Friday, September 8, 2017


I have always lined my deck with 25 boxes of flowers.  But as the price of flowers climbed, I started collecting the seeds and growing my own under lights in the basement. I love doing this as it gets my hands in soil in January and I can watch the baby plants sprout and unfurl at the same time I am out snow blowing in below freezing weather.  

When I started a vegetable garden a friend recommended a certain heirloom tomato - the Rose tomato - and bought me my first plant.

This is a picture of a store bought tomato

They are bred to look “perfect” and for long shelf life.

Unfortunately the taste has been bred right out of them and they have little meat. They usually look like this:

This is a Rose.  

They are not always pretty

Sometimes they are downright strange

But they are large, usually at least 5 inches across and taste amazing.  One slice covers a sandwich and hangs out the sides.

And they are so dense that they don’t make a sandwich soggy.  In fact, I have to dig around to find seeds to save.

To save tomato seeds I soak them in water for a couple of days.  This helps remove the gelatin casing and separates the good seed from bad.  Floaters don’t make the cut.

Then I dried them for a couple of weeks.  

And store them until next March when I plant them under grow lights to start the process all over again.

I usually grow 4 different varieties of large fruit and 3 varieties of cherry tomatoes. This year I was introduced to the Kellogg Heirloom which is similar to the Rose but yellow and ripens a little earlier. It’s a keeper.

My vegetable and flower gardens are winding down for the year but I feel they still live on as I collect and process seeds in preparation for next year.  

If anyone is interested in any tomato seeds shoot me an email (listed under my profile).  I’d be happy to share this amazing tomato with you.


  1. I wish I had the where-with-all to grow those tomatoes, Rose looks amazing.

    1. I wish you lived closer, I would share some with you.

  2. Wow! I am so impressed! Your basement grow set up must be pretty elaborate.

    *Bows down to superior gardener with amazing skills*


    1. Actually it's very simple - just two tables - one for flowers, one for veggies, with a grow light over each.

      A simple gardener who greatly appreciates anything that survives my best intentions.

  3. I have a brown thumb but am now making plans to become your next door neighbor. TOMATOES!!!!

    1. Please do! I have trouble getting rid of the excess. I would love to share!

      Can you grow me some pineapples? : )

  4. Wow that is a lot of work - but nice to see all the way through good eats!
    We planted two in pots and the two blind dogs kept knocking them over - we only got a few tomatoes before they broke off... Guess we need to put them up on something....
    Our zucchini plant was doing great and then all of a sudden... dead... Don't know what happened to that one - maybe that was dog pee... who knows? we ate the last one last night for dinner...

    1. I have a fenced yard but had to fence my veggie garden separately because my dog seemed to think that tomatoes and peppers were plants growing dog toys.

  5. I have no where to start seeds, but I do buy heirloom tomato plants every spring. They are so much better than regular grocery store tomatoes!

  6. Your basement grow set up must be pretty elaborate.