Tomatoes ready to go

I wrote recently about my new propagating gadget here. I sowed tomatoes in it at the winter solstice and put the box on a heated propagation mat, inside, in a sunny window. The mat is only turned on during the day.  Here’s what they looked like a month later:

tomseedlings

I soaked the seeds overnight and planted 3 into each cell. The germination rate was very good with all 3 seeds germinating in most cells and 2 in the others. As they grew larger, I thinned to one seedling per cell and watered them with a weak solution of  worm wee (run-off from the worm farm) and Seasol.

Here’s how they looked after thinning and about 2 months after sowing:

toms209

They were potted on into small square pots using a mix of 4 parts potting mix and 1 part mixed (cow & chook) manure and kept inside for a couple of weeks more. And here they are today, almost ready for planting out (except that the ground’s a bit too cold still). They’ve now graduated to the polyhouse outside to harden off:

toms309

This year there are 13 varieties:

  • Roma (good for drying and freezing)
  • San Marzano (ditto drying and freezing)
  • Grosse Lisse (perennial favourite)
  • Green Zebra (grew this last year and loved the flavour)
  • Black Zebra (new variety this year)
  • Purple Russian (new variety this year)
  • Black Russian (love the flavour of this one—in my 3rd year of growing it)
  • Yellow Pear (cherry)
  • Green Grape (cherry)
  • Red Pear (cherry—all the cherry types are good for drying)
  • Brandywine (a new variety for me)
  • Wild Tomato (cherry—from Phoenix Seeds—supposed to be the original wild variety)
  • Grub’s Mystery Green (supposed to be really good—seeds were generously supplied by a member of Ozgrow garden forum)

The beds are ready and waiting; the stakes are in place and a thermometer is checking soil temperatures. I can’t wait to start planting! This year I’m aiming to dry, bottle and freeze as much of the tomato crop as possible. I want to be self-sufficient in pasta sauce for the following winter.

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One Response to “Tomatoes ready to go”

  1. PDC…..Week 12 « Foodnstuff Says:

    […] started planting out those tomatoes in the second week of September, because we’d had a few warm days and I thought, that’s […]

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