A nursery for tomatoes

It’s Sunday, and I’ll have to go prepare for the working week soon, but I thought I’d leave you a foodies sort of post before I go.

This is a picture of the second generation tomato that self seeded in my pots last summer.

tomato closeup with tspoon

The teaspoon is for scale. During the height of the fruiting season we were getting tomatoes twice that size but I didn’t think to take a photo of them. -sigh-

The original tomato plant was a miniature Roma, but as you can see from the shape of its descendant, it must have reverted back to ‘wilder’ genes in generation 2.

The first self-seeding was an accident, but the plants were so prolific, and so hardy I decided to save the seeds for the following year. After the plants had almost finished cropping [late autumn] I cut the last, not so appetizing tomatoes in half, scooped out the seeds, and spread them on a layer of facial tissue. I placed another layer of tissue on top and let the seeds dry out.

Then, a few weeks ago I decided to try out EllaDee’s idea of placing pot plants in plastic tubs to prevent the bugs from getting to them. As well as bugs, I was worried that any late October frosts would kill my seedlings before they had a chance to mature.

I had a small, terracotta pot so I filled it with potting mix, lay the sheet of seeds on top and sprinkled a couple of ml of extra soil on top of that. After giving the whole thing a good soak, I covered it with the bottom of a plastic storage box. Exhibit B – the nursery box!

tomatoe nursery box

I didn’t really expect anything amazing to happen, but it did! This is the terracotta pot, absolutely full of tiny, 3rd generation tomato seedlings.

tomato terracotta pot

Once they’re big enough I’ll transplant them into individual pots and give some away to friends and neighbours. Watch out, you could be getting a 3rd generation tomato!

Have a great week,

Meeks

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About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

10 responses to “A nursery for tomatoes

  • EllaDee

    Excellent use of a tub 🙂 Home grown tomatoes for summer eating are the best, and better still from seeds you’ve saved. There’s a few $$$! My tubs are still nurturing mainly herbs & micro salad leaves but at least the balcony is finally growing something edible to humans not just caterpillars…

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  • Yvonne Hertzberger

    That’s so cool. Those were obviously not hybrid seeds. Most tomatoes people grow now are hybrids that have been bred NOT to be able to save seeds and will not grow from seeds you save.

    I am also experimenting with tomatoes this year. I always grow heritage seeds so I saved one tomato from each kind and planted it in a huge terracotta pot and left it to overwinter in the garden. In the past I often got seeds sprouting spontaneously – ones that had fallen and remained in the garden.

    We’ll have to compare notes next year. 🙂

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    • acflory

      Oh! That’s how the 2nd generation plants arrived – without any help from me, lol.

      I planted a couple of heritage tomatoes last summer but they didn’t do well at all. Not sure if it was the pot, the soil or the damn snails. As a result I had no seeds from them. Will try heritage again this year as I believe in the value of these wonderful old varieties.

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  • dvberkom

    Cool idea! I’ll have to try this. I dry seeds from the most robust in the garden to plant the next year, although with our sometimes good-sometimes not so good growing season using starts is often the best (and only) way to go…

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    • acflory

      This is my first time at it so fingers crossed my seedlings survive to maturity. If they do though, I am DEFINITELY doing this again.

      The thing that amazes me is how many people are into growing their own food, even if, like me they only do it small scale.

      My daughter isn’t into gardening but she loves the freshness of the tomatoes and lettuce we grow on the deck. Maybe in time the flavour will inspire her to grow her own. 🙂

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