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Jacican Cooking School's kitchen garden, Mirboo North Gippsland

Each year I grow a year’s supply of tomatoes in the kitchen garden. Usually, it’s three beds each holding 36 plants. After losses, I end up with about 100 tomato plants. All of them have different colours, shapes and sizes.

How to grow tomatoes at Jacican cooking school, Gippsland

All the tomatoes I grow, I grow from seed. I start tomato season in July, reviewing my collection of seeds, hunting out new ones to try, purchasing fresh seed. If you don’t get your seeds early, you rush when it’s time for planting

Sometimes around the middle of August, I spend an hour or two planting out the seeds in the glasshouse.

How to grow tomatoes at Jacican cooking school, Gippsland

 

How to grow tomatoes at Jacican cooking school, Gippsland

I use a 4 cm square seed raising trays that hold 24 plants. I’m a little bit lazy, so I buy fresh seed raising mix from the Mirboo North nursey. I fill each square with seed raising mix and poke a hole in the mix with a skewer. I then place a couple of seeds in the hole and push back over the dirt.

How to grow tomatoes at Jacican cooking school, Gippsland

Now the most important thing … remember to label. Each tomato gets an ice pole stick, with a handwritten label. I use Ice pole sticks, as they last a season, then break down into the soil.

Jacican grows all tomato seeding for the kitchen garden

Now water and wait. In about 4 months I’ll have tomatoes.

Jaci

PS: You can only harvest your own tomatoes at Jacican, as a guest in a Harvest Lunch, when tomatoes are in season. This is usually between February and early May.

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