My children like the “cherry” or “grape” varieties and we can a lot of tomato sauce.
This year I started two “1020″ trays of soil blocks of tomato seedlings, placing 40 2-inch blocks in each tray. The trays will hold 50 blocks but I like having a little more space.
I did a lot of “horse trading” with folks this year with saved tomato seeds and received many different varieties of seeds in trade for my own. Some of the seeds were a few years old and I am unsure of how the other gardeners saved and stored their seeds.
After 17 days my seedling status is as follows:
Barnes Mountain: 25% germination, 1 seedling not doing well.
Red Cherry: 75% germination, 2 strong seedlings, 1 not doing well
Red Oxheart: 100% germination, 4 strong seedlings
Roma VF (2009 seeds): 25% germination, 1 strong seedling
Roma VF (2014 seeds): 50% germination, 2 strong seedlings
San Marzano: 100% germination, 4 strong seedlings
Most of these were 4 soil blocks with a single seed placed into each.
I am pleased but frankly not surprised that the bold varieties had 100% germination rate. Most of these are tried and true tomatoes that are known to do well.
I will start 4 more soil blocks for each variety that had less than 75% germination success or where I only have a single seedling doing well. I have plenty of soil mix available and it only takes 30 minutes to make a tray of blocks, plant the seeds and clean up.
Anything that fails to germinate in this second group - I’m looking at YOU Cherokee Purple and Gold Medal ! - will be removed from the seed inventory and I’ll chalk those up to poorly saved seeds.
I’ll make some updates on these existing seedlings at the 30 day mark.