This brilliant spring, nay summer, weather is making me wish I was in the garden at the cottage right now. I am reminded that in the first week of April last year our backyard greenhouse was covered in snow–and it looks like we may get snow next week–and also that this week is the time for starting tomato seeds. I’ve written about it before but for us to get a good crop of tomatoes ripening by the end of August the plants need to be eighteen to twenty-four inches tall by the time the ground is warm enough for them at the beginning of June.
In past years I haven’t paid as much attention as I should have to the potting soil I used to start seeds. Using homemade compost has led to problems with weeds in seed trays and under-nourished potting mix, I think, contributed to the slightly leggy tomato seedlings of 2009. This time I have used a mix designed for potting that contains composted manure, into which I have mixed some bone and blood meal.
My main seed order hasn’t arrived yet from William Dam Seeds but I did start some of the tomato seeds that I saved last year. Four of them are from the Salt Spring Seeds Canada Collection (Canabec Rose, Montreal Tasty, Pollock, and Salt Spring Sunrise) and are profiled in this post. The fifth is from the tomato plant that germinated itself from a seed dropped the year before.
The tray is covered in plastic wrap to hopefully create a bit of greenhouse that will trap heat and help the seeds get the proper temperature they need to germinate. The whole tray needs to sit in a sunny, south-facing window.