I have no idea how old these seeds are or where I got them. That's my handwriting, so there's no doubt that I was the one that saved them. There are dozens of them, stuck to the inside of the paper towel ... like I just squeezed them out of the tomato and folded it up. The newest I think they could be is from 2008, because that's when I moved my stuff out of the office and gave it over to my husband. 'Hillbilly' is a real heirloom tomato cultivar, a pass-along variety, but I don't remember if that's what these are or if I just called them hillbilly seeds.
I like a challenge, and I was really curious about these seeds, so I decided to see what would happen if I planted some of them. I soaked 24 seeds in a cup of water overnight, then I planted them in a take-out container, with drainage holes drilled in the bottom of it and a lid, and put it under the lights in my basement grow area. Within a week, I had this:
Babies!! Over the course of the next few days, more seeds sprouted. Twenty of the twenty-four seeds germinated. One of sprouts was weird and stunted, so I discarded that one. Last week, when the babies were large enough to handle, I transplanted them from the community container into little individual pots.
There's one rose seedling here, too. I will tell you about it some other time.
This morning, one week later, the babies look like this:
They're all about three inches tall, and they are fat, healthy and happy ... and almost ready to transplant into larger pots.
Our weather has been unseasonably cool and very rainy, so I will have to wait till it's warmer to begin to harden these off to life outside. I plan to keep three or four plants and give the others to friends and family.
I have to confess that I have never been a very good vegetable gardener. I know roses, of course, and I'm pretty proficient at gardening with ornamentals in the sun and in shade, but I never been able to get the hang of growing food. I try, and results are always less than stellar. Maybe this year will be better ... I say that every year.