single beefsteak tomato, he has a tomato to eat. Over
the past few years I have spent nearly $20 and grown one tomato
about the size of a mandarin orange. Cap'n Noel is definitely the
winner in this round.
I hope the current attempt raising tomatoes meets my
expectations. In any event I will let you know. If you are like me
and wish to become more self-sufficient there are many means to
accomplish that goal. Being able to fix an engine is important. So
too is food acquisition. Some folks fish. Others become gardeners.
I have learned growing food
successfully is far
more difficult than the pretty packages of seeds infer.
The easiest way to have fresh salads is to sign up for
Walmart-Plus (free delivery/no tipping) which will bring fresh
produce along with loads of other products to your home within
24-hours. It is amazing, and has truly changed my life.
Publix has a similar service.
The most important part of boating
is actually using your vessel.
Thank you for being a part of my world. Thanks too
Comments welcome and encouraged on
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Topics of Interest:
You can achieve a simple satisfying life
Oh, a wondrous bird is the pelican!
His bill holds more than his belican.
He can take in his beak enough food for a week.
But I'm darned if I know how the helican.
(Poem by Dixon Lanier Merritt, 1879-1972.)
For years I've been collecting short
pithy statements otherwise known as aphorisms. If you're like me and enjoy
the weird, go ahead and
These are previously posted at the
bottom of each article -- for new, you'll have to come visit again.
Seaweed is in St. Pete right now.
The above chart (#411) can be a
wish book of sorts as you look over your domain and wonder where to go
next. And yes, I do have the originals (sans red arrow) as jpeg's for
download should you desire your own for closer perusal. Enjoy!
The Writer's Block
It's my belief that other folks who
boat are some of the most interesting in the world. Inside every boater
is a story. Let yours out! I'd love to post short stories, vignettes, or
even longer articles that focus on some aspect of our life on or near
the water. Suggested topics include:
1. I Remember When...
2. My First Boat
3. Who inspired you to be a boater?
4. Fishing Trips or Tricks
5. Or another subject of your choosing
For the novice, here's how to write: Simply pretend
you're sending a letter to a friend. Tell about an event or a memory
from years ago that you still recall.
Life has changed so much on the
water since I was born aboard. Personally I'd love to hear your memories
of life when you were younger. Boats were smaller, narrower, and much
slower. Kids were kids and our families often shaped the adult we have
become. Here are my two aboard the tow boat my dad ran for a time:
Your pictures would be wonderful too. I posted one of
Boot Key Harbor taken in 2001 that has gotten quite a few downloads
and really, that's not so terribly long ago... Do you have any photos to
Do you want to help
Often an article for the website
will be completely written yet lack photographs. I like pictures and am
looking for some for up-coming pieces:
Pets afloat (include pet and boat
Any picture of boats underway or at
Photos of people enjoying life in
or on the water
Size: a minimum of 1000 pixels
across please. If that doesn't make sense think bigger versus resized
for emailing. I prefer the full-size version. Also, the name you'd
like me to use when I add the copyright stuff to your picture. And
My email address is