On your mark, get set and sow!
Whether you received 4 cherry tomato varieties 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.
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 FB group allows everyone involved to share results, post photos and ask questions.
Gardener’s Delight, WESTCOAST SEEDS
Vine (indeterminate); matures in 65 days; open pollinated seeds
Gardener’s Delight cherry tomato seeds have a wonderful, old-fashioned flavour and produce long trusses laden with clusters of 6-12, 1″, crack-resistant, bright-red morsels. Gardener’s Delight requires more heat and time to mature completely but will bear fruit until frost.
Matt’s Wild Cherry, HIGH MOWING ORGANIC SEEDS
Vine (indeterminate); matures in 55 days; open pollinated seeds; certified organic
Copious quantities of small, deep red cherries with exceptional flavour. Matt’s keeps producing prolifically when every other tomato in the field is down for the count with early blight. Pick frequently as skin is thin and cracks easily. Trellis or let sprawl and naturalize. Shows moderate field tolerance to late blight.
Soleil, BC ECO SEED COOP, grown by SAANICH ORGANICS
Indeterminate; open pollinated; certified organic
This delightful orange cherry tomato is tangy and sweet. It is not prone to splitting and is a farmer favourite. Soleil’s flavour shines through on any meal!
Violet Jasper, EAGLE RIDGE SEEDS, Saltspring Island, BC
Vine (indeterminate); matures in 75 days; open pollinated seeds; rare
Originally from China these super productive plants will continue producing through fall. Unique bronze/purple colour splashed with dark green, with 1-2” fruit. The flesh is meaty, the skins are tender and the taste is clean and rich. Provide good support for 5 foot vines.
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
Your first evaluation will be a germination count. For each variety count the number of seedlings that have come up and divide by the number of seeds planted. Record the germination rate. Has one variety performed better or worse than the others?
Share your results by filling out the online germination survey. And see real time results here.
3. Grow the seedlings
Keep seedlings under very bright light to prevent legginess. Grow seedlings for 6-8 weeks.
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.
You can complete your evaluation online.
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 facebook group
- Citizen Seed Trial 2018: Cherry tomato instructions
- How-to-grow tomatoes guide from Westcoast Seeds
- Seed saving basics from Seeds of Diversity