January 22, 2009: Tomato Bonanza!

I happened upon a wonderful website a couple of weeks ago. WinterSown Org offers tomato seeds for nothing more than a SASE. They have a list of varieties available, and you can chose six of the ones you want. You must also chose four alternates, just in case some of your first choices are no longer available. I figured it was worth a try. What could I lose besides an envelope and three stamps?

EUREKA! My seeds arrived yesterday!

I had requested the following, and I received all the ones that I have in bold red. In most cases the seed count is approximate, I didn't want to open the packages.

First choice:
New Yorker
Amish Paste

Black Cherry - 17 seeds Clusters of plum-brown fruits, 1" across, delicious, IND, 65+ DTM

Cherokee Purple - 25 seeds Deep, dark rose-tone beefsteak, known for great flavor, most fruits over a half pound, IND, about 80 DTM

Brandywine - 12 seeds
Pink fruits can weight up to a pound or more, IND, 85 DTM

Tumbling Tom - 12 seeds Loads of red cherries on dwarf plants are perfect for pots or hanging containers, DET, about 70 DTM

Green Grape - 10 seeds Compact plants crop loads of yellow-green fruits about 3/4" long, great flavor, about 70 DTM

Marglobe - 13 seeds Great flavor from yesteryear, this fine cropper deserves a spot in every garden, red 6 - 7 ounce globes, DET, 75 DTM

Kellogg's Breakfast - 9 seeds Pale-orange beefsteaks can weigh a pound, IND, 80+ DTM

They also enclosed the following, which were not on my list:

Miracle of the Market (tomato)- 25 seeds Siberian origin, red fruits about 2 - 4 ounces, IND, 60 - 70 DTM

Nyagous (tomato) - 25 seeds Clusters of brick-brown fruits, about 6 ounces each, productive, IND, 80 DTM

And even some squash! Too bad I just bought an entire package of these, so if anyone wants them just email me.

Waltham Butternut Squash - 9 seeds

That's nine varieties of tomatoes I'll be attempting to grow this year! Guess what? I am going to have to make a few changes in my garden plans. I think corn is out and (more) tomatoes are in!

I really wanted to try the Tumbling Toms in containers this year. Maybe even a couple of upside-down hanging buckets.

I hope the Green Grape are the same as some my dad grew a few years ago. They were sweet as sugar, and I remember standing by his kitchen sink and consuming an entire day's picking and not even looking at a salt shaker!

I love cherry tomatoes. I usually only plant two of whatever variety happens to be displayed at my local nursery. I'm very anxious to try Black Cherry this year, as I have heard nothing but good things about it.

I'm really excited about Nyagous after reading about it!
"The Nyagous Black Tomato is a very rare black tomato variety from Russia. This variety was originally introduced to the United States from the collection of the famous tomato enthusiast, Reinhard Kraft of Germany. Of late, Nyagous Black has become one of the more highly sought after Russian tomatoes by tomato lovers. Nyagous produces wonderful globe shaped tomatoes in small clusters of 3 to 6 tomatoes each. The tomatoes produced by Nyagous have a very smooth, round shape which makes this an ideal tomato for market growers. Unlike many other black tomatoes, Nyagous Black is much less prone to cracking or cat-facing. The tomatoes are typically a dusky-red color (but lighter and darker variations do exist, ranging from typical red to a near black with an emerald green interior) with meaty flesh and possess a sweet, aromatic taste."

I just hope I'm successful at starting my own plants for the 2009 garden. I normally don't return to my home in Washington in time, but this year I'm pushing Mr. H to return two weeks earlier than usual, which will give me about eight weeks of growing time before the warm weather plants can go outside.

Of course, I still have to devise an indoor seed starting area. I plan on using the "plant window" in my laundry room. It faces north, so it's not the perfect spot, but I think it's wide enough to fit a 4' double shop light under one of the shelves. Or, if I get real ambitious, maybe even under two of the shelves (there is another adjustable shelf that isn't shown in this photo)!

*Friends of WinterSown donate their extra seeds to be shared through their
Seeds for SASE programs. Please help and donate your extra seeds. For information about donating seeds please visit WinterSown Org Seed Donations


  1. Nine? wow, that's alot. I just know that you're getting all excited, as I am too! It'll be windowsill picture war this year, for sure! Ha! I'm getting a head start, of course....heh.


  2. I figure I could squeeze in 15-16 tomato plants if I need to, but that would be overkill for our use. That is if every variety produced even a minimal amount of fruit. I think I'll try to devise a support system in the north bed (where I was going to plant corn) and plant six indeterminates there. Sheesh, I thought I had all my garden plans finished. Now I get to start all over again!

  3. The seed collecting thing is becoming like adult pokemon for me: gotta catch em all!! I am so excited for you. You really have to blog about your market one, it looks way cool!

  4. Warm weather and a greenhouse window, you really are one lucky lady!

    I will have to check out this wintersown page, maybe I can find some of the things I am looking for.

    You have some nice looking tomatoes selected. I was looking at the 'kellogg's breakfast' one on tomatofest, I look forward to seeing how it does for you. I have 11 or so tomatoes to grow this year and I am starting to think if I can even find room for them all. I think I am going to try a few of those upside down containers as well. I found ones from vesey's that have a 4 liter water reservoir on top so they don't dry out too fast.

  5. Carolyn, I couldn't find any information on the market one other than what was on the WinterSown page! I wonder if it has another name?

  6. Dan, unfortunately the greenhouse window is in Washington, and the warm weather is in Arizona!

    I've always had problems with most tomatoes developing diseases in the gardens where I live now, so I've stuck to Celebrity which remains healthy throughout the season. I'm going to be extra diligent with these when it comes to watering. I think a lot of the diseases come from the irrigation water we use, and I've not always been very good to keep it off the leaves.

    I'm going to use 5 gallon buckets for my upside down tomatoes.

  7. Now you've done it. I've sent in an SASE. Really I have no room for more, but they had Black Cherry on the list. I really love that one. I do have space for pots. Maybe I can scrounge some 5 gallon buckets from somewhere.

  8. I guess I'm not a tomato connoisseur. I like the taste of the cherry tomatoes so I grow those. And you get more tomatoes by weight per plant with the big tomatoes so I grow the beefsteak. But seeds for free...I'd try a few new brands. You hit the mother load!!!

  9. Daphne, if you don't get the Black Cherry just let me know and I can give you half of mine. After all, I'll be growing "Daphne's Dill" this year, not to mention your pumpkins!

  10. Cheryl, I am partial to the cherry tomatoes, too. I do love just about any of the home grown varieties, but I don't think any of the new hybrids have the taste of the old varieties like Grandma grew. That might just be a figment of my imagination though, my taste buds were just a lot younger then! I have never had luck with the beefsteak varieties, and I think there are two in the seeds I got...we'll see.

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