ABOUT OUR TOMATO PLANTS
What is an heirloom tomato?
A tomato that has a history of at least 50 years is known as an heirloom tomato. All of these tomatoes are open-pollinated; that means you can save the seed from the tomato you grow, and it will grow a plant with similar tomatoes. (The opposite of open-pollinated is a hybrid tomato; if you save the seed from a hybrid tomato and plant it, it will not grow a plant that bears the same tomatoes.)
Since they are not bred for mass markets, and are not chosen for their ability to travel long distances or sit on grocery shelves, heirloom tomatoes are often more flavourful and come in a variety of shapes and colours. They often have interesting histories as well!
Our seed sources:
We try to source our seeds from Canadian seed companies that grow in an ecologically sustainable way. None of our seeds are genetically modified. This year our seeds came from the following sources:
The Cottage Gardener
Greta’s Organic Seeds
Heritage Harvest Seeds
Jardin de Nathalie
Tatiana's Tomato Base
Because both postage and seed costs went up in the last year, our tomato seedling prices also went up.
1. Harden your plant off. The tomato plant you buy from our greenhouse has not been acclimated to sun or wind. Gradually expose your plant to the outdoors, beginning with one hour in the sun on the first day, two hours in the sun and one in the shade on the second day, and up to four hours of sun on the third day. Gradually increase the time outside by two hours until your plants are out for the entire day. If the last frost date has passed, they now are ready to plant.
2. Plant your tomatoes as deeply as possible, leaving two sets of leaves above ground. New roots will form along the stem and give you a deep and strong root system. This will make your plants more resilient in drought.
3. Do not over water. While it is important that tomatoes receive enough water at the roots (especially when setting fruit), they are a tropical plant, used to dry conditions. Do not water unless the soil surface is dry. Try not to wet the leaves when watering; this will help reduce blight.
4. Mulch the ground around your tomato plant with leaves or straw. This will help keep soil from splashing on the leaves and may help control blight. This will also reduce the need for watering.
5. Stake your tomato plants. This will keep the leaves and fruit off the ground and will help reduce pest and disease damage.
6. Tomatoes should be planted approximately 2 feet apart. This gives the plant enough root space, and provides enough room for good air flow around the plant. It is tempting to crowd them closer when they are young, but as the plants grow you will be glad you gave them enough room.
7. Prune the bottom branches. There are different schools of thought on whether you should prune out the suckers on your plant. What is important is to trim off the bottom branches for the first foot or so (after the plant has grown up a few feet). This will enable the plant to put more energy into the fruit and will keep the leaves off the ground, as well as enable good air flow under the plant.
If you have any growing problems or need advice on your tomatoes, do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org