Finally: Tomatoes!


First I planned to wait until the new moon, then I planned not to wait, and then I got sick and had to wait.

But I finally got those little seeds in the germinator flat this afternoon.

tomato-starting-11I filled my germinator flat loosely with soil and brought out all the seed packs and labels for each variety. Using my finger, I lightly packed down the seedling mix in each channel of the flat to make room for seeds and more soil to top them.

tomato-starting-2As I seeded each channel, I added the variety’s tag and wrote the order of the varieties seeded in my garden journal.  Just in case something happens with the labels, I can still consult my chart to make sure I know what’s what.

I also seeded that last row with tomatillos, which look different enough from tomatoes that if both the labels got lost and the flat got turned around, I’d still be OK. As you can tell, I’m pretty careful with the seeding and labelling process–when growing 19 varieties of tomato in one flat, it’s important to have a back-up plan to make sure I can tell the difference between the plants.

I generally plant from twelve to fourteen seeds in each channel, though I do plant more if the seeds are more than a couple years old.  I also note the age of the saved seeds in my journal, and whether I’m out of any variety, so I can plan on saving seed from those varieties this season.

tomato-starting-3This is the final image of the covered-over seeds in the germinator flat.  They’ll go down next to the peppers and eggplant on the light shelf and get a good soaking with water.  Once the plants get big enough (and I have a nice day to sit out on my steps to do it), I’ll transplant them into four-packs where they’ll have a little more room to grow.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. What’s coming out of the light shelf to make room for the tomatoes, or do you still have room?

  2. Posted by flyingtomato on March 27, 2009 at 8:28 am

    I have taken all the leeks off the shelf–for the time being (while it’s too cold to have them outside), one is in the bedroom window and the other in the front window.

    I’ll probably take the red onions off soon, too, to make room for Brussels sprouts and whatever else needs starting. It should be warm enough (maybe next week?) to start getting all the onions and leeks hardening off outside.

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