I had to smile to myself the other day when I went into the tunnel and saw dozens of little tomato seedlings poking through the dry earth. They have obviously self-set from last summer. When I think how I have nurtured the seed that I sowed this year - sowing in individual plugs of organic compost, juggling them indoors and out to the greenhouse depending on the weather...And the tomatoes that have self-set are growing in hard, stoney ground amidst the weeds and are way ahead and way healthier than my greenhouse batch. If I'd have know that would happen I would have saved myself all the bother, as I have now gone round pricking them all out and transferring them into individual pots. They will all be heritage varieties and could be any of the following: Red Zebra, Gardeners Delight, Brandywine, Chadwick, Yellow Pear, Galina, Gold Medal and Purple Ukraine...but it'll be a bit of a lottery in terms of which plant is which. I'm rather happy about this unexpected collection of plants as I lost most of last years to blight. For this reason, I don't really want to risk growing them in the tunnel again this season, and i won't have much room for them in the greenhouse. Still, I guess I can give them away - it would feel wrong hoeing them all out somehow!
The beauty of growing heritage varieties (as opposed to hybrids) is that you can save the seed and grow it sucessfully the next year. Over time the plant adapts to the conditions in its particular surroundings and seed can be passed on and shared for years to come. More soon about heritage varieties and how to save seed...

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