Growing your own tomatoes is one of the most rewarding things you can do if you love the flavor of fresh tomatoes. Each bite brings joy – seriously.
But where do you start?
Well, probably the first things are you need the seeds, and of course the growing supplies, but you also need to have an understanding of timing – when to start your seeds so they are ready in time for planting outdoors after frost periods in spring – so for us in CT, to make it simple, outside safe planting is late May (usually Memorial Day). Note: Areas of CT have different scenarios but in general, Memorial Day is usually when it is warm enough and induces great starts of your tomato plants.
I was trying to think of when I started my own journey of growing tomato plants from seed. I think it was spurred when I saw seed packets with artful packaging that I decided to buy some of those packets and get started studying and researching on the steps involved to grow them. I did lots of reaching online, got books, you name it.
I don’t think learning all the aspects of seed growing is necessarily difficult, but it does take some time to learn all the nuisances around seed growing. Like, for example, if you start sowing indoors too early, you will have plants too big and realize you can’t move them outside yet because it is too cold in early spring, then you are struggling with how to care for them inside. If you start too late, your plants may not produce tomatoes in time during the summer and you would be disappointed.
If you search this blog site, you can find more details about my process. Here are some links below.
Note: February is a good time to plan, because some tomato seeds are started in March.
When To Sow Seeds: https://containercrazyct.com/2021/01/29/when-to-sow-seeds/
How Many Seeds Per Packet: https://containercrazyct.com/2021/01/26/how-many-seeds-per-packet/
Easy Seeds to Sow are Lettuce Seeds: https://containercrazyct.com/2021/02/18/easy-seeds-to-sow-are-lettuce-seeds/
Seeds Arrived on Time: https://containercrazyct.com/2021/01/20/seeds-arrived-on-time/
All You Need to Know About Starting Seeds: https://containercrazyct.com/2021/01/15/all-you-need-to-know-about-starting-seeds-indoors/
Planning Ahead is Required If you Wish to Grow from Seed: https://containercrazyct.com/2019/02/21/planning-ahead-is-required-if-you-want-to-start-plants-from-seeds/
Tomato Seedling Stages: https://containercrazyct.com/2021/02/15/tomato-seedling-stages/
I probably have more posts about seed growing on this site, just type the word “seeds” in the search bar, and they should pop up. Or you may want to type in the word tomatoes.
I do all of my growing of the starter plants (grown from seed) in large grow bags, large patio pots, etc. But we do want a “real garden” of the ground here someday, which will be a big job because it will need to be fenced in. We have a river behind our house, and it attracts lots of wild animals, etc. I love container gardening and have been very successful growing tomatoes in pots – they just should be large enough pots and watered and placed in sunny areas, and oh yah, have drainage!
This year 2023 – some things are changing:
I have decided I am not going to grow my tomato plants – for those of you who buy them from me – read that again, I am NOT going to grow them. It has to do with the fact that I have a trip planned right when it is the most important time to monitor the tomato starter plants. Someone said, hire someone. Well, not going to happen. LOL. First, I’m too small to hire anyone really. It would be too expensive, and second, my babies (the tomato starts) need ME. And I would probably stress about it and not enjoy my trip. Things like watering, inspecting, checking for any critters, opening the greenhouse doors on good days, rotating, all of that takes time and I usually visit my plants twice a day when I grow from seed at the time I’ll be traveling.
So anyhow, I was browsing some photos of my tomatoes (the fruit) from last season, which made my mouth water, and caused me to want to share the photos so you have an idea of the seed packets I have in stock at this time. Should you be interested in buying seed packets, you know where to find me (referring mostly to locals who buy my plants typically). If someone wanted a bunch of packets mailed, ask and I’ll let you know. I also will give you additional information, like planting tips and guides.
Say hello to Goldie.
I grew this one for the first-time last year (2022) and wow, wow, wow. Goldie heirlooms have amazing flavor. Some who bought plants from me said it was the BEST one ever. It is an heirloom. Sweet flavor, melt in your mouth flavor. Because a squirrel or two discovered my plants on my deck in my pots, I did pick some early and let them ripen on my kitchen counter and that was totally fine. They know when they are ripe and take bites! So, a lot of times, I started to just pick them before they were completely Golden.
You can see in this photo of me holding one, it is not completely golden color yet. Heirlooms are cool, they have the odd shapes, and they are tasty.
Note in the background of the photo above are Long Island Cheese Pumpkins – I grew those for the first time this year with the help of my cousin who put some plants in her community garden. Mine were in pots. It has a shape perfect for my Succulent Topped Pumpkin arrangements in the autumn season, but they are also grown to eat in pies and soups. They must be direct sown or started early.
I have seed packets available for both – the Goldies and the Pumpkins noted above.
Fox Cherry Tomatoes above – These I have been growing for a few years. They are bigger cherries, noted for being able to easily put on a skewer to grill. Also, a popular favorite by folks, plus cherry tomatoes grow easily and produce tons of fruit. For beginners, try cherry tomatoes.
In this above photo, you see the Fox Cherry tomatoes next to some of the Goldie heirloom tomatoes as I picked them. And also in this yellow bowl is a Cherokee Purple Tomato. Also, a wonderful heirloom and early producer. Purple-hued, very nice coloring and as yummy as the best of them.
In the background, you can see some of the Ground Cherries (papery husk) which I also grew on my deck in a huge grow bag, wow, those lasted into the fall. They are a snacking one for me. I was grabbing a handful and eating away as I walked away. Those have a very pineapple like flavor. A chipmunk discovered my ground cherries and I let him have a ball with that, as there were plenty on the plant. Ground cherries tasted like a non-guilty candy snack to me. Interesting flavor and sprawls out as it grows.
Green Zebra – This one no one seemed interested in. I can see why – tomatoes with green and yellow patterns, but to me that is the fun of growing – trying new varieties! Just like vacations, I like to adventure to new places and see new things – same with my tomatoes, I guess. This one has a tangy like flavor and I love mixing colors and flavors so it was very cool one to try.
Tiny Tim Tomato – These fits small pots easily and are grape-like sized fruit, but last year, they grew larger fruit at times. We had a drought type year, and my plants went nutso producing fruit on my Tiny Tim pots in patio pots that were probably 10-12″ in diameter. I put the pots on high back chairs, so the squirrels or chipmunk did not bother them. Look at the clusters on these plants! They were filled big time last season. This one says to start early too on the packet.
Paul Robeson Tomato – I will have to locate the photos of this one but I also have packets available of Paul Robeson tomato seeds, they have a beefsteak size with amazing flavor and the fruit resists cracking. The color is orange to purple.
Bumble Bee Mix Cherry Tomato – I also have seed packets for these and will find a photo later to post. They are striped with yellow, purple hues, orange. Same size as Fox Cherry. Prolific producers as well.
For more information on the seed packets, just email or text me (see numbers below).
Also, remember, February is getting ready and then March is starting to sow “some” varieties, others start later.
Going to the Flower Show in Hartford this year? It starts on 2/23/23 which is next week, Thursday. That’s also a good time to get seeds or information packets – sometimes they hand out little seed starting charts for free. There will be plenty of growing supplies there to check out as well. Have fun if you go!
Thank you for visiting.
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