Thursday, January 28, 2010

Onion & Tomato Update

Lets start with the onions shall we. It has been a week since I seeded onions so timing is perfect to do an update on their progress. I have some winners and losers that's for sure. The first seedling popped up within 3 days and the bulk of them came up between day 5-6. You may recall that 3/4 of my seed was from last year and thus germination on some has been pretty poor.

Here are the Red Long of Tropea onions that Daphne sent. They are germinating the best of all of them and are seed from last season. I planted 9 cells of them with hopes of two onions per cell and it looks like I will have many more then I hoped for.

The one with the worst germination is the Armador shallots from last years seed. I seeded 18 cells, 5 seeds per cell and only have two seedlings. They are definitely a crop failure and will not be grown this year.

Here are the Prince onions, also from last years seed. They have fairly good germination at this point, I would say 60%. I suspect within a few days more will germinate bring them to the crop levels I am looking for.

These are the Amish Bottle onions and these are from fresh seed. They are germinating quite spotty but it is still a little early to rule out further germination. I am rooting for these as they sound very interesting.

With the failure of the shallot crop I will need some replacements. I was sent a bunch of seeds to review from a US seed house that included some Spanish onions. I think I will replace the shallots with them and probably start another cell pack of the Amish Bottle onions. I am also playing with the idea of planting shallot sets in another part of the garden if I can find some for a good price. Shallots are nice to have around when you only need a little bit of onion and they are nice and sweet once cooked.

Now for the early tomato. I was getting a little impatient with these but in the end every seed I sowed germinated. These are Siletz tomatoes and will hopefully bring an early crop of tom's to the garden. I think I will go for 3 early tomatoes this year, one seeded on Jan 21 and a couple seeded near the end of Feb. The rest of the tomatoes I am going to hold off starting until 6 weeks before outdoor transplant. Tomatoes just grow to big to have to many kicking around.


  1. I'm glad the tropea germinated for you. I treat my seed well (keep it in the fridge in an airtight container), but old onion seed can be so fickle.

    I'm contemplating an early tomato this year too. It seems like so much work, but I really miss having tomatoes and wintersown sent some Siberian tomatoes that seem just right for it.

  2. Yeah! More than one Mr. Early Tomato.

    You know, I was planning on waiting because I heard from both you and EG how hard it was to care for a growing early tomato, but around here, it's only our nights that get sketchy. If I planned on leaving things out during the day only, I think I may just be able to start one a few weeks earlier than I was expecting.

    Hmmmm...something to think about.

  3. Daphne - I wish I had fridge space for my seeds, we have a counter depth which as it turns out doesn't fit much. You should try an early tom, it's worth it to have tomatoes early.

    Ribbit - Having a couple early tomatoes is nice, especially the longer days and shortest days to harvest ones. Last year I started the bulk of the tomatoes 10 weeks before outdoor transplant and that was way to early. They turned into huge monsters! This year I will wait until 6 weeks before outdoor planting.

  4. So many different onions, yummmmmm, reminds me I have to sow some more. Seems wierd to be sowing at the same time on opposite sides of the world but I can grow spring onions pretty much all year round. Plus I need to seed some leeks for the winter. Cheers for the vicarious reminder. Hope you get a super early tomato this year

  5. You've started already?! Man I wish I had a greenhouse!

  6. I am having less then stellar germination with my Walla Walla onion seeds. The Candy onions are (on the other hand) doing spectacularly. I am hoping for an overall better onion year in 2010 than last year. It was not the best one in 2009.

    My Siletz early start tomatoes are just starting to emerge. They seemed to take longer then normal and were starting to make me worry abit.

  7. That was quick! I need to get moving!

  8. My onions are doing well but I haven't started any toms yet. I'm aiming for sowing some around the second week in Feb - just one or two of the heritage beefsteaks that take so long to mature. I sow the bulk of them in early March.

  9. I love seeing new seed sprouts! I've put some Tiny Tim tomatoes between some paper towel, until the start to germinate. I have the pot ready to go. These should start producing before I put them outside. Do you remember the name of that Vancouver blog you mentioned?

  10. I'm thinking of starting some early girl tomatoes with the others on March 1st - that should give me tomatoes sometime in June. Your onions are looking good!

  11. So then it's true what they say about onion seed viabiliy ...

    That's crazy early for your Siletz, Dan. You probably will have fruit before it goes outside ! Can't wait to see.

    And p.s. I really like the flag ! :)

  12. Prue - I am starting these onions a little early but they take so long to grow it can't hurt.

    Stevie - The season is underway but most things are still a long ways off.

    KitsapFG - I thought my Siletz was taking a while too. I need to learn patients :-)

    Thomas - Things really sprout fast with the heat mat on. I have had brassica's germinate over night.

    Veg Heaven - I am holding off on the bulk of the tom's until much later as well. Planting time here is May 15th so I will start the rest late March.

    Aerelonian - I am hoping for some green fruit before I place them them out...

    EG - My onions have been so poor the last few years this year has to be a good one. Good luck with your early tom's!

    Miss M - It would be nice to have some green fruit before they go out the door. I scoped the flag from google image... I'm so bad :-)

  13. That's great to see that you're getting your garden ready for summer! I can't wait until I have a garden again...those tomatoes are unparalleled.