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The Hairs on Tomato Plants

We planted the tomato starts today in the hoop house. Little hands worked to rake in soil amenities, water down the soil and dig deep holes. They were so gentle in filling soil around the tomato. One said, "I hope that makes you feel better, plant." These starts were looking rather droopy and had outgrown their pots.

"It's so hot in this hoop."

"Why would we put them in a hot place like this?" an adult prompted.

"They like to be warm. It makes them really happy."

"It's like putting a blanket on them."

As an adult was clipping the stems a child said, "No, don't clip those stems! It could hurt the babies!" We talked about planting the tomatoes very deep, why would that help?

"They don't flop over as much."

"But what about those branches? Will the babies die?"

"It has lots of little babies, look," a child said pointing at suckers. The topic of why we prune suckers (or "babies") will most likely be a heated discussion in the next weeks.

"Why do the plants have hairs on them?"

"Maybe it keeps them warm."

"We could peek down and see what happened with those hairs in a couple weeks," an adult suggested. This was met with some thoughtful silence.

One child started singing twinkle twinkle little tomato to the plants as we closed up the hoop house. "Night, night, tomatoes."


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