Starting Tomatoes from Seeds

Naturally, I’m putting in a garden at the new homestead this year. I’ve done a bit of gardening in the past, but not really any vegetable gardening for the past 8 years. City living, you know.

Anyway, I decided to grow some heirloom tomatoes from seed this year. I got my seeds from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. Along with beans, lettuce and some other odds and ends, I ordered packets of three heirloom tomato varieties: Mortgage Lifter, Brandywine, and Cherokee Purple. I was particularly interested in Cherokee Purple as I tasted them for the first time last summer and found them stunningly delicious. We had lunch with a friend who made BLTs for us. A simple sandwich turned into a gourmet meal simply because of the addition of Cherokee Purple tomatoes.

Anyway, starting these couldn’t have been simpler. I bought a simple 18-pot tray and some organic seed starting mix at Walmart. I filled the pots, drenched them thoroughly with water, and then poked two holes with a pencil in each pot down about 1/4″ – 1/2″ or so. One seed went into each hole and then I gently covered them up, sprayed a little water on the top, and and covered the whole tray with Press-N-Seal.

The tray went onto the top of the refrigerator where I figured it’d be a little warmer. I set a thermometer in front of the tray to make sure, and regulated the daytime indoor temp so that the thermometer read 70-80 degrees. I checked on them daily, and sprayed a light mist of water on them every other day.

The seeds were planted last Sunday. I saw the first small sprout late in the afternoon on Thursday, just four days later. I waited till Friday to put them under the grow light, and by Friday there were a total of 14 little sprouts poking up. At the recommendation of Jack Spirko at The Survival Podcast, I bought a Kingbo 45-watt grow light to nurture the little sprouts on to maturity.

The video above shows something of the process, and I’ll do some further updates over the next few weeks.



Tour of the Homestead

I know it’s been a LONG time since my first video. So incredibly much to do on our new homestead, and much of work during the first months were spent simply getting the house livable. We’ve done some landscaping work cutting back some of the brush, and while there is still a TON to do, we’re making progress.

It’s gardening time soon, so I’ll have some more posts coming about that, but I wanted to give you all a short video tour of the homestead. I took this video a month or so ago and we’ve already planted about 65 trees in the back field as well as cleaned up some more brush and laid out the garden.

Stay tuned for more regular posts going forward, but for now, here’s a brief tour.