Free Vegetable Seeds

ONE OF THE RARE TOMATO SEEDS that I received free from the government has sprouted.  Pomodoro Palla Di Fuoco, as the name suggests, is an Italian variety that I received free from the USDA.  It took about five days after planting for the free vegetable seeds to sprout, which means they are performing as good or better than if I had purchased them from a seed catalog.

Getting heirloom tomato seeds from the government has been an adventure. You can learn how I got the seeds by reading my article at free vegetable seeds.

Because I received Pomodoro Palla Di Fuoco from the government, I don’t really know too much about this variety. It has an online reputation as being a slightly acidic, but sweet and very flavorful slicing tomato.  A couple of people in online forums said it was one of their favorites. You would think it should be good since it takes a full five months to ripen.

It’s still pretty early in southern New Hampshire to be starting tomato seedlings, even though I plan to plant them outside under my makeshift hoop house. But since this variety takes so long to ripen, I thought I would start it early.

High germination rate

All three seeds that I planted in the paper pot germinated. I filled the paper pot with potting soil about three quarters of the way to the top and put seed starter mix on top. I’ve been watering from the bottom to reduce the chance of damping off . So far I haven’t had any problems with any of my seedlings, but there’s still more than enough time for things to go wrong.

I haven’t started the other two varieties I got from the USDA: Kwand Hsi Hung Shih and IXL Bolgiano’s Extremely Early Tomato. Since those take less time to ripen, I’ll wait until April to start those varieties.

As I mentioned in the article called When to Start Seedlings Indoors, I’m succession planting all my seedlings in order to reduce the risk of something going wrong. So I’ve got a couple more Pomodoro Palla Di Fuoco’s on the heat mat now, and I’ll start a couple more next week. I’ll keep starting a few each week. That way, chances are good that I’ll have a good looking seedling at the optimum size for planting in early May.

Related articles that might interest you:

1. Free Seeds: How I got 19 Heirloom Varieties
2. My “Kick Start” Seed Trading Package from DG
3. Rare Vegetable Seeds from U.S. Government
4. My Plan for Seed Starting Mix
5. Free Seeds from the Government



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5 Responses to “Free Vegetable Seeds”

  1. Alex@florist kl (40%)
    August 12, 2011 at 9:26 am #

    Fantastic post & really informative too for all those who love gardening & growing plants. Even i have few tomato plants at my home in the backyard garden.

  2. April 12, 2016 at 9:19 am #

    I wanted to know how to get the free seeds and i can’t find any forms this just keeps taking me in circles please help.

    • April 14, 2016 at 2:20 pm #

      Debbie — Please read this post. It’s not as easy as filling out a form.


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