Posted in Gardening, Horticulture

Growing Tomatoes From Seed in 2017

Note: I’ll be updating this post throughout the growing season.

INTRODUCTION    I’ve always bought my young tomato plants from the farmer’s market in spring but this year I decided to grow them all from seed. I purchased 5 varieties of heirloom seeds with the intention of growing at least 2 or 3 of each type.

METHODS    I started tomato plants indoors on April 6th, 2017 (about 7 weeks before the last predicted frost on May 27th) in compressed seed starting discs. On April 22, I up-potted all my tomatoes into standard size Solo cups with several holes drilled for drainage. I kept them on a windowsill with southern exposure and applied additional full-spectrum LED lighting. By mid-May, I started planting out a few of my tomato plants because the weather looked good. By May 27, I had planted out 14 tomato plants. I later added 5 more (after room freed up in my lettuce bed). I fertilized every two weeks with organic granular fertilizer at the recommended 1 tablespoon per plant. I watered using drip lines. The five varieties I grew were: (1) Weissbehaarte, (2) Blue Gold Berries, (3) Pink Berkely Tie Dye, (4) Solar Flair, and (5) True Black Brandywine.

Tomato seedling
Tomato seedlings on April 30th, 2017

RESULTS    By July 17th, all of the tomato plants are flowering and producing fruit. Nothing is ripe yet but I think we’re very close. Three tomatoes have showed signs of blossom end rot so I removed them. However, the majority of the tomatoes look very healthy. By August 1st, the first tomatoes (Blue Gold Berries) are ripe and one big Solar Flair tomato is brightly colored and just about ready to pick.

 

 

 

 

1. The  progress of my Weissbehaarte tomatoes:

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2. The progress of “Blue Gold Berry” tomatoes: 

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3. The progress of “Pink Berkely Tie Dye” tomatoes: 

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4. The progress of “Solar Flair” tomatoes: 

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5. The progress of “True Black Brandywine” tomatoes: 

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Author:

Environmental biologist and wannabe homesteader.

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