Organic Heirloom Seedling Sale
Our seedling sale is the first week of May. Contact us for specific dates. You can also find our organic heirloom tomato seedlings at The Common Market in Frederick, MD.
Do you grow a garden at home? Treat yourself to the rich flavor and unique colors of heirloom tomatoes. There is no comparison to most standard hybrid varieties, even homegrown, to these delicious varieties that have been cultivated for over fifty years, sometimes 150 years.
Another bonus is that these varieties are indeterminate. That means they set their fruit continuously, for a longer harvest than determinate plants. Determinate plants set their fruit all at once, so they will ripen about all at once. If you are growing especially to can your tomatoes, and want to harvest them all in a concentrated few weeks, a hybrid determinate variety might be a good choice for you. That would match the needs of big big farm businesses that pull up whole plants on a combine machine to harvest all the fruit at once. Way different needs than the average homegrower, but we've been marketed the same varieties. Time to re-educate and take back the old varieties!
House in the Woods Farm raises over twenty unique heirloom tomato varieties, seedlings for purchase in May by home gardeners. Certified organic and sustainably grown. They start from seed in our greenhouse, grown in our own compost mixture and all natural organic ingredients. When you plant, pour all the great compost in with the plant. They are grown with wind from our fans and rain from our hoses, as well as temperature ranges from night to day and lots of sun exposure. Cared for to simulate nature, so that they will adapt well in the real world. All the same, when you take them home, you should keep them in their pots near your house for a couple days to "harden them off" further. Allow them partial sun exposure, with sun protection part of the day and protection from high winds. The side of a house, on a porch, might provide a wall to protect from sun part of the day and wind.
What are Heirlooms Tomatoes? Heirlooms are old, pure varieties known for their unique colors and wonderful flavor. More than hundreds of these family-heirloom varieties exist, seeds passed down and treasured for generations. Hybrid tomatoes were developed by industry in the fifties for red color and thick skin for transport to grocery stores. You won't find tomatoes this good in the grocery store, and you won't find these seedlings at a megastore garden shop.
What other plants do we sell? Usually, we also sell peppers, eggplant, basil, and parsley plants.
Order form and details-- Contact Ilene to receive an order form which lists our varieties and pickup times. We should have enough of each variety, but if we sell out of one, we will substitute another similar variety. Just let us know if you don't want a substitution. Please bring a box to take home your seedlings. Payment by check is preferred, but cash is accepted (of course!).
~~~~~~~~Planting timing and tips~~~~~~~~
When to plant? Plan to plant your tomatoes between May 5-20. The old wisdom of planting tomatoes and flowers Mother's Day weekend is a good one. Some people plant early (with some extra risk of frost damage) and some wait until early June. We have risk of a night frost through May, so watch the forecast if you plant early. You can even rig up a sheet or row cover over some t-posts, chairs or tomato cages for a cold night!
How to plant? Dig a hole deep enough to bury the lowest leaves. You can even bury a couple sets of leaves if the stem is that long. Tomatoes like it that way. They are really vines and will grow quite tall. Put the compost from your pot, and extra if you have it, into the hole too, or pour it around the plant. Pour a couple cups of water around the stem area, to melt the soil around the plant. Sometimes the leaves look sad for a couple days but then they perk up. In a week the leaves will deepen green and be happy. Put a sturdy tomato cage over each plant, right away or within a week before the plants get too big.
Transition time-- Your plants would benefit from a couple days of protection, if you can offer it. You can keep them in the pots on the sunny side of the porch for a couple days, bringing them in on colder nights. Next to your house, they will have some wind protection.