As I wrote earlier, for me, tomato growing is a family affair. Thank goodness! Without my mom’s greenhouse, my grandma’s saved seeds and all of our hands, the job would be nearly impossible. We grow enough for ourselves, our friends and neighbours, and this year, we’ll even have a few for the plant sales.
A couple of weekends ago, we got together to start our tomato seeds. We planted hundreds of saved seeds from last year’s bumper crop of Black Brandywine and Odessa tomatoes, as well as some new seeds – Radiator Charlie’s Mortgage Lifter, Gardener’s Delight, and Cherry, Purple, Pink Select and Joyce’s Brandywine.
We also tried something different this year with the actual seeding process. We made up a liquid kelp solution (1 tsp liquid kelp to 1L warm water) and dampened the soil prior to seeding. Apparently kelp helps prevent damping off, enhances the success of the germination process and contributes to strong initial seedling growth. The warm water is supposed to give seeds a head start (versus those watered with cold water). This is new to us – I’ll let you know what the results are!
Thats very interesting about the kelp. Thank you for sharing that. I may have to try some. Good luck with your tomatoes :)
I can’t wait to see how your tomatoes grow! I am growing my first crop this year, but I cheated and bought transplants from Seed Savers. Your blog is just great.
Melanthia (Garden Muse) says
Mad amounts of tomatoes! I planted little cherry tomatoes several years ago. New plants kept sprouting where some of the fruit had fallen the previous year. Sadly no plants this year, our edible garden turned into a makeshift composter gone bad.
Good luck with the tomato seeds. Radiator Charlie’s Mortgage Lifter is the funniest name! Our son’s name is Charlie so we’ll have to try this one year.
Andrea Bellamy says
Wendy – I’ll let you know how the kelp thing works. So far, I’ve got lots of sprouts and no damping off – let’s knock on wood!
Jen – it’s not cheating. I’d buy seedlings, too, if I didn’t have my mom’s greenhouse. The summers are just too short here to not get a head start.
Melanthia – “makeshift composter gone bad” – sounds like a story you’d tell over at the pub. Do share!
Kendra – The story behind the Radiator Charlie’s name is fascinating – you must go google it.
Ottawa Gardener says
What fun. I guess then you come by your gardening interests honestly (I’m not sure how you come by them dishonestly but hey)
Lee Richardsen says
where did you get the odessa seed from? I’ve been looking for a variety by that name.
Hi, Lee R. Well, I know that your request was made a year ago and you weren’t asking me, but since there was no answer, I have some oldish Odessa seeds and if I remember right, I think I got them from the Seed Savers org.
Andrea Bellamy says
I think I got my Odessa seeds through Saltspring Seeds, but I’m just guessing!