Heirloom tomatoes not sprouting

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I ordered a bunch of seeds through Johnny Seeds in April. Most sprouted well and my garden has been mostly from their seeds. However, I bought Cherokee Purple Heirloom Tomato seeds, and none will sprout. I can germinate them (in moist paper towel) but once I plant them, I have never seen anything come up. I bought them this past April, and this is now my 5th time germinating seeds, and planting them once they have a root with absolutely no seedlings ever emerging.

I have tried more water in the containers once planted, less water, covering with plastic, and keeping the pots indoors with heat pads. I am in SoCal and nights stay around 60's, with days being in the 80's-90's. I am pretty surprised the seeds will germinate, but never sprout...

I called Johnny seeds and they are sending me Berkely Tie Die Heirlooms to try.
 
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So the seeds will germinate but not sprout? Just exactly what do you mean by not sprout and germinate? Germination is sprouting. I think there is a failure to communicate here. When a seed germinates it sends down tiny roots and sends up tiny leafs. Sprouting and germination are the same thing. Why are you using paper towels for germination in the first place? Sow the seeds in potting or seed starting mix and when they have a first set of true leaves transplant them into the garden or a larger container.
 
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So the seeds will germinate but not sprout? Just exactly what do you mean by not sprout and germinate? Germination is sprouting. I think there is a failure to communicate here. When a seed germinates it sends down tiny roots and sends up tiny leafs. Sprouting and germination are the same thing. Why are you using paper towels for germination in the first place? Sow the seeds in potting or seed starting mix and when they have a first set of true leaves transplant them into the garden or a larger container.

I was told sprouting is when the seed produces a stem with leaves, the first thing you see when it emerges from soil. Germinating is when a seed produces roots first, as can be observed from a paper towel.

Why? Because I was instructed to by seed packets, online research, and other gardeners. They say it allows you to keep better track of those that are germinating and those that are not. I was told when seeds are placed on a heat pad in paper towels they grow quicker, and in my experience with all seeds I have found this to be true. Especially for pea plants. I have never had a problem until these tomato plants.

And in two different batches of 6 seeds I did sow directly into soil, nothing came up.
 
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I was told sprouting is when the seed produces a stem with leaves, the first thing you see when it emerges from soil. Germinating is when a seed produces roots first, as can be observed from a paper towel.

Why? Because I was instructed to by seed packets, online research, and other gardeners. They say it allows you to keep better track of those that are germinating and those that are not. I was told when seeds are placed on a heat pad in paper towels they grow quicker, and in my experience with all seeds I have found this to be true. Especially for pea plants. I have never had a problem until these tomato plants.

And in two different batches of 6 seeds I did sow directly into soil, nothing came up.
I don't know about other gardeners but it you will follow these instructions you WILL be successful. Get something about 2" deep and put some 1/4" holes in the bottom. Next, loosely fill that container with seed starting mix or finely sifted compost to the top. Next, place that container into another container that will hold water and fill that container full of water and place the seed starting container into it and let it COMPLETELY saturate the seed starting mix. Next, GENTLY pat down the seed starting mix about 3/16 from the top of the container. Next. place 2 or 3 seeds on the top of the seed starting mix. Next, sprinkle more seed starting mix to about the full level and GENTLY pat the mix down. Next, cover tightly with Saran Wrap and place the whole thing into the container you soaked the mix with originally. Keep in the warmest place you have to about 80F temperature. When the leaves pop up remove the Saran Wrap and move into the morning sun for about a week and then move into more sun. When the plants have 2 sets of true leaves transplant into the garden. This works every time and it is very easy and simple to do.
 
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I don't know about other gardeners but it you will follow these instructions you WILL be successful. Get something about 2" deep and put some 1/4" holes in the bottom. Next, loosely fill that container with seed starting mix or finely sifted compost to the top. Next, place that container into another container that will hold water and fill that container full of water and place the seed starting container into it and let it COMPLETELY saturate the seed starting mix. Next, GENTLY pat down the seed starting mix about 3/16 from the top of the container. Next. place 2 or 3 seeds on the top of the seed starting mix. Next, sprinkle more seed starting mix to about the full level and GENTLY pat the mix down. Next, cover tightly with Saran Wrap and place the whole thing into the container you soaked the mix with originally. Keep in the warmest place you have to about 80F temperature. When the leaves pop up remove the Saran Wrap and move into the morning sun for about a week and then move into more sun. When the plants have 2 sets of true leaves transplant into the garden. This works every time and it is very easy and simple to do.

That sounds like a good plan, I will try that with these new tomatoes and let you know!
 
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Interesting read. I've never had a problem with tomato seed not germinating. I've been growing Cherokee Purple for years and saving seeds each fall.
Sometimes I go back to seeds several yrs old and I always have to kill off excess seedlings.

Sounds like something went wrong at Johnny's. I can see how an unripe Cherokee Purple could get harvested. Sometimes I have to use feel not sight to tell if the fruit of the CP is ready.
 
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We have another type of purple heirloom tomato plant that a friend gave me. It is staying pretty small and bushy compared to the super sweet 100, pear, and early girl tomatoes. It also has started to attract aphids.

Last year I started a brandy wine heirloom that got HUGE, well over 7 feet and produced only ONE tomato! We finally chopped it down in December because it was not producing anything.... It was extremely healthy looking though, lol.

So I have had mixed results with heirlooms. I love the look of them, and hopefully the tye-die Berkeley tomato that Johnny is sending me has luck.
 
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We have another type of purple heirloom tomato plant that a friend gave me. It is staying pretty small and bushy compared to the super sweet 100, pear, and early girl tomatoes. It also has started to attract aphids.

Last year I started a brandy wine heirloom that got HUGE, well over 7 feet and produced only ONE tomato! We finally chopped it down in December because it was not producing anything.... It was extremely healthy looking though, lol.

So I have had mixed results with heirlooms. I love the look of them, and hopefully the tye-die Berkeley tomato that Johnny is sending me has luck.
Cherokee Purple is my favorite heirloom. I grow them every year. This year I also planted 12 of the Berkely Tye Dyed. They will look like a Wild Boar Series of tomato. The Berkely fruit did not get near as large as the CP but that is not what turned me off of them. The flavor to them IMO is rather bland. I also agree about the Brandywine. Two years I grew a bunch of them and the first year had 3 tomatoes. I thought that was some some kind of fluke so I grew them a second year. No tomatoes the second year. I haven't grown them since
 
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Cherokee Purple is my favorite heirloom. I grow them every year. This year I also planted 12 of the Berkely Tye Dyed. They will look like a Wild Boar Series of tomato. The Berkely fruit did not get near as large as the CP but that is not what turned me off of them. The flavor to them IMO is rather bland. I also agree about the Brandywine. Two years I grew a bunch of them and the first year had 3 tomatoes. I thought that was some some kind of fluke so I grew them a second year. No tomatoes the second year. I haven't grown them since

Well that is interesting to hear. I will report back in a few weeks with the last try of Cherokee Purple seeds and my new Tie Dye seeds!

The one tomato we did get from the brandy wine tasted amazing. Not worth it for me to get only one fruit though.
 
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Well that is interesting to hear. I will report back in a few weeks with the last try of Cherokee Purple seeds and my new Tie Dye seeds!

The one tomato we did get from the brandy wine tasted amazing. Not worth it for me to get only one fruit though.
Yeah. I think Brandywine is probably the best tasting tomato there is. But they just don't produce where it gets hot early.
 

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