Monday, April 23, 2012

Confessions of a Tomato Killer

It happens every year.  I buy tomato seeds and tell them (and myself) that they will grow into luscious, leafy, thriving plants that will provide us with copious amounts of tomatoes.  And every year, I end up with something like this:

I pity the fool (me) who tries to transplant these sorry seedlings.

So I have to buy something like this at the farmer's market:

This is how the pros (not me) do it.
I've tried everything.  Jiffy pots.  Compost.  Lights.  The hoophouse-turned-greenhouse.  Singing.  Okay, maybe I need to nix the last one.  That could be what's killing them.

Does anyone have any age-old secrets for starting tomatoes from seeds, and being successful?  I mean, seriously, this can't be rocket science! 

I would be remiss not to mention that I did have some success, but it was more along the lines of finding those peach trees growing in the garden.  Here's what happens when you compost rotten tomatoes:

Budding Brandywine

And Mystery Variety.
Might as well transplant them, right?

I'm linking up to the Homestead Barn Hop!  Click here to visit!


  1. Yes my go-to is Epson Salt water. The old timey stuff that you use in the tub or as a laxitve. For REAL!!! It is amazing. Google it and find their site for gardening tips. I have used it to help my seed get started for 3 years and I SWEAR by it!! I use 1/2 teaspoon per gallon of H20. Plus it is great all year round for everything and very organic. Please Try it.. Local drug stores carry the Plain kind. good luck and happy seeds/Tuscaloosa Alabama

  2. Please do. I get on my high horse about this long overlooked "old-time" ummm product. I found it by accident and just want to share the love.. Just pass it on, so simple cheap and IT WORKS!!! No I am not an advertiser or endorser Just a Beilever.. (sorry my spelling is not always good)

  3. I'm not really sure I have a secret but I usually get over half of the seeds I plant to come up. I use Jiffy Organic seed starter soil found at my local Walmart. I plant the seeds as recommended in small plastic pots or trays and give them a little water from the rain barrel every day. Mine are almost ready to be transplanted. I've also transplanted several tomato plants from the compost bin and they are doing well.

    This year I had trouble with something eating the first two tiny leaves and leaving the stem. I think it was frogs. So, I moved the trays out of the greenhouse and onto the back porch. So far so good.

    Good luck! I hope that one day you'll get some tomato plants from your own seeds!

  4. I have always used those little peat pellets with great luck. I just stick them in a sunny window. And keep the wet, but not soaked. Usually a little water everyday. We get a ton of compost plants too. We went to peach orchard one year and I had probably 50 peach sprouts come from those pits.