Super early sowing...

13 July, 2013

The weather in Melbourne today was terrible. It was miserable and rainy and all the gardening tasks I had planned that required me to be outdoors have had to be postponed.

So I decided to do something else.

I sowed tomato seeds. Super early sowings of tomato seeds.

Well, it is super early for me. I usually sow my early summer crops (toms, corn, peppers/capsicums, eggplants, beans etc) in around August. But last year I read about Liz and her early sowings of tomatoes and I thought that sounded like a great idea to try.

I sowed 28 varieties of tomato seeds, and it will be interesting to see how it goes. From my 49 varieties I chose the following for early sowing:

For those without microscopic vision, they were Lemon Drop, Ned Kelly, (the winner of the 2012 Tomato Trial) Garden Peach, Black Krim, Black Cherry, Siberian, Mortgage Lifter, Isis Candy, Tommy Toe, Big White Pink Stripe, Green Zebra, Rouge De Marmande, Brown Cherry, Champion, Earl of Edgecombe, Gardeners Delight, Golden Girl, Red Luck, Sweetbite, Pink Girl, Mr Ugly, Sun Sugar, Lava, Husky Cherry Gold, Big Beef, Pink Grape, New Yorker and Patio.

I think my favourite tomato name is Mr Ugly. I can't wait to see what that one's like.

About half of these I've grown before but the rest are pure mysteries. I picked them purely based on name so have no idea what I'm going to get. But I think that's half the fun. 

I sowed about five seeds each of the chosen varieties in my preferred method of toilet roll container (the process of which I outlined here so won't repeat myself.)


The reason I picked 28 varieties to sow is that 28 toilet rolls is all that will fit in one of my sowing trays.

After I filled my toilet rolls I realised that I have almost run out of name sticks, so an ad hoc mix will just have to do. Note to self; buy more paddle pop sticks.


The tray now sits on the mantle above the heater, which I'm hoping will provide adequate temps for germination. I will keep you posted on how it goes.

Assuming germination goes well, lots of potting up will be required and as last year I very quickly ran out of windowsill space to put my indoor raised seedlings I think a greenhouse type arrangement will be required.

Does anyone out there in blog-land have any recommendations. I'm thinking one or two of those small portable plastic ones, but would love to hear your experience with these or any other suggestions.

8 comments:

  1. I have one of the cheap bunnings plastic glass houses, works well. Best advice put bricks on the bottom level. Nothing more devastating than coming home to find all your perfect seedlings smashed on the ground. There were tears

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    1. Thank you for the advice! I can imagine the tears - there would be wailing if it was me.

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  2. Like Cat I have one of those cheap plastic green houses and I agree it works well but my garden is more sheltered than yours. I take my germinated seedlings outside in August and put them in it and for the last couple of years that has proved to be sufficient protection.
    I sowed my tomato seeds about 10 days ago and about 4 of the 6 varieties I sowed have germinated despite spending much of that time in an unheated house while we went on a trip to Mt Buller. Tomatoes really don't seem to need much warmth at all to germinate.

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    1. Hmmmm this is cementing my belief that I need to get me one of these. Even though my garden is a bit more exposed I think it will give them enough protection. Do you keep yours where it gets some sunlight? I'm just worried about it overheating and cooking them...

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  3. Wow! That's a lot of tomato varieties! I too like Mr Ugly. I wonder if I should get started? I don't have any heating inside at the moment - yes, it's cold here, and I guess the verandah will be too cold? Perhaps I should just wait till August? HELP, what should I do? I so want to get a tomato crop this year - all my tomatoes got fried last summer in the record-breaking heat.

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    1. Get started!!! Even if you sow the seeds and they don't germinate at least you've tried. And sowing early might even allow them to get a good start on a deep root system and allow them to survive the summer crazy heat. That or some shadecloth...

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  4. Hmm I would be daft enough to just write on the toilet roll then plant the tomato in the ground and wonder why I could remember the names. I do think Golden peach sounds fabulous. I am impressed you have started already, I will just have to wait until we get home in August to get my tomatoes going...

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    1. Haha, I almost did something similar, when I put labels on masking tape on the rolls. I quickly realised that when planted they would be useless, so got proper labels.

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