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Monday, April 19, 2010

2010 tomato experiment

Readers will remember that last year I experimented with cutting the tops off of ALL of my seedlings, throwing away the root ends, and rerooted all the tops. That was fun.

I'm having fun again this year. I posted earlier that I was hoping to get LOTS of the yummy salad-sized Rose Quartz Multiflora tomatoes because everyone, really everyone, loved them. And had it not been for the late blight, I might have been up to my knees in fruit from just 2 plants. So I wanted more plants this year to grow and give away.

I put plenty of seeds in the cells. This is all I got.

One crummy sprout? *whine* I dug out the rest of my stash (maybe 5 of them) and oversowed the cells. Still, I didn't hope for much.

A month earlier I'd sowed my peppers. Some from last years seeds, some from seeds I saved from my own plants. In every case the saved seeds germinated faster and grew better (Hot Lemon, Volcano). So I was kicking myself for not having saved Rose Quartz seeds. (My excuse - blight took them in mid September before I could save any. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!)

Anyway, I was thinking about this and a little lightbulb went on. That lightbulb was in the kitchen freezer. Early last September I'd hauled out the dehydrator, butterfly'd some of the Rose Quartz, sprinkled them with garlic and dried herbs, spritzed them with olive oil, dried them, filled a jar and stuck them in the freezer. Would those poor little seeds be viable after all that? And frozen for 7 months???

Aw heck. Let's try. I soaked a likely looking candidate and pressed out the seeds.

I planted them in a 2-pack cell.

4 days later.....

You just can't beat Ma Nature for fun. Really. I mean it.

Those original cells that I oversowed? I got 3 sprouts. Now I have 8 Rose Quartz seedlings. Notice that the saved/frozen seeds (left) are already more robust than the oversowed seeds (right).

I can only hope that the saved seeds come true. After all, they were right smack in the middle of that jungle I called a tomato patch last year. I'm sure everyone got really really friendly... ;-D

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