Black cherry tomato seeds - not germinating?

Circle, MT(Zone 3b)

I don't know if it's just the variety I got (from Baker Creek, who are usually quite good) but I have three kinds of tomatoes in various stages of seedling, but the black cherry simply don't seem to want to germinate. Do I need to sing to them? Do a dance? Do these simply take longer to get their wheels up? Cherokee Purple and Stupice are strong and going about 12 days in.

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

Last year my Black Cherry was amoung the first to germinate. 4 days at a temperature of 80F.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

I would call BC and talk to them. Like Doug said those are usually the first to sprout. I love BC but I have had a couple issues with seeds before. The thing I really like about BC is that they will make it right, no questions asked and they really seem to appreciate the info if something isn't doing well.

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

Do they come with a germination test on the package ?

If it says something like tested Dec/12 90%. Then they should grow. If they don't it is something you are doing.
If no test on the package, it's anyone's guess.

Circle, MT(Zone 3b)

Thanks, y'all. I'll look on the seed package again, and I'll give BC a call too.

Salem, NY(Zone 4b)

Thanks, y'all. I'll look on the seed package again, and I'll give BC a call too


Would you please tell us if what's on the pack is the packed by date or a germination date. it makes a difference, and before you call Baker Creek.

Depending on seed age and anyones seed sowing routine, mine, as well, I don't worry unless a couple of weeks have gone by.

With my seed offer elsewhere I can offer some fresh 2012 seeds and the germination percentage for the SAME seeds can range from 100% to zero, right, zero,


Circle, MT(Zone 3b)

Thanks Carolyn, I know you know of which you speak.

They're brand-new, packed for 2013, sell by December 2013. I just got this recent batch of seeds in early January.

I've tried 2 different packs (same date) in my aerogarden, temps are a regular 75 degrees here. I've got several other seedlings in the AG going along just fine, even a passionflower. I change out the water once a week. And I asked here because I thought it was so odd for everything but those to germinate just fine, maybe I was missing something. I can certainly give them more time and patience. :)

Salem, NY(Zone 4b)

Nola, IMO packed by dates are pretty much useless since they tell you when the seeds were packed, not when they were produced which would tell you the seed age.

Did they send you any extra seeds in the pack b;c in the past when I've ordered seeds from Baker Creek they've sent me low germinating seeds with lots of extra seeds. Thef act that the seeds should be used byr Dec 13 also hints at the suggestion that the seeds are not very fresh.

I know of only two places where tomato seeds sold are always less than two years old and that's Sandhill Preservation and Glecklerseedmen, there could be others that I don't know of.

So soak some of those seeds in water to which a couple of pinches of blue stuff has been added, like Peters, etc,m, or a few drops of either a seaweed or fish prep,stir the seeds to be sure they sink, and keep o/n stirring from time to time but don't set your alarm clock to wake up to stir, LOL

The blue stuff and the other preps have a high concentration of nitrate ion which is known to help with seed germination. When you sow the seeds double sow and don't use less than about 12-15 seeds.


Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

Here's 3 examples of what you should see on the package.

Thumbnail by CountryGardens
Circle, MT(Zone 3b)

I appreciate the photo image. And the advice. The Baker Creek package has only the packed on and sell by data, no germination rate. I just looked both packets over again - unless this info is written on the seed, I don't see it. :)

Carolyn, I'm following your advice now - after all, if they aren't germinating in ones and twos, I might as well try the larger grouping and see what happens. Thanks, everyone.

Chico, CA

I have 50 varieties that have sprouted all except for the Black Cherry and I have tried 3 different methods to get them to germinate, so . . . . I ordereded seeds from a couple of sources and got them in yesterday and will plant them tomorrow in hope they sprout.

Salem, NY(Zone 4b)

Nola, even with fresh seeds that I've produced I never sow one or two seeds. Sow 5 hoping for 2-3 plants, maybe 4.

Some times folks plant too deeply, sometimes use an artificial mix that isn't very good, sometimes just sow seeds in dirt,and on and on it goes.

Better to thin out seedlings you don't need than to have no seedlings at all as I see it.

Seeds from most places are just fine. The only time there was a problem was many years ago when Linda at TGS first offered them, as bred by her now deceased husband Vince, and they had too many immature flat white ones that were sent out and germination was just terrible. I got a few up as did some others, some got nada, but once up and seeds saved properly from the fruits, all was well.


Everson, WA(Zone 8a)

I have allways found black cherry slow starting.

Carolyn do you still use the permanest trays?

Salem, NY(Zone 4b)

I haven't sowed seed since the Spring of 2005 when I tried doing so when newly home from surgery to hopefully repair the torn quad muscles in my right leg, which didn't turn out b'c 1/4 didn't come back to function, so I'm permanently in this walker.

It was a disaster since one needs two hands to move things around, water, adjust the lights, etc., and my hands have to be on the walker handles.

Yes, I used to use those 8 X 8 Permanest trays, but up to the Sping of 2004 I'd been planting out hundreds and hundreds of plants and varieties and had switched to those professional 20 row inserts.

Now Craig LeHoullier in Raleigh raises all my plants for me and ships them up here except two years ago he hand delivered them b'c he and his wife had to be up this way for a graduation. We've known each other since 1989, via SSE and never met, so that was great.

My job these days is to find varieties that will be new to ALL or most and send them to Craig and the now 4 folks who grow them and do the seed production for me.

I try to have grown all the new ones here at home so I can experience them myself and all the gardening here at home is now done by someone else.

But I still highly suggest those Permanest trays to anyone sowing seed for maybe less than 50 varieties, well, actually, two of those trays are good too.LOL

Carolyn, who is now over about 3,500 varieties grown. LOL

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

I have using Permanest trays for a while and there were a great investment.
I can fit 4 trays in my growing shelf system.
They are made of very hard plastic.
Before I used those thin black ones and they kept braking up.
It was a good investment !

