Colours, shapes, taste, and smells are some of the joys of growing an organic garden. The certified organic seeds grown by Stellar Seeds are selected to offer the best of all these qualities. Stellar seeds are open-pollinated, grown in British Columbia, and farmed using holistic practices that maximize soil health and promote biodiversity.
Large, uniformly shaped fruits (10cm diameter) bear heavily on healthy, stout vines. Attractive deep red colour, uniform ripening, and fine flavour. Sets fruit even in cool weather, and handles high heat as well. From the Himalayas.
Start seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks prior to last frost. Plant about 1/4″ deep, in flats or small pots using sterile seed starting material. Water lightly and keep consistently moist until germination occurs. Tomato seeds germinate best if soil is between 75 to 90°F. After germination, place plants in location with a lot of light. After the plants have their second or third set of true leaves, transplant into 4 inch pots to allow plants to develop properly and promote root growth. Once risk of frost has passed, carefully transplant young plants outside. Plants will be tender and susceptible to frost damage and sunburn. Protect young plants by covering for a few days with a one gallon milk jug (bottom removed) to form a miniature greenhouse. Over-watering may help produce larger fruit, but flavor may be reduced. Splitting and cracking can result from uneven and excessive watering.
Seed Saving Tips
Tomatoes produce flowers capable of self-pollinating, although to improve genetic health multiple plants of the same variety should be planted together. Heirloom varieties need to be isolated by 30m, while modern varieties only require 3m to prevent cross-pollination. In the home garden, use isolation cages and shake plants within to release pollen. Choose only healthy, unblemished fruit true to variety for saving. Avoid fruit from any plants that seem to perform poorly compared to others (ex yellowing leaves, blight, etc.)
If you do not notice many pollinators in your garden, shake your plants to encourage fertilization and setting of fruit.
Allow tomatoes to ripen completely before harvesting for seed production. Allow to mature to the slightly squishy stage once off the vine.
Cut the tomato and scrape out the jelly and seeds into a jar. Fill the jar with just enough water to cover seeds. Cover jar firmly with plastic wrap, leaving only a small hole through which air can pass. Place jar in a warm location and let sit three to four days, swirling the jar each day to mix contents. Mould and scum may form, which is expected and helps sterilisation and elimination of the seed’s jelly coat. When seeds appear clear of their coat, it is time to clean the seeds that float. Decant the jar’s contents by adding and removing water several times until water runs clear. Pour seeds into a strainer and rinse. Spread seeds onto a paper towel to dry for several more days.
Break up the clumps into individual seeds, label and store in a jar, paper or plastic bag. Well-dried seed stored in a cool, dry place should maintain germability around five years.
For more information, visit www.stellarseeds.com/