Category Archives: Tomato seedlings

Look At My Babies Grow!

So far so good…

SeedlingsJustSproutingThe peppers are just sprouting, at last.

SeedlingsFirstPairOfLeavesMost of the tomatoes are already growing their first pair of true leaves. (The “leaves” that you see when they begin to grow are really part of the seed.)

A month in spring

Just about a month ago, my tomato seedlings were tiny, with only their first pair of false leaves showing.

They’re not tiny any more.

And this is what happens when you don’t know if year-old seeds will sprout. (They will. Believe me, they will.) I’ll be giving most of them away over the next week or so.

Sometimes, you just have to go with weird

I’m getting antsy for spring – the truth is, I’ve been antsy for spring ever since November. But Outdoors isn’t cooperating yet, so I keep wondering if it’s too early to try starting tomato seeds. (Yes. Definitely too early.)

Well, if I can’t coo over how cute they are as they sprout, I can at least look at seed packages, right? Of course I can. And that’s how I got trapped.

The label says they’re tomatillo seeds, some sort of second cousin to tomatoes, just what you need for a little homemade salsa verde. And ‘verde’ is the word for it – every tomatillo I’ve ever met was bright grass green, greener than grass really is unless there’s been a LOT of rain.

But not these guys. If you can believe the package, they’re going to be purple. Yes. Purpler than a plum or a blueberry.  Salsa – purpura? What would that taste like?

Maybe I’ll find out.

She’s back, with apologies and more tomatoes

And now it’s July. Almost August. I think I’ll start by (mostly) wrapping up the Tale of the Tomatoes.

When last heard of, there were nearly sixty tomato seedlings looking for a home. What happened to the ones I didn’t give to specific friends? About three-quarters of them went to church. And, during coffee hour, they all got adopted. Whew. I’ve heard that some of them are doing well.

After that, I took the biggest and smallest seedlings – the ones I kept for myself – and started planting. That’s when I learned why Sue the Master Gardener told me to discard the tiny ones.

Helpful Household Hint #2: Listen to Sue. Or whoever your local expert may be.

One of the “how to grow tomatoes” web sites I read claimed that little plants are good, because they put all their energy into growing lots of roots instead of wasting it on stalks and leaves. THIS IS NOT TRUE. The big plants had filled their drinking-cup pots with roots. The tiny plants had tiny root balls, about the size of a pea. Not good.

I planted them anyhow – why not, at that point? – and within a few days the minis had shriveled away to nothing. Still, the husky weight-lifter plants kept growing and growing, and here’s a portrait of how they look now:

They're not very big, and they're very green, but they're definitely tomatoes

More flowers! More tomatoes?

They’re nearly as tall as I am (with a little help from stakes and tomato cages). Quite a change from March, when they looked like this –

Heirloom tomato seedlings just after sprouting

Tomato seedlings, only four days after planting the seeds