Thumbnail by drthor Thumbnail by drthor
Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

My black cherry tomato seeds never germinated last year ,, interesting ...

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Do you remember where you got them? I know where you got the seeds this yr. Lol

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Yes I sure do remember ,,, and thank you ...... for the chocolate cherry seeds !!!!

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Did I send you choc cherry? I usually send Black Cherry, I like it much better. I didn't want to "out" myself. Lol Do you remember where you got last year's Black Cherry Seeds?

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Wintersow .org all the others from there germinated and grew except those.. Some others came from a trade ...

Yes choc cherry ,, it is a step in right direction , never have grown either , so I don't know if I like either or not,,
I will start them later with my later starts so I do not have to keep them in pots as long...

HERE'S a little? Farmstead Huge ,tomato plant ..

Thumbnail by juhur7
Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

I've been reading your posts. I can't believe you have seedlings started. I'll be starting mine next week. I'm cutting wayyyyy back. I think 60 tomato plants should be I've never heard of Farmstead Huge.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Another heirloom from Wintersow,, I remember reading somewhere it is a beefsteak type , from Iowa , farm field tomato 1950's ?
Kind of like the side walk . cul de sac, thing with the Broad Ripple Currant , I don't care as much about that as I do about them growing in adverse conditions ,
An aspect often overlooked about Heirlooms and why they became that....

Much of the time the name is a clue to strains and varieties they came from I do not believe half of them have their true names lol But they grow and make tomatoes sometimes when many others fail to....

Circle, MT(Zone 3b)

We have lift-off! Of 10 seeds, now three are coming on up. Now if I can just remember which packet is which - one had nearly none germinate and the other seems fine.

Salem, NY(Zone 4b)

Just noting, so you know, that none of the following 3 cherries are heirloom varieties:

BlackC herry, bred by Vince Sapp. now deceased, former husband of Linda Sapp who owns Tomato Growers Sujpply.

Chocolate Cherry, bred by Aaron Whaley, son of Kent Whealey when Aaron was the head of SSE for a few years.

Brown Berry, bred by Sahin Seeds in the Netherlands.

So called blacks?

I'm not a great lover of them but the following are ones that I do like of themany I've grown:

Indian Stripe, now in both a PL and also a heart form
Cherokee Purple, also as a PL and now also in heart form
Black From Tula

Noire de Crimmee, a version of Black Krim I got from a Frencman in 1992 and prefer over Black Krim

Black Cherry

Kazachka, a black cherry

Years ago I thought the black fad would end and Craig LeHoullier and I predicted that the next fad would be the green when ripes.

The black fad seems to be diminishing and the GWRipes are now in full swing and always have been and still are my current faves, along with heart varieties, and I've grown lots of both and continue to do so.

It's always good to remember that when there is demand for a particular type of tomato the varieties will follow, and many are just renames of preexisting ones. ( smile)


Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

I know nothing about demand in the elite tomato growers, but in the real world bright red, smooth seems to cover it.
We have a company here in MN that grows wonderful tomatoes year around. You find them in all the major groceries in the big cities. They are hydroponic, but this company picks them completely red & ripe. They are in the stores same day or next day. Our garden tomatoes in summer have to compete with them. Some customers say they can't tell a difference. They sell large tomatoes, clusters, & cherries.
No yellow, black, or other colors in stores. We have a following for Black Cherry at the Farmers Market. It is difficult to get a new customer to try them.

What in the world are green when ripe ?

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

What in the world are green when ripe ? Lettuce ??

Circle, MT(Zone 3b)

I'd bet a green when ripe tomato, which would make my friend green tomatoes or pickles interesting when mixed up.

Salem, NY(Zone 4b)

Juhur, Green when ripes are varieties that when ripe are green both outside and inside and absolutely delicious with a spicy sweet flavor. Most have a yellow epidermis whichmeans that they develop anamber blush whenripe, but some have a clear epidermis which means they don't get an amber blush, ones such as Verde Claro and Green Doctors Frosted, the latter are cherry tomatoes that look just like frosted grapes.

Above is a list of GWRipes from Tania's tomato data base and I've grown quite a few of them on that list.

GWRipes are grown for fresh eating but in the not ripe immature stage can also be used for fried green tomatoes, pickles, etc, just like the immature regular tomatoes.


Saylorsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

Last summer I grew Cherokee Green for the first time. I gave one to a neighbor. Her adult son kind of tolerates our heirloom and open pollenated tomato craze but when he tasted that one he declared it was the best tasting tomato he had ever ever had! So some people can be converted!!!! At one of my tomato tasting sessions a visiting Turkish girl stated that it was unnatural to eat anything but red tomatoes. She did, however, reluctantly try some of the yellow, green and black ones offered, and agreed they were OK, but she still preferred the red. So to each his or her own!!

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Nobody in my family cares for any of the GWR tomatoes but they will tolerate Green Zebra. I'm growing some Dwarf Project GWR this season maybe they will taste different. On the other hand I haven't found a Black one that they don't like, and getting them to eat a plain red tomato is next to impossible.

In our grocery store's produce section they sell 8oz packages of cherry or grape tomatoes of all different colors. Some are mixed some are one color but they are all very expensive. It's funny how different parts of the country like different things.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

I was always thinking about them as eating healthy , I have never tried a tomato I would, or could not eat.. As some I ihave my preferred . Fried green tomatoes are not always within my diet , I can eat them, they do not taste bad to me ,, only fried foods of any kind , are a question ...

A good tomato is a good tomato no matter ,, one for every body , think there is...

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