Erin’s Field Observation

Our project involves a DIY Seed Kit with self balancing pH and moisture for tough environments, as well as a readout on a LCD screen.


Because of the homegrown design of our project, I decided to venture outside of my own house. My backyard is divided into 2 sections- the main area with a patch of fake grass and a fire pit- this is generally where we hang out and play with the dogs and the like. We also have orange trees that we take care of. In the second section, we have a below ground pool and our garbage cans. On this side, we also have pine trees growing in a separate area that is supposed to be blocked off by bricks.


As you can see, we have kind of neglected the care of this area since the trees have gotten bigger. Sure, we water them, but the surrounding rocks have made their way inside and the brick barrier has been knocked over. This is mostly due to my dogs running around and wrecking things.


I remember my mom being an adamant gardener- we used to have big sunflowers and even some edible things- which I don’t remember due to it being so long. They actually grew in the same spot as the trees are now. I asked my mom why she stopped growing stuff like that, and she told me “because the trees are there.” All joking aside, she elaborated by saying it was an awful lot of work. The dogs get into everything, it’s very very hot, and the soil and rocks are so dry that the trees are really the only thing that are hardy enough to stay there with little effort. My parents are getting older, and the sort of upkeep some plants require due to the extremities of Arizona are just too much.


Well, I’m around, so I decided that I’ll try to plant something. I chose tomatoes because my mom is a fan of them.

Several of the trees have fallen and had to be removed due to a really bad storm a couple years ago, so it left me with a nice open spot to plant in. Unfortunately, the ground was also very hard and rocky. I had to water down the soil in order to actually dig anything significant enough.


Once finished, I threw all 15 seeds in the trench, spread out as much as possible. I also watered down the soil once again to start them off once I covered them up again.


I haven’t grown anything by myself since I was in biology in my freshman year of high school. I’ve read there’s quite a bit of upkeep on tomatoes due to them growing out on a vine and presumably getting tangled over time. This spot is also in direct sunlight for a significant portion of the day. Based on some research that I did, tomatoes like warm soil, but do not fare well when they begin to grow if it is extremely hot. Thankfully, it will not reach 100s for a little while yet.

I am hoping my tomatoes will do well enough to even just begin growing. I want to show my mom that she can start a garden again.


Good luck, little tomatoes!


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