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We Planted Our First Tomato Seeds!

Tilly Edwards talks about growing from seed with her family

Archer, Ryan and Tilly Edwards grew heirloom tomatoes from seed

With the arrival of my first grandchild I wanted to have his parents provide the best possible fruit and vegetables for him.
For them I had designed the garden of their first home and this included lots of fruit trees and a designated vegetable plot. They duly put the plan into action, constructed the vegetable patch and planted their fruit trees and within 2 years reaped the benefits of their toil. I really wanted them to take the next step, from buying F1 seedlings from the box warehouse, to growing from seed, opening up their minds and taste buds to the incredible range of open pollinated vegetables.
I decided that for them to have success, I had to provide them with the best quality products to assist and help them through this process. I purchased for them a heated propagation unit with a thermostat and lid, organic seed raising mix, seedling cells and packets containing an enticing range of heirloom tomatoes. With simple instructions for soil temperature, sowing, watering and caring I left the rest to them and hoped this journey was to prove fruitful.
Success came with an amazing germination rate of tomatoes and a heartfelt pride in what they had achieved, a beginning of a wonderful and fruitful journey of amazing vegetables for them to share family friends an more importantly with the next generation. What will they sow next? This is their story!
Keith Edwards, Sales and Hardware Manager at The Diggers Club

Tomato seeds germinating on a heat bed

We have always grown our own fruit and vegies in our garden.

Several times a year we would find ourselves down at the local nursery choosing seasonally available seedlings. When our first-born started solids, our demand for fresh and healthy food options rose substantially.

My father-in-law dropped around when our baby was a few months old with a top of the range seed raising bed, some heirloom seeds and some potting mix. Now, I have to be honest, both my husband and I were very skeptical!

>This seemed like hard work — raising a newborn had been hard enough, but our own seedlings? I constantly had my hands full with our baby, my husband worked full time in Port Melbourne and we were fairly time poor. But, being such a lovely and generous gift, my husband thought it was the right thing to give it a go.

He first planted tomato seeds and what a range we had! We had rows of Green Grape, Costoluto Genovese, Wapsipinicon Peach and Lemon Drop just to name a few!

The seeds went in, the trays went into the hot house and we waited. My husband began to send me text messages during the day to ask me to check his new ‘babies’ and to give them some water. We watched with excitement as the first seedlings popped through the soil and we were both hooked.

As the seedlings grew we started to realise what an economical option this was for us. We would usually buy 2-3 tomato seedlings each year with a reasonable yield of fruit. But now we had rows and rows of our own home grown beauties, which were flourishing in their little
hot house.

Our predictions of hours of long work were well off and any time we did put into the seedlings was enjoyable and rewarding. Each day the seedlings required some water and some time with their lid off in the sun and that is about it.

Once the seedlings were strong and big enough, we finally planted them in the garden. At this time, we also planted a new set of seeds in our hot house — watermelons, pumpkins and rock melon.

We couldn't wait to sample our own homegrown produce and feed our little boy the best fruit and vegies on offer, not to mention our family experiencing all the new flavours and colours.

The tomato plants grew and grew and soon we had our own tomato plant jungle! We found it amazing to see how different the varieties were even without their fruit — different sized leaves, unique hues of green and varying plant sizes.

All of a sudden we started to see fruit appearing. Our garden came to life with the most amazing coloured tomatoes! By this time our little boy was sitting and crawling around. I would take him each afternoon and sit in amongst the tomatoes.

He quickly realized how delicious all of these brightly coloured treasures were and would shovel them into his mouth as quickly as he could pick them off the plants.

I estimate that we harvested approximately 20kg of tomatoes from our home grown seedlings! When visiting family and friends I would always be accompanied by a shopping bag full of beautiful fruit. I was able to create the most delicious home made tomato recipes including salsas, sauces and sun dried tomatoes which, of course, all lasted months after our crop was done.

Raising our own seedlings has been and continues to be something that we love doing. There is something so satisfying in watching our little boy eat amazing produce that we have grown from seed.

He is now enjoying the process too and loves to ‘help’ planting the seeds, watering and watching them grow, not to mention the tasting part.

We are now eagerly awaiting the right time to plant our tomato seeds and being able to taste those homegrown beauties once more.

More

Cheryl grows over 60 tomato varieties

Marcelle Swanson invites this Farm Gate grower to our 24th annual taste test

Diggers Club members are passionate gardeners

Lisa Remato presents the results of our recent member questionnaire

Gardening with succulents

Sammy Clayton creates an inspiring ‘flower free’ garden in just five years

I Can't Afford Not To Garden

Julia Werren explains how gardening anchors her from the chaos of modern life

Indoor plants

Growing indoor plants is accessible to gardeners of all levels of expertise — even a total novice!

Lush inner city garden

Clive talks to artist Bill Henson, a lover of beauty in all its forms

Ultra-cool succulents for colour

Clive introduces Andrew Carpenter...

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