Today (yesterday by the time I finish writing), I transplanted all the tomatoes into garden bed number one. I transplanted both the early tomatoes that I planted on March 14th and the other tomatoes that I planted on April 16th. I would have liked to transplant at least the early tomatoes before now, but I have been busy repairing and rebuilding the frames for my garden beds.
I have been putting the tomatoes outside during the day for about a week. At first, I kept them in the shade, but I put them in full sunlight the last few days. I did this to introduce the plants to outdoor conditions.
On Thursday (May 20th), I repaired the garden bed frame. Saturday, I dug the garden bed with a shovel and removed as many of the tree roots that were growing there as possible.
Today, I finished preparing the garden bed by leveling the soil surface, then raking it into a berm along the sides. I added about five pounds (2.3 kg) of 5-10-10 fertilizer and raked it in, then sprinkled about nine ounces (0.25 kg) of lime onto the surface. I covered the soil with landscape fabric to keep weeds from growing. The landscape fabric is secured with plastic garden stakes.
I arranged my various tomato cages on the bed to decide where I would plant the tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers. We cut X-shaped slits in the fabric, folded the fabric flaps under, dug holes, and planted the tomatoes. We planted them a little deeper than they were growing in their pots; tomatoes will grow roots along their stems if they are in contact with soil.
I watered the tomatoes with 18-24-16 water soluble fertilizer to provide nutrients while they establish roots in their new home. We placed water jackets around them to moderate the effect of temperature swings, protect the plants from wind, and reduce the amount of light that they get during their first few days in the garden. More about the transplanting process (and more photos) can be found in this post from two years ago.
The early tomatoes are nearest the camera in the photo; all the other tomatoes are still small enough to fit inside the water jackets. I plant my tomatoes in hills or groups, so there are two to four plants inside each water jacket.