In the past few years I’ve sown tomato seeds at the winter solstice, inside, on a heat mat. I decided to leave it a bit later this year, because the plants in the garden tend to fade out in autumn, while I notice that those who sow later have tomatoes yielding much later, even into early winter.
I rescued the heat mat from the bottom of the cupboard and set it up near a window. I decided not to plant the seeds in cells and pot later into small tubes for planting out; instead I’ve bypassed the potting on stage and have sown the seeds direct into the small tubes. I’ve put 3 seeds in each pot and will thin later to the strongest:
The plastic container holds 35 small tubes. I’ve sown 5 tubes of each variety:
In this first sowing the varieties are:
Silvery Fir Tree. I grew this for the first time last year and was really pleased with it. The plants have attractive fern-like leaves. They flowered and fruited early…large fruits with a decent flavour.
Amish Paste. A new one for me this year. Came highly recommended (as did the seeds) from Frogdancer.
Green Zebra. I love the flavour of ‘green’ tomatoes. They’re especially nice fried. They’re not really green, as in ‘unripe’. The paler striped areas turn yellowish when ripe.
Black Russian. I just couldn’t live without this variety.
Red Pear Cherry. This one is so useful for drying. Also halved, in salads.
Black Cherry. A kind of mini Black Russian. Doesn’t have the rich flavour of Black Russian, but still useful for salads and drying.
Burnley. A late-yielding variety, useful for cooking, frying & salads.
When these seeds have germinated, I’ll move them to another spot (still inside while the weather’s still cold) and sow a new lot, with some different varieties. They’ll eventually go into the polyhouse outside to harden up and grow on. If the ground’s warm, I would be hoping to get them planted out sometime in October.