VEGETABLE SEEDS: Tomato - Sweetie
Lycopersicon lycopersicum 'Sweetie'
Regular leaf, indeterminate
Released in 1980 by Petoseed Co., Sweetie lives up to its name by bearing long trusses of 2.5 cm (1 in) red round high sugar content fruit that are lovable right off the vine. Ripening mid to late August, they also make great dried tomatoes when cut in half - a treat on pizza or added to stir fries.
Start plants indoors mid-March to the beginning of April. Cover seed with 0.6 cm (1/4 in) of soil, tamp and water. Seeds germinate best at soil temperatures above 24°C (75°F), so an electric heat mat is helpful. We use 72 cell plug trays and let the seedlings get quite large and crowded - or pot them up as they grow, or start in large containers. Wait until risk of frost has passed before planting out to the garden, usually early to mid-June. Gently loosen root bound plugs to encourage root growth and remove leaves halfway up the stalk, then bury at an angle so the bare stem is covered - it will form roots. Space plants 45 cm (18 in) apart. Tomatoes thrive when the average temperature is above 15°C (60°F), so a greenhouse or plastic covered hoop house is beneficial, especially in early and late season.