Always a few surprises in my tomato germination projects. Last year I tried germinating lots of seeds together, per Epic Tomatoes, and it was not good for me–or my tomatoes. I lost lots of seedlings; they just didn’t thrive or look healthy. Perhaps they were damaged in the transplanting process. Also, last year I used a styrofoam seedling starting kit (for the 3rd year) that came with my shelf unit as well as a couple light weight new seed starting trays with plastic tops.
This year I’m trying something different, following a better sense of spacing out seedlings. Because I often don’t get around to transplanting when that second set of true leaves appears, giving the seedlings more space seems wise. Also, I’ve committed myself to using very only very clean six packs, 1 per variety. I plan to thin the seedlings to no more than 2 seedlings per cell.
So, what is the NEWS today? four tomatoes started outdoors in my cheap green house, which had NO bottom heat (until today) germinated: Siberian, Sungold Cherry, and one from Joseph Lofthouse, Hamsonita, a short season determinate med. size red tomato descended from DX52-12 and Jagodka, varieties that thrive in the Cache Valley. Also, the High Tunnel blend from Zulu Petals Organic Farm in Dixon, NM germinated. It’s mixed determinate and indeterminate. Let’s see what happens…
Since all the tomatoes started indoors have now germinated, I have moved the heating mats outside in hopes that I’ll see more cotyledons tomorrow morning. I have a thermostat on the seedlings set to 80 degrees, so it turns off above that temperature. Today in Los Angeles (near LAX) it is just under 70 degrees. The thermostat is from hydrofarm.com in Petaluma, CA. I’ve put reflective material on top of the green house, to keep it from overheating, and the rope is to keep it from blowing over in the wind.