Thursday, April 2, 2009

Sowing Seeds 4/2- Tomatoes

Tonight I started my tomatoes. It was a very hard choice to decide on only six. I knew I wanted more paste tomatoes than last year which meant at least three, but then hard part was deciding what the heirlooms I would plant and whether I'd use the seeds I saved or try a heirloom mix a friend gave me.

I ended up seeding:
(3) Burpee Roma Paste Tomatoes
(1) Yellow Brandywine Tomato (saved seed)
(1) Green Zebra
(saved seed)
(1) Pink Heirloom (saved seed)
(1) Sweet Chelsea Cherry Tomato (this is an extra I may put in a pot).

I saved the Yellow Brandywine seed from the garden and the pink heirloom and green zebra from store bought heirloom tomatoes. If they don't sprout, then I'll use the heirloom mix instead. The cherry tomato was also some extra seed and I couldn't resist because I love eating them off the vine.

I finally found the name of the yellow heirloom I grew last year by looking at the Fedco catalog. It's a Yellow Brandywine. I'd gotten the seedling from a friend's heirloom mix and so by looking at the descriptions I was able pick out the type it was, the potato leaf style helped identify it.

I also have one volunteer tomato plant. Now I know what you're thinking..." The ground is still frozen below the top six inches, how do you have a volunteer tomato plant ?" Well this one wintered over inside with my experimental transplanted swiss chard.(which turned out fine, though it wasn't much of a producer.) I mixed compost in with the garden soil I used to transplant the swiss chard and so this Fall the tomato seedling sprouted. I didn't pay it any special attention, it just hung on all winter. But now that the sunlight has increased it is starting to shoot up. So I dug it up and re-potted it fairly deeply because it had a strange bend from reaching toward the sun. I'll put it under the florescent lamp and maybe it will give me a head start on tomato season.
So in the end, I will have eight tomatoes started and only planned for six. We'll see how that ends up when it is time to put them in the ground in June.

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