Monthly Archives: January 2012

Saving tomato seeds

One of my larger yellow tomatoes sat around too long and got soft. Since it was a big, nice one, I decided to save its seeds. My past attempts to do this failed — well, I did save the seeds, but they failed to germinate.

The process is simple enough: choose a fruit that has the qualities you like, let it get overripe, cut it in half along its equator, scoop out the liquid aspic where the seeds reside, place this in a jar with a loose-fitting lid, add some clean water, stir, cover it loosely so gas can escape but insects can’t enter, and let it sit. It will decompose and ferment. The seeds will completely free of the aspic and will sink to the bottom. Pour off the smelly liquid, reserve the seeds, rinse them, and lay them out to dry, so that they don’t touch other seeds.

Pretty easy, right? Let’s hope these will germinate later this year.

Here’s what they look like immediately after going into the jar:

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January tomatoes

I planted tomatoes three times in 2011, and it looks like I’ll be harvesting the last plants well into February of 2012. I thought I’d share a few photos of the recent harvests.

Picked these 2 weeks ago:

These came in late last week:

These came in Sunday:

2012 first seed starts

Here’s the kickoff of my 2012 vegetable container garden. I started some seeds in my garage, to get a jump on the growing season. I use a heat mat to urge the little plants to get started.

I’m trying three starting methods:

  1. a plain flat pan, filled with moist seed starter mix, for the chives;
  2. a tray of 72 cells containing the same mix, into which I planted leeks, which looks like this empty:

     

  3. a Park Seeds 40-cell Jumbo planting block in a Bio-Dome, which looks like this when it’s empty:

     

It feels good to have some spring seeds started. This is my fourth gardening season, and I hope to make the entire year productive.  How hard could it be?  Heck, it’s the end of January and I’m still harvesting 15 tomatoes every few days!

Here are photos of the starts.

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