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Tomato Tales 2011, part 2

April 14, 2011
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On April 1st, the first two ‘Coyote’ (white currant tomato) seedlings popped up.

On April 2nd, they looked like this:

Two ‘complete’ seedlings, and a third one just coming up.

In the wee hours of April 4th, before I finally went to bed:

A fourth seedlings coming up, and I noticed for the first time that tomato seedlings fold up their cotyledons when they ‘go to sleep’ at night.

A couple of hours later, when I got up again:

All ‘awake’ again, number 3 struggling out of its seed coat, number 4 noticeably bigger, and number 5 coming up!

You’ll have to excuse this flood of rather un-exiting pictures, but after the bad luck I had with the first batch I sowed, and the trouble I went to to get my hands on these seeds, I’m just so glad these are finally growing. Of the seven seeds I sowed on March 20th, five germinated (the first batch, sowed on February 23rd, also had seven, four of which came up and died again). Here they are on April 10th:

Number 4 (the one on the right) struggled a bit with getting out of its seed coat, which is why it’s still a bit stunted, but it’s still healthy and growing.

Yesterday, they got transplanted:

The ‘Coyote’s are on the left side, with the white tags. The rest are the last stragglers from the February seeds. Some of them took over a month to germinate. At which time the first from that batch – the ‘Gelbe Johannisbeere’/’Golden Currant’s, which germinated within a few days – were already setting buds.

Here are the ones that are already potted up:

On the left, the ‘Gelbe Johannisbeere’ (and one ‘Tess’s Land Race’/red currant), on the right a couple other varieties – ‘Rose Quartz Multiflora’, ‘Minibell’ and ‘Lea’, I think – that I potted up yesterday.

Oh, and go on, laugh at me: I still pot up my tomatoes in yoghurt and sour cream containers, even though I have insane amounts of pots I picked out of the thrash at work. Part of that is space-saving – they are higher and narrower than flower pots, thus taking up less space while providing the same volume, part is that because of their shape, I can plant the seedlings deeper… and part is sheer childhood nostalgia. If I still had access to my mother’s photo albums, I’d scan and post one of the pics of me and my brothers playing with the dozens of yoghurt containers we collected for the tomato plants each year. (Collecting was easy, since the Clown Brother ate insane amounts of yoghurt – basically lived off the stuff!)

And when you’re done laughing, look at this crazy ‘Gelbe Johannisbeere’:

It started yesterday – it’s still over a month to our last frost date, so it’ll be quite some time before I can even plant it (although on the balcony, I think I can get away with planting a bit earlier than mid-May), but it’s already blooming happily!

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