Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Wintersown Update- Tomato Seeds


   Winter Sown Seed Update- Tomato Seeds

     As promised- here is the update on the tomato seeds we received from www.wintersown.org. The brochure that comes with this one instructs you on how to save your tomato seeds (hopefully we can do it- well hope I can do it- E is not so big on these types of gardening things). The instructions are copywrited so I will not tell you them word for word- I think the instructions may be on their website or I guess you can order some to get exact details, but I will give you the gist of it. The actual pamphlet has nice pics with it though to help you out.

     Essentially you cut the tomato in half and get the seeds out, clean them, and do a lot of rinsing and letting them sit so that all the hollow seeds will go to the top of the water. Then tap them out on a dry surface and spread them in a single layer and let them dry about a week. Here is a link that has a method fermenting the tomato seeds: http://www.mastergardeners.org/pdf/import/SGM/files/Saving_Tomato_Seeds.pdf. It is a PDF from the Agricultural and Natural Resources Coop Extension in Santa Clara County. It discusses a fermentation process, which is different than the cleaning method in the Wintersown pamphlet. I suggest looking at several processes and picking the one that suits you best.

     Since there are several cycles of clean, rinse, let seeds sit and repeat it seems like a long process to me. Honestly it makes me nervous, but I suppose it is doable (we'll find out next fall I guess lol). We may try more than one method and see what works best for us.

     The thing I like about their tomato seeds is that you can pick which you want and if they have them in stock you will get them. We chose off the wall varieties so that we can have our colorful and off beat garden this year, but for grandma's we are going to pick seeds she is more familiar with.

On to the seeds:

1884 Purple- Darker brick-tone variety of 1884 tomato, very delicious beef steak can weigh over half a pound. Since this one is more rare there are only about 7 seeds in the package, but since the most we have grown in one year are 5 it's not biggie to me. Though mom or grandma might want a big beefsteak to try. Plus further down I have Black Tomato Blend so we'll see who wants what.

Pineapple- Red and yellow tomatoes that can weigh up to two pounds. I knew E would like the name and they make huge tomatoes. It comes with about 15ish seeds so me, mom and grandma can all get a few to try out if we want.

Orange Queen-  Orange globes are plentiful, all purpose tomato- nice for sauce, slice, or salad. I got it b/c it is more of a medium size, but pretty color.


Snow White Cherry- Cream-colored cherry tomatoes are sweet, fruity and prolific, big plants too. Since there are almost 20 seeds I figure we can all try a couple. I just know E is going to like the white tomatoes since they will look so difference from what he is use to. I can hear his giggle now.

Kellogg's Breakfast- yellow- wildcard seeds ( I asked for a wild card to see what we'd get)- thin skinned, meaty tomato with a sweet, tangy flavor. Pretty good for a wild card.

Mixes: I ordered two mixes just to have fun with. I actually wouldn't mind if mom and grandma wanted to have the others (except for a couple each of snow white cherries and pineapple since I know E will want to plant a few of those).

Black Tomato Blend- Mix of sizes - all brick brown- It'd be cool to see what comes of these. If I end up winter sowing I may give some away to friends for them to grow- who knows.

Mixed Seeds- various mix from their stocks. I'd also love to see what we get with these.

Random seeds- in the last batch they gave a random flower mix as their "surprise", in this lot we got:

Mexibel Pepper- small bell peppers with a touch of heat- productive. Just shy of 20 seeds means I can share these are well. PB likes hot peppers so if it has a little heat I know he'll want us to grow a few.

Review- I got what I ordered - remember you don't have to order mixes and not all the varieties are off the wall in color or name- that is just what we wanted to order. I'm hoping to wintersow some so that we can know which germinated and give the rest to mom and grandma. We may not order tomato seeds for grandma if she wants to use these slightly off the wall ones. I'm not sure how many she is planning on planting either. My mom is sort of willy nilly like me and tries different stuff every year, but grandma is a hardcore planter. She is more of a beefsteak kind of gal- so if she thinks there is enough in the beefsteak ones for her we may not. Then again she may want a black tomato in there somewhere ;). Of course, she could seriously surprise me- she's known to do that. My grandpa on my father's side gardens as well, but is also a hardcore planter and he seems to love looking through seed catalogs finding his seeds. I'm sure I'll have some we don't plant and will ask if there are any he is interested in as well. Then again, he could get a huge kick out of talking seeds with me. All in all a pretty decent site, I can't wait to give seeds back to it.