Thursday, February 16, 2012

Starting Tomato Plants From Seed

So today is the day I start getting everything in order for beginning my tomato plants from seed. SO obviously that means buying seed. This year I'm getting mine from a couple of different places...Incredible Seed and Annapolis Seeds. Both are local to me and sell heritage varieties. I should be able to save seeds from this year for next so I can see what performs well in my garden and hopefully repeat the success for following years.

Here's what I've ordered:

Sunberry - it's actually a fruiting bush that is grown as an annual and the berries used for jam and pie. Grows like it's tomato relatives.

Garden Peach Yes, it's actually fuzzy.
Pink Boar
Berkeley Tie Dye
San Marzano Great for making sauce
Amish Paste Ditto for this one
Chiapis Wild Lovely flavour for snacking
Chadwicks Cherry
Yellow Pear
Pineapple Lovely flavour
Clear Pink
Elizabeth Hey it's my name so I thought I'd give it a try.

This selection has me covered for beauty, salads, sauce, canning, and snacking in the garden. If I get even a 50% germination rate then we should be looking at 160 plants for the garden and I'll likely sell some to the neighbours for a few dollars each. Just think...If I can sell 40 plants for $2 each then I'll have made back all my seed costs and soil and potting expenses. Plus I'll have a bunch of plants for myself. And maybe I can sell more...who knows! If it goes really well then I might try selling a few at the Farmers Market at the local mall...I know that I find it really hard to avoid buying plants once the weather has warmed up. Maybe there are more people out there like me.

Some people will start their tomato plants under grow lights but I favour the more labour intense and cheaper method of starting the trays inside and then transferring out into the greenhouse during the day a month later. On cool nights I'll haul all the trays back indoors again. I won't likely start my seeds until the end of Feb. beginning of March simply because I don't want them to get too leggy before I transplant them into the garden in May. If I figure that I'll keep them 8-10 weeks before transplanting them out then it makes sense to just count back from that date to see when to seed my trays. And the same goes for any early crops you're thinking of planting out after the frost is done. You can get a real jump on the season and increase your chances of getting 2 crops in a garden space by planning ahead. But one word of wisdom from me to you...don't put all your eggs in one basket...a late snowcover could decimate your plants even in May so reserve some seed or plant in the summer. It's a gamble every year to see if I can get an earlier crop than my neighbours and not lose everything to a frost. Maybe I'll put a little wood stove out in the greenhouse this year...we'll see.

I'll post up some pics of these tomato varieties later bt right now I'm due over at the church for a craft meeting. I'll talk to you all soon. Hope things are looking good for you all.

Elizabeth

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