Tomato Dirt Newsletter
Volume 2, Number 3: Issue #19

Dear Tomato Dirt reader,

Welcome back to Tomato Dirt! Once or twice a month, we’ll send you this newsletter packed with tips about growing tomatoes and using them.

Where To Buy Tomato Seeds

Still looking or haven’t bought tomato seeds yet for this year? Your local home improvement center offers a few packets on its seed rack. But selection is usually limited to a dozen or so varieties. What a shame … especially since there are thousands of types of tomatoes!

Here’s the dirt: we’ve compiled a list of companies offering tomato seeds. Naturally, this list is not exhaustive. But please check it out and of course, add to it on the submission form!

Tomato seed vendors: where to buy tomato seeds

Tomato Dirt top recommendations

Heirloom and OP (open-pollinated) Tomato Varieties

For heirloom and OP (open pollinated) tomatoes, Tomato Dirt recommends TomatoFest, which offers over 600 varieties.

Hybrid Tomato Varieties - Tomato HP Logo

For hybrid tomato seeds, we recommend Burpee, a leading home gardening and seed company since 1881. Shop for Tomatoes

What Potting Mix Should I Use to Grow Tomato Seeds?

The best seed starting mix for tomatoes has four qualities:
  1. It is sterile
  2. It absorbs moisture
  3. It drains well
  4. It retains moisture
The most common base ingredients in commercial mixes are sphagnum peat moss, perlite, vermiculite, and lime. Another potting mix ingredient that is growing in popularity is coco coir (also called coconut coir, potting coir, or simply coir.) A seed starting mix with these ingredients is often labeled as “soil-less.” In the truest sense, these ingredients contain no soil or dirt and are considered to be sterile. They are not jam-packed with living organisms. Garden soil, on the other hand, is filled with organic matter and is home to active bacteria and fungi. That means if you grow tomato seeds in garden soil, they’re much more susceptible to the dreaded damping-off disease that kills so many seedlings.

What ingredients are important in tomato seed starting mix? Review: Pro-Mix Seed Starting Formula for tomatoes Review: Coco coir as a seed starting medium for tomatoes

More on starting tomato seeds

What to Look for in Tomato Seed Starting Kits Compare Biodegradable Seed Pots for Growing Tomatoes 5 Best Tomato Seed Starting Tips

That’s it for now. More next time!

Until then, happy gardening!

Kathy with Tomato Dirt
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P.S. As you choose which tomato varieties to grow in 2012, make sure you consider which ones grow best in your climate. Check out these tomato variety lists to help.

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