OK, I think I've gotten myself in hot water. I've never tried heirloom tomatoes before, but on a whim got a packet of mixed heirloom tomatoes. It contains:
Bonny Best (red)
Brandywine Pink (pink)
Golden Sunburst (yellow)
Black Krim (purple)
Djena Lee's Golden Girl (orange).
But I also bought seeds for Rutgers, and two hybrids, Super Boy and Best Boy.
Now I've spent hours reading, trying to learn about heirlooms and what I need to do differently, and can't find the answers to some of my questions!
1. Was it dumb to buy a mixed packet? I sowed them in little cells, several to a cell, but when it comes time to thin them, how do I know if they are a weakling, or just a smaller variety? These were the first to germinate, several days before the hybrids. I have 12 cells with 2-4 plants per cell. Do I just tease them apart and plant them all, to ensure I get a sampling of all the varieties? I usually only do 6-10 tomato plants a year, and this year got carried away with 30 cells, each with several plants! I can thin the hybrids without cringing, but don't know how to distinguish between the heirlooms when they are mixed. . .
2. When I eventually plant them out in the garden, how far apart do I need to plant them? Is cross-pollination only an issue if you are saving seeds for exchange, or does it affect this year's crop?
3. Do I need to worry about separating them from my hybrids? I have pretty limited space. Maybe I should put some of the hybrids in pots, and try to remember to water them regularly??? I've never done tomatoes in containers before. . .
4. I never knew the difference between determinate and indeterminate varieties before discovering DG. From all your vast realms of experience, what have you found works well for staking/caging/otherwise supporting the plants?
Thanks for any insight or direction you can give me!