Tomato trial update #1...

06 October, 2012

Back at the start of September I sowed my seeds for my Tomato Trial 2012 in which I will be pitting 16 tomato varieties against each other.

I sowed 10 seeds of each variety in toilet rolls (my preferred method of seed sowing when sowing small numbers of seed) and they germinated pretty well. The best of the bunch was (the aptly named) Gardeners Delight and Garden Peach with 10/10 seeds germinating. These were followed by Mortgage Lifter and Ned Kelly with 9/10; Isis Candy and Principe Borghese with 8/10; Big White Pink Stripe with 7/10; Rouge De Marmande, Black Cherry, Lemon Drop, Tommy Toe and Black Krim with 6/10; Siberian and Earl of Edgecombe with 5/10; Beams Yellow Pear with 3/10; and Green Zebra bringing up the rear quite poorly with only 2/10 seeds germinating.

But no matter the number germinated, now they are getting to the point of outgrowing the small rolls, and are in need of potting up.

As per the trial plan I will select the two strongest seedlings for remaining in the trial, and the others will go into another pot for backups and plants to give away to family and friends should they like to try them.

Each variety will have its two contenders potted into the same 15cm pot, before they get planted out likely in a couple of weeks time. I put about 5cms of potting mix in the pot while leaving lots of room to fully put the toilet rolls into the pot.

It was amazing to see that even thought the seedlings barely have two true leaves, some were already sending down pretty long roots.

Lets hope I chose the seedling belonging to this root to stay. 

The toilet rolls where then placed into the pots.

Excess weaker seedlings were pricked out, trying to maintain as much root as possible while not disturbing the remaining seedling.

Lets hope these seedlings can survive the transplant.

Now only the two strongest seedlings remained.

Potting mix was added to the pot until the seedlings were covered.

I always plant tomatoes deeper than they originally were, as they grow additional roots from the buried stems, which makes for stronger plants.

Then the seedlings were gently watered in.

 After much repetition of this process, I now have a heap of pots taking up space on my dining room table.

The spare seedlings have been relegated to the window sill.

If they survive here fine I'll move the trial seedling to the window too. But for now I'm just not taking any chances.


  1. I just bought a little greenhouse from Ikea:

    No reports yet on how effective it is, but I like the way you can prop open the top at various different angles depending on how much air you need. Plus it's very cute.

    1. Excellent, thanks for posting the link, they look great! May be just what I'm after...