Heirloom seeds I'm going to try!

Discussion in 'Fruit & Vegetable Growing' started by Mark, Sep 16, 2014.

  1. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Here's some heirloom seeds I purchased today from the Patio range at Big W. I don't normally shop there for plant stuff but they caught my eye as I walked past and being a sucker for heirloom seeds I had to get them.

    Actually, I had lost or inadvertently given away my collected seeds from the Yellow Pear tomato variety and was wanting to grow some more because they are an excellent plant to grow - very disease resistant (which is important in hot climates) and the fruit is a good size, top taste, and basically immune to fruit fly attack (which is again very important for where I live).

    The other tomato is called Jaune Flamme and I have never heard of it! It's a cherry tomato variety and is supposed to be about gold ball size and excellent eating - I guess I'll find out. Being an orange colour and cherry I'm also confident the fruit fly won't touch it.

    I've been meaning to plant carrots for ages so these Rainbow Mix carrots will be good. We can essentially grow carrots all year round here but spring is a particularly good time to plant them. I haven't tried this heirloom variety mix before.

    I'm keen to make lots of pickled cucumbers this season (cause we all love'em) so these little Mini White cucumbers will be a novel variety to try. I have grown white varieties before and they turned very bitter if they weren't picked under about 8 cm but this type is not supposed to be bitter.

    Again to avoid the fruit fly, I'm going to grow these Hungarian Wax capsicums because they don't grow very big but the jury is out on whether the fruit fly will stay away.

    Obviously, the beauty of growing heirloom vegetables/plants is the seeds are able to be kept and the plants will grow true to type so I'm going to make sure I keep my seeds this time! :)

    heirloom seeds mix capsicum carrot cucumber tomato.jpg
     
  2. Jenni

    Jenni Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I am kicking myself that I didn't get heirlooms .. I instead purchased a random roma tomato.. Been in the ground only 1 week and have tripled in size and looking very healthy so can't complain. I only have very small gardens can't wait till new ones are underway.. Quails first though..
     
  3. Jenni

    Jenni Well-Known Member Premium Member

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  4. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    They look good, I haven't come across their site before...

    Your Roma should be an heirloom anyway because all standard Roma tomatoes are unless they've been hybrid like the "Super" Roma then it's hit and miss keeping seeds but you should be right if it was sold as a Roma.
     
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  5. Tim C

    Tim C Two heads are better than one Premium Member GOLD

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    Oh, now your on MY Patch maties. I get my heirlooms from littlebee in Adelaide and Meisha009 in Armidale NSW, amongst others. My Heirloom Tomatoes are Italian Tree, Hillbilly, Pineapple, Yellow stuffer, Purple Russian. I have 2 purples and a blue from China, plus their tree tomatoes. (Not to be confused with Tamarillos). Romas from Woolies seeds, bush from Woolies seeds. A large fruit variety from the local shop(not sure but hopefully bush). Most of the Australian grown/harvested varieties in the shops are bush tomatoes. French Pink Champagnes (local seed last year). Any "Heirlooms" grown within bee-flight of others may well not breed true. The best you can do is keep the seeds from the closest to types. Like my mongrel dogs, "genetic diversity" is a positive thing for the well-being of the breed, you don't want your tomatoes to go in the back legs either.
    Yes I also have the white cucumbers, as a gift for a large order. Lemon cucumbers, muncher burpless and Dutch.
    My carrots I purchased and planted separately- Atomic Red, Purple dragon, Purple haze, Solar yellow, Lubyana Yellow.
    Sometimes you are better off to buy the packets at the supermarkets, more often you will get 50 or 100 seeds off a private vendor for the price of 10 at the Yates/ Fothergills etc. stand.
    Or buy a kilo of organic imported, packed for consumption. e.g beans/popcorn/herbs/Pepitas(Syrian hull-less pumpkin seeds).
    I will not list my extensive chilli breeds here.
    I did get ripped off in some instances by my hasty purchases. Just trying to help you all avoid the same.;)
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2014
  6. Tim C

    Tim C Two heads are better than one Premium Member GOLD

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    Don't be so hard on yourself Jenni.

    It's not all about keeping up with the Jones's. The pictures in the ad were probably not even theirs, but a pic off google.... or something grown in extreme circumstances for the ad...I take all heirloom claims with a pinch of salt. A bit of genetic diversity is not only expected, but beneficial. The seeds that don't like your dirt won't come up/thrive. Mother Nature is our friend. The government is our enemy. To my way of thinking keeping up with the Jones's is something to be avoided at all cost!
    Romas are fail-safe anyway. Beeauutiful fruits....WHY would you even consider kicking yourself??? An impulsive decision quite often is the right one, whereas too much consideration politicises the mind-a foul corruption of thought!!!
     
  7. Jenni

    Jenni Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Thanks Tim.. Your right.. I must admit I do like my romas.
     
  8. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    I sometimes grow F1 varieties. Often the reason they cross some of the best heirlooms is because of how poorly they grow in certain situations and climates.

    Then there's some heirlooms that grow awesome in most areas. Types of cherry tomatoes are a classic for being easy to grow in most climates and conditions.
     
  9. Tim C

    Tim C Two heads are better than one Premium Member GOLD

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    Yeah, but I'm not much on for cherry tomatoes- too fiddly to cut up for the sangers. That being said, I have purple and blue ones from China to put in this year, as I do sauce and salsa. I saw some tomato seeds on fleabay that were able to grow up to 50C, but the price was too rich for me. Apparently my pineapple and hillbilly toms grow fruit up to 1.2 Kg !!- one slice hanging over the sandwich! Hillbillies taste like bacon and Pineapples like the name suggests. I hope the hillbillies don't squeal when yer pick'em!:eek::pig:
     
  10. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    I haven't heard of the Hillbilly tomato or pineapple either for that matter - they sound delicious. You could potentially make a bacon and tomato sandwich with just tomato. :D

    The problem with growing the larger varieties in QLD is the humidity and bloody fruit fly! That's why I tend to grow the smaller varieties through summer and the larger ones through winter when the fruit fly is mostly dormant (but even with our mild winters the larger tomatoes still suffer the cold and don't grow as well).

