Archive for the ‘Tomato Seeds’ Category

Interesting Source for Tomato Seeds

I’m always on the lookout for new kinds of tomato seeds — what can I say, I want to try them all!  And today I found a new one that I hadn’t even thought of.

tomato seedlingEbay, of all places!  Yep, tomato seeds (hybrid, open-pollinated and heirloom) just waiting for someone to scoop them up.

Hybrid Seeds

Interestingly enough, there aren’t a ton of hybrids available, but there did seem to be a good cross-section of types and colors.  below are some hybrid tomato seeds for you to peruse.

[phpbay keywords=”hybrid tomato seeds” siteid=”1″ customid=”HGT” sortorder=”BestMatch” freeshipping=”true” templatename=”columns” columns=”4″ paging=”true”]

Heirloom Tomato Seeds

There were, on the other hand, a lot of heirloom tomato seeds available, in a rainbow of colors including:

  • Black  – I saw Black Krim, Black Brandywine, Black from Tula, Black Sea Man (gotta get me some of those) and many more.
  • White – Included were Great White and white cherry tomatoes.
  • Green – I saw Green Grape, Green Zebra, Aunt Ruby’s Green and more.
  • Yellow – Yellow Pear (naturally), Brandywine Yellow, other yellow cherries and more!  Even something I’ve never seen before — Yellow Zebra (I may have to go and get some of those & try them out).
  • Orange – Included Amana Orange, Kellogg’s Breakfast, Brandywine Orange(?), Galina and a banana-shape orange tomato.
  • Purple – Naturally there was Cherokee Purple, Pruden’s Purple, Purple Calabash (a neat tomato if I ever saw one).
  • Pink – Brandywine Pink, Pink Oxheart, Caspian Pink and Oaxacan Pink where among the listings I saw.
  • Red – Lots here, including Red Pear, German Red Strawberry, Brandywine and red cherry and plum tomato varieties.

Well, let me go shopping, as there are several I want to add to my collection!

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Planting Tomato Seeds Today

Today was a day for tending to my tomatoes.  Between planting tomato seeds, re-potting seedlings and transfering larger seedlings to the garden, it’s been busy.  But a fun kind of busy, because the weather was gorgeous and it was nice being out in the fresh air and sunshine.

Tomato Varieties – Re-Potted

Supersweet 100 Tomato Seedlings

Supersweet 100 Tomato Seedlings

OK, first was transplanting some small tomato plants up.  These were seeds I planted about 3 weeks ago, and they were growing very strongly.  These were Supersweet 100, a hybrid indeterminate red cherry tomato.  Since I had 3 Supersweet 100 plants, I am running an experiment.  One I planted into its final container outside with the rest of the tomato plants.  Another I planted up to the next container size and left outside in a location with bright indirect light.  The final I planted to the next container size up, and I am keeping it inside, on a south-facing windowsill.

My next plant was a surprise.  Some of my 10-year old seeds for White Bush sprouted and one of the seedlings was going for the sky!  White Bush is, I believe, a determinate with ivory-colored skin and flesh; I didn’t save a whole lot of information on it so I am not sure (oops).  It’s an open-pollinated tomato.  So, I planted the strong one by itself the next container side up, and thinned the remaining to the two strongest and placed then together in the next container size up.

Then there was Yellow Cherry, another of the 10-year-old seeds.  It’s an open-pollinated indeterminate yellow cherry tomato (pretty obvious from the name), but seems like it will be a smaller plant than Supersweet 100.  I thinned the seedlings to the three strongest and planted them up to the next container size.

Planting Tomato Seeds – The Varieties

I also planted more tomato seeds today.  Two were for heirlooms, and one for a hybrid I’ve been wanting to try.

The first heirloom seeds planted were Kellog’s Breakfast, an indeterminate beefsteak tomato with orange skin and flesh.  It’s a late season variety, so I don’t expect to be eating any of these tomatoes until sometime in May or June.  But I sure am looking forward to them!

The next was the heirloom seeds for the tomato variety called Pineapple.  These are the seeds I have planted for The Great Tomato Experiment, so it’s now officially underway!  Pineapple is a personal favorite, with the flesh being sweet and delicious.  Pineapple is a yellow tomato with red stripes on the skin and red marbling of the flesh.

