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Here is the Wild Desert Tomato, Solanum chilense Type 1. This tomato originates from Chile. An accession native to Chile mostly growing in the Atacama Desert and on the western slopes of the Tacna region of the Andes in southern Peru to northern Chile. This sub tropical perennial at best can get to about 3 feet tall, with silver-gray leaves and velvety stems which are very fragile and break even with the slightest touch. Fruits are about 1/4 to 3/8 inches in diameter and fall when fully ripe. It is considered a wild relative of the common tomato and grows as a herbaceous desert shrub rarely more than 3 feet tall, distributed along the dry, coastal foothills of the Andes, in Chile and Peru, where it grows from sea level to an astonishing 9800 feet ASL! It has thin stems, grayish green leaves and bright yellow flowers. The flowers and fruits appear consistently throughout the year, but there is a noticeable increase in flowering between September and October. This species is very difficult to start from seed as well as growing it and getting it to fruit. NOT a beginner level tomato, you need some experience growing wild tomatoes to master this one. Open pollinated indeterminate tomato regular leaf 90 to more then 120 days and may need to winter over before it fruits. You can read more about wild tomatoes HERE: "Taxonomy of Wild Tomatoes and Their Relatives" 2008, ISBN 978-0-912861-84-5

Wild Desert Tomato, Solanum chilense Type 1

SKU: 7817-10
  • Quantity

    10 seeds


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    Germination Info
    1) Prepare for planting. Sprout tomato seeds in small containers, preferably 4" or smaller. In-ground germination is not recommended. Use a standard potting mix that is well drained. Start seeds in containers approximately 8 weeks prior to the planned set-out date. Plants should ultimately be transplanted to the garden 1-2 weeks after the expected date of last frost.
    2) Plant seeds. Plant seeds 1/4" deep in the soil. Cover with soil and water carefully. Overwatering can cause fungal growth which leads to seed rot. Excess water can also bury seeds deep in the soil where they will not be able break the surface. Water when the soil surface just begins to dry. Multiple seeds can be planted in a single starter container, but should be thinned once seedlings appear so only a single plant remains. Seeds do not require light for germination but some light source should be provided for seedlings once they emerge from the soil.
    3) Germination. Soil should be kept consistently warm, from 70-85F. Cool soils, below about 60-65F, even just at night, will significantly delay or inhibit germination. Hot soils above 95F will also inhibit germination.
    4) Care of seedlings. Once a few true leaves have developed, seedlings should be slowly moved outside (if sprouted indoors) to ambient light. Care should be taken not to expose seedlings to direct, scorching sun so plants may need to be hardened off via slow sun exposure. Hardening off can be done using a shaded or filtered light location, as well as protection from strong winds, rain or low humidity. Hardening off time varies, but can take 5-10 days.
    5) Planting out. Plant in the ground once danger of frost has past and daytime temperatures consistently reach 65F. Plants can be spaced as close as 24" apart. Germination time: 1-3 weeks under ideal conditions.


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