Saturday, February 6, 2010


The good people at Sand Hill Preservation sent a couple of free packets of seeds with my order. Even though they have included a freebie every time I've ordered from them so far, I still was surprised. Then I read what the seeds were, and I laughed. More tomatoes!

The people up there in the office must know me pretty well and be chuckling mightily (is that possible?) over my imagined reaction, because I had my tomato areas planned out very carefully. Nothing more is going to fit. And yet, as a true gardener, I cannot just not try these seeds.

Luckily, I have time to rework the plan before 20 April (or there-abouts) when the tomatoes go into the ground in my yard.

The seeds are for Olivette Jaune cherry tomato and a red Chinese tomato. According to the catalogue description, Olivette Jaune is an indeterminate midseason producer of "large olive shaped yellow cherry tomatoes. From France." The Chinese is a midseason producer of "4 to 6 oz. red fruits, huge yields." We will learn, soon enough, how disease resistant the two varieties are.

The Wuhib paste tomatoes that were such great producers for me last year came from Sand Hill Preservation (purchased), as did the Yellow Marble cherry tomato (freebie)that produced so much earlier than all the other tomatoes in my yard.

Last year, the Yellow Marble tomatoes were very tart, but I was growing the plant in a container and I have since learned that sometimes the container can affect flavor, so I will be starting a couple of those to plant in the ground, to see if that makes a difference. If they survive (my yard is ground zero for Verticillium and Fusarium tomato wilts), even that will be something to celebrate.


  1. I am with you,got to try those free seeds! I did not know about Sand Hill,I will be checking it out!

  2. Melodie, It's funny that free seeds can be so wonderful and yet so horrifying. I am going to have to redraw some lines on my garden plan to fit these in, which means that either something else will be seriously shortchanged OR that I will be growing a lot of something else in pots, set randomly around the garden edges.

    Sand Hill Preservation is probably my most favorite seed source. It is run by a husband-wife team, with some volunteers (friends who pitch in during the busy times). The couple do some of their own plant breeding, and their own selections make it into the catalogue. Theirs is just about the last catalogue out each year, but it is worth waiting for.

    -Amy, NW of Atlanta

  3. I am going to look into them too, sounds like they have great descriptions. Most of my seeds only have the name on them. I am going to plant my tomatoes in 12" pots this year. I figure I can grow more because I can put them in places I can't normally and it will better utilize the soil amendments and water and they could be moved under plastic to extend the season if necessary. Seems if they are crowded production is way down. Thanks for the lead. Peace

  4. Ruralrose, The catalogue has useful descriptions, but the seed packets just have the name of the plant. I hang onto the catalogue each year until I get a new one, so I can recheck the information if I need to.

    You are absolutely right about crowding tomatoes. I have the urge every year to cram just a couple more into the designated tomato space, but, knowing the consequences, I usually manage to resist.

    Down here in the South, a 12-inch pot wouldn't be big enough for a tomato plant. It would have to be watered 3 or 4 times a day to keep it from going bone dry! Your summers must be a lot cooler. Having grown up where the summers were even hotter than here (Oklahoma), I can't even imagine a cool summer!

    Last year I grew a few tomatoes in pots (so I could have more!), but the pots were bigger, at least 18 inches across, and they still had to be watered every day that it didn't rain.

    -Amy, NW of Atlanta


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