Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tomato rainbow

Our neighbour welcomed the warmer weather with a delivery of compost for her vegie patch. This got us discussing our planting plans, which led to me offering her a sampling of my archived tomato seeds.

I've been saving tomato seeds for over 10 years, and I have found that they do retain viability for that long (at least). To save them, I squeeze the pulp onto a paper towel and leave it to dry, then store in a ziplock plastic bag. To plant, I can pick the seeds off the paper, or else just snip out a portion of paper with seeds attached and put the whole thing in the pot. I think the paper helps to keep moisture closer to the seed to aid germination.

These are the tomato varieties I passed over to my neighbour. She has small children, so I hope they enjoy the different colours, shapes and sizes, not to mention flavours! Most are heritage varieties available from Digger's, which provides a lot more information on the varieties than I can.

Unusual colours:
Tigerella "Mr Stripy"- red with orangy stripes
Green Zebra- pale green with darker green stripes
Black Krim- very deep purple
Yellow Pear- bright yellow cherry tomato with a pear shape and sweet taste

Red cherry:
Gardener's Delight
"Irene's Tiny Tom"- my name for a very sweet red cherry tomato grown by B's mother's friend's daughter

"Standard" red
Mortgage Lifter
Amish Paste
Outdoor Girl
Grosse Lisse- maligned by many for a weaker flavour, but B and I quite liked it.
Burke's Backyard Italian (Costoluto di Marmande)- I got this as a freebie from the tv show, which claimed to have selected it from tomatoes grown across Italy as the tomato most suited to Australian conditions and palates. And then they renamed it! Maybe not one for the purists, but I have a soft spot for it as the were the first tomato variety I grew.

My fingers are itching to get some seeds into pots!

And a final point of irony that my mother will mention if I don't: as a child I hated tomatoes!

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