On your mark, get set, sow!

Whether you received tomato seeds from us, or you are participating in the Citizen Seed Trial with your own seeds or seedlings, this page contains everything you need to know to participate.

The 2019 program will again be with tomatoes but will focus on adaptation across different climates. The trial will consist of one tomato variety sourced from 4 different seed companies across North America (including BC) to observe and document differences in the plants from different regions. This is an effort to help us better understand regional adaptation in crops. This will be a blind trial – meaning you won’t know which variety is which until the end!

To stay up to date and check out what fellow participants have been up to join the Citizen Seed Trial Facebook group. New this year, the Facebook group allows everyone involved to share results, post photos and ask questions.

Sign ups are now closed for the 2019 trial. Thanks to everyone who joined this year!


Trial Steps 

1. Plant your seeds
Start seeds indoors mid-March to early April, preferably with bottom heat. Sow seeds 5mm-1cm (¼-½”) deep. Count and record the number of seeds you plant – planting 4-6 seeds from each variety is recommended.

2. Evaluate germination
This year, participants will complete all evaluations on SeedLinked, a new platform that allows us to share our data and notes in real time as well as see where all other trial participants are located.

Make sure you are signed up for SeedLinked in order to complete tomato evaluations throughout the growing season. (You should have been sent an email with a signup link by now.) If you need assistance with anything SeedLinked related, check out a webinar we recently made here.

3. Grow the seedlings
Keep seedlings under very bright light to prevent legginess. Grow seedlings for 6-8 weeks.

Don’t forget to keep us and the rest of the participants updated on how your plants are doing and what variations you are noticing between the groups by posting on our Citizen Seed Trial Facebook page!

4. Transplant
Transplant when night time lows are 10°C or warmer. Days to maturity are from transplant date. Tomatoes like fertile, well-drained soil high in organic matter, full sun & heat.

5. Evaluate early plant health
Two weeks after transplant evaluate the rate of growth and look for signs of disease.

6. Evaluate the fruit
Six weeks after transplant all of the varieties should be producing tomatoes. Now you can taste the tomatoes and look again at the health of the plants and for signs of disease. You will want to save seed from some of the early maturing fruits.

7. Late season evaluation
As the season progresses how is the fruit tasting? Are some plants producing more abundantly than others? Is blight or other disease affecting the plants?

8. Choose your favourite & save more seed


Citizen Seed Trial 2019 Email Archive