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Growing tomatoes

Growing Tomatoes – How to Prepare Tomato Seeds

“Why should I prepare my own tomato seeds?” you might ask. Tomatoes are vegetables that are simply available everywhere, in every supermarket and during all seasons of the year. And even if somebody wants to grow his own tomatoes, there is a wide range of tomato seeds, already packaged and prepared. Let’s talk about store-bought tomatoes first. Coming from Germany with its Central European Climate, we do not have extensive tomato cultivation in this country. The majority of tomatoes in our supermarkets has been imported from the Netherlands, Spain or other countries. In these countries either the climate is more suitable or they have huge greenhouse constructions. The selection offered is therefore very poor, often the taste is even poorer. If anybody of you followed the subject of agricultural developments on a global scale during the last couple of years, you might have noticed a couple of things. Multinational conglomerates are gaining more and more power, influencing local structures in agriculture and having impact on the number of varieties that can be cultivated. The fact …


Growing Eryobotria japonica (Japanese Plum)

This year´s trip to Garda Lake brought me a new permanent guest in my plant collection. It is called Eryobotrya Japonica or commonly Japanese Plum. Somehow I never drew any attention on this plant before. The leaves are beautiful, dark green, lanceolate and with a shiny surface. Beside that, the fruits are bright orange and contain big brown seeds that “shouted” at me to plant them (or at least that is how I imagine it sometimes). Unfortunately these small trees are not frost hardy enough for our Central European climate. As it is possible to overwinter them indoors, there is nothing to stop me from planting them. There is no pulp sticking to the seeds, so it is very easy to extract the seeds from the fruits. In this case the seeds were already sprouting when I removed them from the fruits, so that part was even easier. I just planted them after carrying them with me for a couple of days in a lunchbox with wet paper towels. If the seeds are not sprouting …