    If you ever see those tomatoes that grow in 50C heat again put the link here so I can check them out please?
     
  11. Tim C

    Tim C Two heads are better than one Premium Member GOLD

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    They were at auction on fleabay. I just had a look but can't find them - probably only intermittent postings.....
     
  12. Tim C

    Tim C Two heads are better than one Premium Member GOLD

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    Or a ham and pineapple sandwich!
     
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  13. Jenni

    Jenni Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I have protected my toms this year. Made a little enclosure up on the house balcony area. All sorts eating them last year. Including something large overnight.. do possums eat toms? maybe a rat?

    I have 5 plants in here.

    So do you guys crop rotate? I think I will need to remove a layer of soil and replace it so I can go again next year.

    Is there an all year round tomato plant you can grow in QLD?

    IMAG0095 - smlr.jpg IMAG0096 - smlr.jpg
     
  14. Tim C

    Tim C Two heads are better than one Premium Member GOLD

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    Apparently they can get root diseases in the same soil, and it's recommended to move them every year, plus a lot of other things won't grow where tomatoes were the year before. Some options are dig out the soil, grow in pots, or maybe you could move your shelter over a bit? I think both rats and possums would eat (ripe) tomatoes.:)
     
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  15. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Yeah Tim's spot on.

    Also, tomatoes are really prone to nematodes (eel worms) which are tiny organisms that get into the root system and kill or make tomatoes grow poorly. There are nematodes everywhere in the soil but the problem arises when they grow in big numbers and this can come from growing plants nematodes like (tomatoes, eggplant, capsicum, potato, sweet potato) in the same location all the time (Jerry Coleby-Williams did a great segment about it on Gardening Australia a few years back).

    Having said that, if you don't want to rotate every crop each time you should be able to get a few seasons out of the one location then grow tomatoes in a new bed and grow something unrelated (like peas/beans) in that spot. The other thing you can do is what some European gardeners do in their small plots and grow your tomatoes in the same spot forever, but, between crops introduce lots of manures and compost (heaps of it) plus grow companion plants like basil and marigolds.

    Your netted frame is excellent @Jenni and it will definitely keep that pesky possum away! There might be a small problem with your tomato flowers getting pollinated without insects gaining access to the plants so you can either lift the net until the fruits are setting then close it down or remember to give your plants a shake or vibrate them with an electric toothbrush to ensure pollination.

    What type of tomatoes are they - all Roma? If they are an indeterminate type (grows like a vine) then they'll definitely need staking - most Roma tomatoes are a determinate type and grow like a bush but they still get pretty big and can do with a stake also. The other thing you can do to support the plants (since you have a frame) is to hang garden twine from the top of the frame and twist the main tomato stems around the twine as they grow up - no stake needed :)

    Pics below show root damage by nematodes and one of my super Roma tomatoes I grew over winter.

    nematodes damage on tomato roots.jpg super roma tomatos.jpg
     
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  16. Jenni

    Jenni Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Thanks, makes a lot of sense. I will give them a good shake and stake LOL... (or twine)....... Morning Jen, what did you do today.. I got up bright and early and gave my tomato plants a good shaking. What did you do. :hysterical:

    Yeah they are 5 of the same roma.. I think it was 5 plants for $1.95 a big spend. I was thinking of filling up the lower space with something. I will add some basil. Do you have any other suggestions for some other edibles? maybe strawberries or do they need bees?

    Wow they do a bit of damage.. nasty...

    You had them growing over winter.. Did they fruit? I thought they were only a summer plant?
     
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  17. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Some lettuce or endive would probably go well
    Yeah, that's the pic of of one of the plants I grew this winter (fruiting in winter) - it's long gone now and I made semi-dried tomatoes out of the crop. The beauty of living in SEQ is you can grow tomatoes all year. You are correct in saying tomatoes are a spring/summer plant but in the subtropics you can grow them in winter (although they still will grow a little sluggish) and if you get an unlucky frost then the plants may die.

    The down side of the subtropics is the summer heat and it actually gets too hot for larger variety tomatoes in summer (even Romas). So that's why I grow my large tomatoes like beefsteaks through winter and into spring but mainly through winter (there's another reason for that) and then I grow smaller varieties through summer because they handle the heat well.

    The other reason it's hard to grow larger varieties of tomatoes in QLD through spring and summer is the dreaded fruit fly - they love stinging big tomatoes and fillign them full of maggots. However, the fruit fly don't sting the cherry or small tomato varieties because the size, and the acidity in the fruit kills the eggs.

    Fruit fly are mostly dormant through winter...
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2014
  18. Tim C

    Tim C Two heads are better than one Premium Member GOLD

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    Gee I'm glad we don't have those God-forsaken fruit-fly here. There were 3 outbreaks last summer I heard of in Adelaide/Riverland, but they were controlled with the release of sterile males and traps/monitoring.

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE use the quarantine bins when travelling into SA and don't bring fruit-fly here. There are big fines for people flouting this law - it's about the only law we have that makes sense!!:clip:
     
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  19. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    If only they could get rid of this awful insect here! We have both the med and the qld fruit fly species (one introduced and the other native).
     
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