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Canada's Local Gardener Podcast Episode 2: Starting Tomatoes

Starting tomatoes from seeds seems like an easy thing to do, but once you actually do it, there are a number of things to remember. What do you plant them in? Do you need a heat mat under the seedlings? Do you need special lights?

Kevin Twomey of T&T Seeds in Winnipeg has been growing tomatoes for his entire adult life, both at the nursery and at home. He answers questions from Shauna on the process and Dorothy chimes in with her successes in growing tomatoes. There is a lot to learn!

When you plant your seeds, why do you need to use a mix other than garden soil? And do you really need to spray your seedlings to water them? Misting tomato seedlings with a spray bottle won’t necessarily give them all the water they need. And once they’ve sprouted, you might face the first of many problems: damping off. Not to worry, though; Kevin has a solution for damping off, as long as you notice it early enough.

Do you know what to feed your tomatoes? How often to water them? Kevin also talks about when and how to plant them outside—hint, you bury them to the last set of leaves. And once you have tomatoes outside, in the ground or in pots, a few things can go wrong. Insects are one thing, but what about the dreaded late blight?

The three chat about all things growing tomatoes, with knowledge (Kevin), encouragement (Dorothy) and a bit of trepidation about even getting started (Shauna). They touch on varieties to grow and the choice of determinate or indeterminate. They mention some different problems faced by gardeners in different areas of Canada. But overall, the message from Kevin is this: give it a try, you’ll be fine.

To listen to Episode 1 about Seeds, click here.

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