My final tomato variety I planted seeds for today was Tomatoberry.  It’s an indeterminate hybrid tomato whose fruit is roughly the shape and size of a large strawberry.  A mid-season tomato variety, I expect to be nibbling on the first ripe fruits in late April.  Tomatoberry is supposed to be be really sweet and juicy; I guess I will find out in a few months!

Plants I’m Still Waiting On

Brandywine is taking its time at the moment; lots of seeds germinated (to my surprise) from the 10-year-old seeds.  The seedlings are still too tiny to re-pot though.  The same goes for Big Rainbow.  Both will likely be plenty big next week to re-pot to the next size container.

Celebrity Hybrid Tomato Blossom and Tiny Tomato

Celebrity Hybrid Tomato Blossom and Tiny Tomato

I had planted some Juliet seeds last week, and when I looked this morning, nary a sprout.  I went about my morning chores, then all my garden work.  When I came back in a few hours later, I was surprised to see 4 seedlings!  Juliet is a grape-shaped cherry tomato, which I do so love to plant, seeing as they are practically foolproof to grow.

Before I leave for the day, here’s a photo of one of my first tomatoes in the garden, on the plant called Celebrity. The tomato is teeny-tiny at the moment, and hopefully it will be joined by others in the very near future.

That’s all for today; see you again tomorrow!

Saving Tomato Seeds

Saving tomato seeds isn’t terribly difficult, although it can get a wee bit on the aromatic side.  Here are some tips on how to save tomato seeds.

Know Your Tomato Variety

The first thing is you need to know if the tomato variety you want to save the seeds from is a hybrid or open-pollinated.

A hybrid is a cross between two different tomato varieties.  Seeds grown from the hybrid may or may not be like the plant from which they came.  (Most likely they will be different.)  Don’t save seeds from hybrids unless you want to be surprised!

If your tomato variety is open-pollinated (which includes heirlooms), then the plants you grow from the seeds you save will be just like the parent plant.

Saving Tomato Seeds

Here are the steps for saving tomato seeds.

  1. Pick the best examples of your ripe tomatoes (choose three or more tomatoes from each variety of the plants).
  2. Slice the tomatoes in half and squeeze the tomato juice and seeds into a small plastic container.  Put only one tomato variety in each cup.  Add a tablespoon of water.
  3. Label the container with the name of the tomato variety.
  4. Cover the cups loosely with plastic wrap and set them in a warm location (between 75 and 80 degrees is best).  If it’s warm enough, you may want to set the cups outside because the next step can get, um, aromatic (smelly).
  5. Let the container set for at least three days; you will see white scum appearing on top of the liquid in the container.  This is normal.  And a bit strong-smelling.  This is the fermentation process.

If the temperature is warm (around 80), let the container sit for another 2 or 3 days after the fermentation starts; if it’s been cooler, you may need 4 or 5 days.  Then you’re ready to clean the tomato seeds.

Here’s how to clean out the containers and get the seeds.  (Hint:  do this outside if you can.)

  1. Grab a pail and either a garden hose with a pistol-grip sprayer or several small bottles of water.  Add some water to the container with the seeds and swish it around some.  The good seeds will fall to the bottom; bad seeds will float to the top.
  2. Dump out as much liquid as you can, along with the bad seeds, then add some more water and swish again.  Dump out the excess water.
  3. Repeat until the water is clear, which means the seeds are clean.
  4. Grab a paper towel and dump the seeds onto it, to absorb any extra moisture, then transfer to a paper plate.
  5. Spread the seeds around on the paper plate so they aren’t piled up; they need to air dry.  Label the paper plate with the tomato variety name.
  6. Move around the seeds once a day to make sure all sides are sufficiently dried.  They should be good after two or three days, unless you have the paper plate with seeds in a humid location.  If that’s the case, give it a few extra days.
  7. Store the seeds in a paper envelope, small plastic bag or a small container with a lid.  Label your container!

Place the seeds in a cool, dry place and they should last several years (although they are best used within 2 to 3 years if possible).  However, I have seeds over 10 years old that are germinating fine, even as I write this.  Still, the sooner you use (or share) the seeds, the more likely they are to germinate and thrive.

Tomato Seeds

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