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Timing Your Tomatoes…Ready, Set, Grow!

March 16, 2011
One of Many Multi-Pound Tomato Harvests from Our 2010 Garden

One of Many Multi-Pound Tomato Harvests from Our 2010 Garden

If you’re planning to grow tomatoes from seed this year, your window for seeding is now open. If you’re in the cool, wet Pacific Northwest like I am & planning to grow from starts, wait a couple of months before you buy them and try to set them out. Starts can be great, but seeds are cheap, germinate readily, and often produce some of the best tomatoes you’re ever going to grow.

Last year I offered up this harvest season post outlining my tomato growing timeline. In a year when few had great tomato growing — and ripening — success around town, I had a glut. It’s March, and I still have loads of dried Saucy Paste to enjoy in spaghetti sauce and Stews. Bags of chopped frozen tomatoes are still filling out soups. And, I even have a handful of Longkeepers ready for sandwiches in the kitchen.

What you’ll learn from the article linked above is that producing a glut of tomatoes in Seattle in a cool, wet summer requires a lot of attention and TLC. But, the rewards for a larger investment of time and a minimal investment of dollars is unparalleled! So get out there & get your tomatoes growing!

Seeded Flats of 2011 Tomatoes Don't Look Like Much - Yet!

Seeded Flats of 2011 Tomatoes Don't Look Like Much - Yet!

Last weekend, I seeded my first round of tomatoes. This year we’re looking forward to more Saucy Paste for drying and paste, Peron & Siberia for slicing, Golden Nugget for determinant early cherry snacks, and Longkeeper to put up for fresh in winter. And, maybe I’ll do a few more Oregon Springs from last year’s leftover seed. While it didn’t perform great last year in ground, I loved them in 2009 grown in pots!

What tomatoes are you growing this season? Any suggestions for what else we simply must try in our experimentation gardens?

3 Comments

  1. Katy says:

    Y’know, I’ve never tried tomatoes from seed … maybe this time around!

  2. Michael says:

    I planted Brandywine tomato seeds this year. I have 16 – 18 sprouting.. I transferred 4 out to the garden. Buried them so that just the tops were showing so that the long leggy stems could grow roots. I put chicken wire around them to keep out the chickens. The leaves are all chewed up as well as my broccoli. I can not find any snail trails or seen any. I have chickens and squirrels. The leaves on the broccoli have smooth bites so that would indicate snails, slugs or worms.. I do not see any of those pests.. I think my problem now is worms. Any other ideas?

  3. Michael, It’s hard to say with out seeing the damage. Maybe take a sample into a local nursery for help with diagnosis?

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