I've only planned one little gardening job this weekend:sowing tomato seed. I haven't had much luck with tomatoes in the last two years but ever the optimist I'm trying again and hope to squeeze a few good plants into the conservatory. Growing them outside this far north is really just a waste of time though; if they do end up growing well, by the time they form fruit the plants will be wasted away by Blight, the bane of Solanaceae growers in the British Isles.
So you might look at the above picture and wonder why I've sown so many, if I only plan on growing a few. The reason is that as of the 23rd, I'm the proud owner of a weekly farmer's market stall where I plan to sell handmade soap, lip balms, miscellaneous crafts, preserves and seedlings. So all those little seeds that germinate into little plants are going to be sold at my stall sometime in the next few months. Wish me luck and do come visit me Thursdays at Tynwald Mills if you're on the island :)
Back to sowing now... Though two of the varieties of tomato I grew from packaged seeds, the last variety is from seeds I saved from last year's crop of 'Yellow Stuffers'. An organic variety, they grow into large fruit which are relatively hollow - perfect for stuffing. And with them I've tried a new technique for saving tomato seed that I found out about last year. Following up on a tip from a fellow allotmenteer, I scraped the tomato seeds out of the fruit and onto a paper towel. By letting the seeds dry onto the towel, you can save yourself the hassle of cleaning the goo from the seeds and can simply plant the seeds, paper and all, into potting compost the next year. The person I got this advice from has been saving her seeds like this for years and it never fails.
The other thing I have on this weekend is tomorrow's Gardeners' Social and Seed Swap at the Laxey Sailing Club. I've been promoting it quite heavily over the last couple of weeks and hope that my recent interview on Manx Radio as well as a journalist friend's newspaper article will bring in a good crowd. I'm really looking forward to it and hope it will be the beginning of a yearly event! If you're local and interested in attending please check out the below flyer and show up at the club from 3-5pm tomorrow.
Have a great weekend everyone!