Sunday, 23 March 2014

Sowing tomatoes

I got my tomato seeds sown on Friday. I sowed 27 pots of them, using the tall thin plastic pots from "Elmlea" cream-susbstitute which we have saved up over the last year:

I have made a point of sowing lots of different types, including many that have been sent to me by friends around the world (e.g. Eddy in Belgium, Tiffany in the USA and Trevor in Wales), so it was important to have them clearly labelled.

Several of the types are old favourites - like "Gardener's Delight", "Maskotka" and "Ferline", but I have also got some less well-known ones such as "Rumi Banjan", "Banana Legs", "Giant Syrian" and "Larisa". Where I am going to put them when they get bigger, Goodness only knows! I think I will have to give some of them away. I'll probably have space to grow about 18 or 20 at most, but I always find it hard not to go overboard because there are just so many interesting tomato varieties around.

The ones given to me by Eddy are (at my request) all big-fruited "Beefsteak" varieties, whereas Trevor has sent me two Cherry-sized ones. One is called "Tiger" and the other, which he bought from a local man while on holiday in Santorini, has been nicknamed "Yanni's".

My procedure is to sow two seeds in each pot, and to remove the weaker seedling if both germinate. Some people would say this is wasteful, but for me it is a way of boosting my chances of getting good plants. If I sowed 50 of each type I would not do it, but when you only have one or two pots of each I think it is justifiable.

The pots are now arranged in seed-trays covered with plastic bags, underneath the lights of my Growlight House. I expect them to germinate within a few days. 

For the record, here is the list of tomato varieties I have sown:
Cherokee Purple
Giant Syrian
Fish Lake Oxheart
Noire Charbonneuse
Wild Thyme
Rumi Banjan
Lemon Boy
Banana Legs
Gardener's Delight
Japanese Purple (not it's official name, but I can't read the Japanese writing on the packet!)


  1. We have cut back on the number of tomato varieties this year

  2. I do the same thing with seeds. I put two or three (depending on the age and type) in a pot and pinch out the weaker one. Seeds really aren't all that expensive compared to what they give you. And stronger plants will produce better.

  3. Wow - that's quite a selection of varieties you have there - will you have room to fit them all in . I am only growing three types one of them I haven't grown before Cuor di bue - a meaty heritage tomato - they have all germinated now so will be pricking them out soon but keeping them in the house as it is turning quite chilly even in the greenhouse.

  4. Wow Mark you are much more adventurous than I am with your tomato varieties. I put mine in yesterday too but I only have 3 tried and true varieties and one new heirloom that I am trying. I'm glad I'm not the only one that wastes a seed by planting two seeds per pot. It drives me crazy if I have a pot that doesn't come up so I always plant two seeds. Some times if both plants look strong I will carefully transplant one out to another pot and give the extras away to family or friends.

  5. I love seeing this! We've just started our seeds as well and we are so excited!

    I have much to learn. That variety of tomatoes is vast!

  6. Soo many different kinds! I only have room for 3 or 4 varieties of tomatoes. Hoping to keep expanding my garden space though and maybe one day I can have as many as you.


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