Green Zebra tomatoes from last year’s harvest.
I put in my first seed order of the year today: eight kinds of heirloom tomatoes from Salt Spring Seeds. As usual, I’ve ordered way too much: last year I managed to squeeze five plants onto my tiny deck. And I’ve got seeds from three of those. Eleven tomato plants? C’est impossible.
Thankfully, it’s a family affair. I order the seeds. My mom starts them in her greenhouse. My grandma saves the seeds. We all grow, and share the results. (Somehow, I get away with the least amount of effort because I’ve got the smallest home, and, for my elders, online shopping seems like a lot of work.)
So. Where does that leave me? Of last year’s seeds, I’ll grow Black Brandywine and Green Zebra again. I also ordered Radiator Charlie’s Mortgage Lifter, a deep-red beefsteak slicer; Gardener’s Delight, a small cherry that is said to be consistent and flavourful, with lots of seeds and juice. Finally, I couldn’t resist the Brandywine Collection, which contains seeds from Cherry, Black, Purple, Pink Select and Joyce’s Brandywine tomatoes. I really can’t fit them all on my deck, so I’ll have to choose! Any suggestions?
By the way, if you live in Canada, you should really check out Salt Spring Seeds. I ordered from them last year, and every single seed germinated! Their seeds are untreated, open-pollinated and non-GMO. They grow all their own seeds and sell only their most recent harvest. Salt Spring Seeds also runs the Seed Sanctuary, a charitable organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of heritage and heirloom seeds (kind of like the Seed Saver’s Exchange in the US).
I like the way your family all has their tasks to perform – great system! The names of some of those tomatoes are hilarious.
I will check out Salt Spring Seeds … it sounds as if they are a good place. I also like ordering seeds from Gardens North, in North Gower ON.
Off to Salt Spring Seeds … the Green Zebra tomatoes are beautiful.
Andrea Bellamy says
Kate- don’t you love the names? I partially ordered the “mortgage lifter” because, well, I could use a little help in that department!
Marie Hadley says
I’ve never tried growing tomato’s from seed, no greenhouse available. Last year I bought some beautiful plants from the Oriental Nursery by my house but either the sun wasn’t hot enough or I put them out too soon. (Early April) the plants grew like gangbusters but it was so late in August when they staerted fruiting that it got cold before they got ripe. I did have luck with one that was a little yellow pear tomato, yum! I’ll try again this year, i hope I can find a Green Zebra plant, those are delish! I’ll wait till May to put them in the gound this year too.
Andrea Bellamy says
A greenhouse certainly does help, although I suppose you could try it on a sunny windowsill, too. Good luck with your tomatoes this year, Marie!
Arzeena Hamir says
Andrea – if you’re into heirloom seeds, check out Seedy Saturday coming up on Feb 23rd here in Vancouver. All the small seed companies (including Salt Spring Seeds) will be in one room.
The event happens all over the province and now all across the country. More details should be posted at http://www.seedysaturday.com
This year’s event even has short workshops on seed starting.