This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

the tomato seeds are planted!

tomato tray

Its a big event, to get my tomatoes planted. I think this really means the garden season has started. At last!

I planted 3 cells each of 16 different varieties - one or two seeds per cell. I have some very exciting new (to me) varieties I'm trying this year. Box Car Willie, Hillybilly, Mortgage Lifter, Opalka and Sungold. And my old favorites: Giant Belgian, Purple Calabash and Brandywine. Lets hope its a perfect tomato summer.

tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum)



Blogger whiterice said...

EXCITING!! - Can't wait to see what mortgage lifter looks like.

March 25, 2009 6:22 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

as whiterice said EXCITING!!!, we are planting ours hopefully this week.

March 25, 2009 7:00 PM

Blogger Laura said...

I saw the Parsley in the background- Just remembered I forgot to plant it!

Thanks for the reminder!

March 25, 2009 7:03 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Yes parsley. Don't forget. It was very late (or very early?) when I finished planting and it looks like I focused on the parsley labels instead of the tomatoes. Oh well...

March 25, 2009 7:21 PM

Blogger Stewart said...

I can vouch for Mortgage Lifter.
It's a very nice tomato.
Or in Australian we'd call it a ripper.

March 25, 2009 10:13 PM

Blogger Just Jenn said...

Box Car Willie is also a great tom! Looks like you've got a nice variety this year.

March 25, 2009 10:34 PM

Anonymous Gururaj said...

I grabbed the 2009 planting schedule from your blog and used it; thanks for the same. I'm curious about the tomato seeds in the photos -- how many per pot did you plant? I have always got grown my tomatoes through plants but I'm contemplating starting with seeds.

March 26, 2009 1:07 AM

Blogger Maggie and Mitch said...

oooooooooooooooo, tomatoes! Our dad started his tomatoes this past Monday! He has 6 varieties planted so far!
We came to wish Skippy a very happy birthday with lots of treats and ice cream!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

March 26, 2009 5:04 AM

Blogger Jennifer said...

16 varieties! I think we have 2! We're not big tomato fans though, but we do like sauce, so we got a couple of good sauce/paste tomatoes.

We got Amish Paste Tomatoes and Cherokee Purples.

We're not doing parsley, we never use it in anything. We'll try and do a bunch of rosemary though, love that stuff.

March 26, 2009 2:10 PM

Blogger Meredith said...

Wow! You have a lot of different varieties! Maybe you can answer my question about planting different varieties. Can you plant them next to each other, or do you have to worry about cross-pollination? I have four different varieties, and I'd like to plant them all in the same two beds. Will I come up with wierd hybrids?

March 26, 2009 10:52 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like some great choices! I was looking at opalka, mortgage lifter, and brandywine before I settled on Amish paste. I do hope you will post a tomato taste test/review later in the year.

March 27, 2009 9:14 AM

Blogger kathy said...

A good question about collecting tomato seeds when you are growing many varieties.

I just read this interesting article.

Tomatoes are self-fertile and are usually self pollinated. But they can be cross pollinated. I don't know what portion of your collected seeds would be hybrids.

Maybe someone else can comment on this?

March 27, 2009 9:29 AM

Blogger Kim said...

Wowee! So many! I'm trying heirlooms for the first time this year: Opalka, Berkley Tie-Dye, Black Krim, Dwarf Red Heart, and Black Cherry. I hope I'm as successful as you are! `

Happy Birthday Skippy!

March 27, 2009 8:31 PM

Anonymous Daniela Caride said...

Kathy, as a totally failed gardener who did not quit trying yet, what should I try first? What's the easiest thing to grow on a veggie garden? I need to get some confidence before I get to the tomatoes...


March 27, 2009 8:57 PM

Blogger kathy said...


I would say lettuce and green beans. Plant some lettuce in pots inside now and transplant them outside on May 1. Or buy plants at a garden center in early May. Lettuce is a SUPER crop to start with. Lots of varieties to choose from. It does well in cooler weather. Don't try to grow it in July or August.

Plant the green bean seeds directly in the garden on May 10. Pick a couple fun varieties like french haricots verts or Blue Lake or purple beans or yellow wax. Plant a few more seeds every couple weeks and you'll have fresh beans all summer and fall.

Or how about trying the seeds I just posted that I sent to a friend who wants to start vegetable gardening. (Lettuce, cukes, nasturtiums, cherry tomato and radish)

Radish are very quick to grow but needs LOTS of sun, but otherwise is very easy. (Yummy in martinis.) Nasturtiums are really nice for color.

I personally like cucumbers and some varieties have done well for me (many have not).

And maybe you want to try a cherry tomato. They are big, but easy to grow for tomatoes.

I like the idea of starting with several vegetables. And then if one or two works out - GREAT! Zucchini grows well in some areas (where stem borers are not a problem) but not in others. Same with beets or carrots.

And its best to go with your favorites.

Maybe I'm not the best person to ask what to start with. I like to grow everything...

March 27, 2009 10:25 PM

Anonymous Daniela Caride said...

Wow! I'll definitely give it a try! Thank you so much for your advice.



March 29, 2009 5:37 PM


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