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Talkback: Sowing tomato seed

I have three gems of tomatoes to sow as a participant in Mr. fothergills Trials in the nation of Gardeners project, called "Black Opal". "Pi...

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I have three gems of tomatoes to sow as a participant in Mr. fothergills Trials in the nation of Gardeners project, called "Black Opal". "Pink Charmer F1", and Orange Slice"F1. As well as those I will be growing my usual "Gardeners delight", "Sunrise " and "Sungold" the first and last of which I eat like sweets. After new potatoes and the onion family and runner and dwarf beans, tomatoes are a priority in my cuisine. I am still using last year's crop via pasta sauce I froze. Good luck with the weather this year, Kate.

I've still got some deeeelish tomato chutney left from last year.

I've quite a few different tomato varieties this year, some are unsown seeds from previous years with new one's added. I just don't have enough room in the GH to house them all though so it will be one plant each of the best sown from seed. New one's are Ildi and Prune noire, the latter were seeds purchased in France. Tigerlla, Cerise, Golden Sunrise for the GH, the list could go on...and Tumbling Tom for hanging baskets.   

Good luck with your trials Marion. 

The tomatoes grown last year were so delicious I bought a small greenhouse for this years. Why are they always too small when you start planting the seeds ?

Nikin...........greenhouses are ALWAYS too small............I've had 6 x 8 right up to 50 x 20 and there is never enough room


Yeah, they're like the reverse of Dr. Who's Tardis - they look bigger on the outside than they are when you get inside!


My wife makes beautiful green tomato chutney so green is okay with me, I've some seeds sown in the greenhouse, lots of varieties, it's my first go from seed, I've always gone to garden centres for plants but the varieties here in Dumfries are poor and I want some different things.
No seedlings have appeared yet but we've no heat as yet so patience I think.

Any wrinkles on growing tomatoes successfully from seed?

I'm growing purple smudge, striped green sausage, ildi, yellow pear and black prince, also some normal red ones(my mother insisted). The green sausage are lovely on toast.


I got some honey bee, san marzano, black cherry and gardeners delight.

Your toms sounds very interesting Lisa..

I like to try a couple of new (to me) varieties every year. This year I've been in charge of seed purchase. The internerd is a wicked, wicked thing, no self control. And when all I have to do is press a button....well. There's no end to my tomato purchasing power, and I've found a localish nursery that do mainly tomato's and some very unusual cucumbers. New seed arrived today. The freeby's I got last order are all up, 100% germination. Very pleased.

Steve 309

Tried Black Cherry last year.  Did very well, especially outside,  VERY yummy!


I swore I would not buy new seeds this yr, just finish last yrs. I know how you feel, Lisa! But have never tried Sungold, so I thought, ok, just them, but was cheaper to buy them with Suncherry, so, ok. Ha. Had to get more San Marzano, as they made wonderful ketchup, so for good measure got another italian one for sauces (can't remember the name). That's besides my usual standbys. Also really want to try ildi, green sausage, etc etc. Spend far more time cutting down my list than making it!

And you're right, the 'Internerd' is wicked I'll be calling it that forever now, instead of 't'internet'!

Garden Maniac
Its Gardener's delight every time for me - and tumbling tom in the hanging baskets. Last year was a brilliant year! Like Happymarion, I still have last year's tomato and basil soup in the freezer - just waiting for the occasion to fetch it out!
This year, having found some old seeds of italian beefsteak tomatoes, I planted them all (early in January) expecting failure... I have no less than 48 potted on plants - I'm giving them away like wildfire at the moment!If I don't get a good crop, it's probably due to overcrowding! :)
Steve 309

Just bought a Black Cherry and a Yellow Tumbling Tom and planted them in large pot and hanging basket respectively.  Forty-odd more plants from seed due to go into their growbags in a week or so, as soon as I've tidied up the greenhouse enough!

Jimbolena wrote (see)

No seedlings have appeared yet but we've no heat as yet so patience I think.

Any wrinkles on growing tomatoes successfully from seed?

A cold greenhouse is fine, especially if you didn't sow them till April. They should have germinated by now though!

If you've sown in trays, prick them out into 3" pots of multi-purpose compost or John Innes No.2 when they've got their first two seed-leaves fully open.  If you sowed in pots, thin to the strongest seedling in each pot at the same stage.  Don't let them dry out but don't drown the little dears either.  Give them as much light as poss and a steady temperature too if you can. When they have half a dozen leaves or start flowering they can go into their final homes.  Keep asking questions!


Hi Steve309.


I have a few seedlings growing, I live in SW Scotland so we're a little behind in the weather, even a friend I know who's an experienced gardener, her toms are only 3 to 4 inches high, my seedling are an inch up. I overwatered the first batch, so started again or I'd be further on.

Thanks for the advice on the temps though, that's where I've been going wrong for so long, I often thought if it's comfortable for me in the greenhouse then the toms will love it but they love heat, since I tried keeping the temps over 10c or 15c and everything has flourished. Even getting some coriander up, I've not been able to do so because of my lack of temp education.

I've got a garden pearl, money maker, and gardeners delight. From the afore mention friend. They're all in their homes bar one, it's a bit wee just now, like you say they need to have a few leaves on them. Also have some from the garden center just in case mine failed, they're growing away nicely.

You have to be careful with toms in Scotland, different from down south, they are harvested much later, I've made that mistake before, harvesting them too early.


REALLY hope we get a nice summer this year!


Steve 309

With you on that one!

Sounds like you're doing OK.

I'll be up your way - sailing in the Firth of Clyde - next month.  Make sure we have good weather please


Sea what I can do! 


Aye - you'll be lucky Steve...

Actually - May can sometimes be nice here...wouldn't come without good waterproofs and a few jumpers though....

Steve 309

Hmmm - yes.  I shall be well wrapped up when necessary.  Sailing in the rain can be quite unpleasant.  But all your soft fruit will need some sunshine too!

ive got tomato plant i bought and seeds that ive grown myself but should the leaves be curling ??

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