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Posts Tagged ‘starting seeds’

scarecrow

This morning, when I awoke, a robin was sitting on the branches of the tree outside the window. He seemed to be imploring me to do something about the weather. A snow storm moved in during the night, and big fat flakes were still coming down. Unfortunately, there was nothing more I could do than assure him Spring really is on its way.

Today, I finally got my tomatoes started. Planting tomato seeds during a snow storm seems like an act of faith and hope. Such tiny seeds! It never fails to amaze me that in just a few short months, these little sparks of life will be bringing forth fruit.

This year, I am starting 7 varieties. I was very pleased with Sub Arctic Plenty last year (reviewed here) and will grow them again this season. I picked up a fresh pack of McKenzie seeds at my local Canadian Tire store.

One of the new varieties I’m trying is Indigo Rose. This is a new tomato that was developed at Oregon State University. The fruits are said to be a dark plum purple-black. I got the seeds by mail order from tradewindsfruitstore.com, in California.

For an orange tomato, I chose Indian Moon. The fruit are described as ripening from green through yellow to bright orange, into sweet, meaty, 5 to 7 oz globes. My seeds came from saltspringseeds.com, on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia. Fiddlegirl added them to her order for me, along with Michael Pollan.

Michael Pollan! Ha! Who wouldn’t want Michael Pollan in their garden? As soon as I saw the listing, I knew I had to try these. A novelty tomato, the fruits are described as striking green and yellow-gold 3 inch pear-shaped tomatoes.

Fiddlegirl also shared with me some seeds for Silvery Fir Tree tomatoes, which she got from wildsomegardens.ca in Warsaw, Ontario. These plants are noted for their unusual, decorative leaves. The tomatoes are an early, bright red variety.

Rounding out my planting for this year are two varieties that I tried last year and felt deserved a second chance (see the review, linked above). I picked up my Black Pineapple seeds from Greta’s Organic Gardens (www.seeds-organic.com) in Ottawa last year. My Emerald Evergreen seeds are from Terra Edibles (www.terraedibles.ca) in Foxboro, Ontario.

Can’t wait for those beautiful, fresh tomatoes! I’ve taken the first step.

PS: I don’t know the origin of my funny intro photo. It just showed up on my Facebook feed, source unknown.

seeds

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light

After several beautiful, mild, snow-melting days, I decided it was time to start my tomato seeds. I’m not a big seed starter. I can usually satisfy my modest need for vegetable seedlings at local nurseries. Except for tomatoes. For the last several years, I’ve experimented with heirloom varieties and have really enjoyed the results. Two years ago, I tried a package of mixed seeds and was encouraged by their success. Here’s a report here. Last year I tried a few different varieties and was especially impressed with Persimmon and Jaune Flamme.

So this is my third year for starting tomato seedlings. In previous years, I’ve just used sunlight, but this year I broke down and bought a grow light to extend the day for the little greenlings. I know, just an ordinary fluorescent fixture affixed in an appropriate location will do the job, but I liked the convenience of this compact stand. This afternoon, I planted 4 seeds of each of 8 varieties. Okay, little seeds, get growing!

Here are the varieties I planted: Black Krim, Black Pineapple, Brandywine Red, Chocolate Stripe, Emerald Evergreen, Purple Prudence, Sub-Arctic Plenty and White Queen.

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