We love tomatoes and grow lots every year, and this year is no exception. We grow the plants from seed and germination is not usually a problem. In fact they are normally trouble free, but this year has been a bit different.

As well as the old favourites of ‘Moneymaker’, ‘Plum Roma’ and ‘Gardeners Delight’, and our new favourites ‘Tiger’ and ‘Red Pear’, we decided to try 2 new varieties. New to us that is.

‘Orange Berry’ described on the packet as ” very tasty, bite-sized cherry tomato with intense orange coloured fruit and sweet flesh”       plus

‘Ildi’ described as “unusual, small, tangy sweet flavoured grape-sized fruit in great abundance”

I sowed all the seeds at the same time, and whilst most of the others germinated without a hitch, the ‘Ildi’ only produced 1 seedling. So I sowed some more.


So I sowed some more, still nothing. In a last ditch attempt to get some germination I sowed another 7 seeds. Still nothing.

I mentioned it to Peter, who doesn’t like to be beaten, and he ‘sowed’ a few seeds on a moist kitchen towel, just like children do with mustard and cress.

Would you believe it. Within a couple of days I had 4 germinations in my ‘7 seed’ plant pot. (I bet you thought I was going to say all Peter’s seeds germinated didn’t you? )  So now I have a total of 5 ‘Ildi’, more than I intended, but as things turned out, not a bad thing.

The first mishap occurred when one of the ‘Plum Roma’ plants on the kitchen window-sill decided to lay down. I propped it up and hoped for the best, but it just died. It seemed to have rotted at the base of the stem.

The second mishap occurred when the local  stray cat got into the conservatory by mistake, panicked and couldn’t get out. He knocked several pots to the floor in his attempts to escape and one of the ‘Tigers’ was snapped clean in two.

A few days later a blackbird got into the conservatory  by mistake. He also panicked but thankfully only caused minor damage. Why do scared animals gravitate towards my tomato plants?

I’m pleased to say that most of my plants are now safely planted in gro-bags, so hopefully no more mishaps. I just need the 4 ‘Ildi’ to catch up and then job done,