Interested in tomato seed swapping!
I live in Finland, Europe, but joined as I found our summers are very similar - extremely short! Our "safe planting day" is traditionally 10th June - no frosts supposed to occur after that - but, sadly, they sometimes do!
So, I am a short-season, cold climate dweller who loves to (try to) raise tomatos.
Anyone interested in swapping some tomato seeds with me?
I am naturally interested in good flavor tomatoes that are ultra early. Impossible? I have heard good things about Polar Baby for example. Would be interested in trying anything you guys have success with!
Oh and I grow outside, I do not have a greenhouse. I grow in containers on my patio. So, not interested in cultivars that need a greenhouse.
I have tomato seeds to offer, too. They are from Sweden and Russia mainly.
Oh and I have read this forum for a while and have just ordered the Alaska Gardening book, you know, vegetables for Northern climates. Looking forward to it!
Well this turned out to be my introduction at the same time!
I don't have any seeds to trade but maybe something else? I've gardened in the past but haven't for a few years-starting again this summer. How do your tomatoes produce? I don't know of anyone here that grows tomatoes outdoors-always in a green house. Your strain could be perfect.
I have a few available to me, what are the varieties do you have?
Many seeds are not available due to laws restricting shipment to Alaska. However, I have about 30 days before I leave on our trip to the Great White North.
Here are three varieties you may be interested in. Because of U.S. Customs, all seeds need to be in commercial packaging that are shipped in person to person shipments. I am interested in trading with you. What varieties do you have to offer?
Here are some I have access to that may or may not interest you. They are quick producers and seem to do very well. The Alaskan varieties do not produce as fast as these. If you find others that may interest you... post up and I am sure someone may be able to help you out and I know I will surely try.
Dependable large harvests of flavorful, solid 4 to 6 oz. fruit. Disease resistance is good, contributing to its excellent performance in almost any climate. A proven variety for delicious, early tomatoes. Indeterminate. 52 days.
Deep red, full-flavored slicing tomatoes are 10 to 12 ozs. and very nice for an early variety. Developed by Dr. James Baggett of Oregon State University, these plants yield well even in cool weather. Good acid taste and excellent interior fruit quality in an early tomato. Determinate. 52 days.
From Czechoslovakia, this is an extremely early cold-tolerant tomato that bears an abundance of 2 ounce flavorful and sweet tomatoes. This variety has become a garden favorite for its earliness, productivity, and truly wonderful taste. Indeterminate. 52 days.
Alaska - Heirloom
An heirloom tomato from Russia. (Aljaska is Russian spelling). These organic tomato seeds produce short to medium-sized, bushy plants. This is an early-producing tomato plant that yields lots of large, round, brilliant red, 'salad-type' cherry tomatoes with very good flavor. This is a favorite tomato variety for cooler growing climates. I have friends who prefer this tomato variety for their roof-top planter gardens where winds are frequent.Semi-Determinate. 63 days.
Determinate, Indeterminate and Semi-determinate Tomatoes:
Determinate plants that are compact, full and bushy. The fruit is set and matures at approximately the same time producing a crop good for preserving. The plant has two leaf stems and flower clusters.
Indeterminate tomatoes produce fruit over the whole season until killed by frost. There are three leaf stems growing from the main stem with flower clusters above or below. These plants produce lush, abundant growth so pruning is recommended. To do this, pinch some of the shoots growing from the “U” between the main stem and the branches.
Semi-determinate tomatoes produce a bushy plant with fruit that ripens over a longer period of time than determinate ones. These plants do not need to be pruned.
I truly hope this helps you out and again... What have you in trade that would be in commercial packaging?
Oh! I did not realize the seeds need to be in their commercial packaging! Must it be unopened, too?
I had not realized all you guys always grow in green ouses. That certainly gives me something to think about!
I would not accept seeds from areas outside my own unless they were in sealed commercial packaging. The chances of spreading molds, fungus, viruses and diseases are too great and I am sure most anyone would not want to risk their crop or the crops of others on something that is not controlled or may become uncontrollable.
Years ago my father would swap homegrown seed with other area gardeners that he trusted and who also grew organically, however he doesn't garden anymore due to his age limitations and that was in the '50s, '60s, and 1970s. By the 1980s he wouldn't do that anymore because he relied on his own seeds he had saved and kept recorded over the years.
Out of curiosity... what varieties do you have?
Hello Anne from Finland;
I have been growing tomatoes in Fairbanks, AK, for many years. Never in a greenhouse, always in the garden. The best producer I have found is called Glacier Tomato from Territorial Seed.
I start the plants indoors under growlights around April 15th and start setting them out to harden off around May 20th. I re-plant them in the ground around June 1st.
I plant them in a mound, then put a wire cage around them. I wrap the bottom 12-18" of the cage in clear plastic, and leave the top open. If it is expected to get cold, I will put a heavy black trashbag over the cage at night.
Each plant gets about 20-30" tall and gives 15-30 tomatoes per plant (golfball through tennis ball sized) starting about July 15th and producing until the first frost in Sep or Oct. These are very tasty tomatoes.
Here is a link: http://www.territorialseed.com/product/1134/223
Their website says they will ship international orders.
Just keep in mind it probably gets a lot warmer in Interior Alaska in the summer than it does in Finland. Southcentral Alaska probably has a similar climate to Finland. I got nothing but green tomatoes last year. I am still going to experiment with tomatoes so I might prove myself wrong.
Originally Posted by Blue Tarp
Wow it is a real blow to realize inner Alaska may be warmer than Finland!! I mean, wow! Our frosts come in August or September.
Interesting tip about the caging and surrounding with clear plastic - that is kind of a tiny greenhouse in itself!
Sorry I had not realized the dangers about seed-swapping - we do it here in Finland between ourselves all the time! I also order seeds from Thompson&Morgan and several other companies, have bought on Ebay etc. So, ok, sorry I suggested it!
The only tomato disease I know of in Finland is the one that originates from potatoes - I wonder if it is the same is blight?? Outdoor tomatos usually are very healthy, I haven´t had any problems, ever. I wonder if the humidity in greenhouses promotes fungus diseases etc?
Re - which varieties I have - I´ve got LOTS! Pity I have opened them all to take a few seeds out. Some are from Ebay, some from Finnish amateur gardeners like myself. I guess the ones that might be interesting are the ones from Sweden and around Russia / Eesti area. Most of them do not have an English name.
So, I am not suggesting a swap any more as I only now realize the concerns, but someone asked me about the varieties, so here are some varieties:
Betta - "a small Siberia"
Ola Polka - container tomato, yellow, prolific, a bit mealy
Minigold - container tomato, yellow, prolific, originates in Russia
Tidig Röd / Early Red from Sweden
Tiotem f1 for containers, prolific small red tomato
Gartenperle / Garden Pearl
Sun Gold F1
Balconi Red, Balconi Yellow for containers
Tumbling Tom Red
Hundreds & Thousands
These are just for reference, and the list is far from complete.
I placed an additional order with three other seed companies after realizing swapping is not approved of.
Ok, no swapping, but I´ll hang around, hoping to learn from fellow cool climate growers!