Useful Sites & Sources

Sources for Heirloom Seeds Heirloom tomatoes can’t be beat for their intense flavor. They are wonderful to look at, too, and have great names like Green Zebra, Cherokee Purple, Red Pear, Mortgage Lifter and White Wonder. Finally they have wonderful stories to tell. For example, a West Virginian home gardener named Charlie fell on hard times during the depression. He owned a radiator repair shop, but people were so broke that they weren’t repairing their cars. Charlie took his four largest-fruited tomato plants and crossed them repeatedly to create a…

Read More

General Care

Watering Water often and deeply, soaking the soil six to eight inches deep at least twice a week. Tomatoes do not respond well to letting the soil dry out between waterings. Keeping moisture levels in the soil even will help prevent the dreaded blossom-end rot, that small black spot on the bottom of the tomato which eventually can spread throughout the fruit. Mulching A layer of mulch (straw, plastic, grass ) will help conserve soil moisture during the hot, dry days of July and August. In addition to moisture, tomatoes…

Read More

Grafting Tomatoes – A Beginner’s Guide

Types of Grafts One of the simplest grafts is a top graft. Mefferd recommends working with small plants, which might be only 2 to 3 inches tall, not only to fit the silicone grafting clip size but to increase success. Choose a rootstock plant and scion that are nearly identical in stem diameter. Carefully cut the rootstock plant at approximately a 35-degree angle with a razor, and discard the top. Using the same angle, slice off the top of the scion. Some people pinch off several of the scion’s leaves…

Read More

How to Grow Tomatoes from Cuttings

Did you know that a new tomato plant can be grown from just a snip off of a mature tomato plant? The cells within the stems of tomato plants are capable of developing roots. Amazing, right? This is exciting news for you tomato lovers out there who have wished you could make one particular plant produce even more. This is also good news for the frugal gardeners who would like to purchase one plant and enjoy a double harvest in the same season. While starting a new tomato plant from…

Read More

My Tomato Seedling Stop Growing

Tomato plants (Lycopersicon esculentum) offer fruits that burst with rich flavor. Growing the plants from seeds, however, is much less expensive than buying them from a nursery. After the seeds germinate, the seedlings emerge from soil and have a pair of small leaves, called cotyledons. About three weeks after emerging from soil, each seedling should produce its first set of true leaves. If your tomato seedling won’t put out new leaves or grow, then it may not receive the light, food or water that it needs to thrive. Tomato plants…

Read More

Saving Tomato Seeds

Why is fermentation better than drying seeds on a paper towel? The gel sac around each tomato seed contains certain chemical compounds that inhibit germination until the tomato ripens, and may contain tomato diseases. In nature, the fruits fall off the plant and slowly rot. As they do, the natural fermentation process destroys the gel sac (including the growth inhibitors and any diseases) and allows the seeds to germinate when the right conditions are present, generally the following season. Saving tomato seeds by fermenting them is the way to mimic…

Read More