Damsel produces avg. 8-12 oz., globe-shaped fruits with beautiful, pink skin. Shares flavor qualities (sweet, rich, and tangy) with traditional pink heirlooms, such as Brandywine and Pruden's Purple, but is more resistant to disease. Compact indeterminate plants require minimal pruning. While bred specifically for organic field conditions, it also performs well in the hoophouse. Damsel is the first commercial variety available from independent breeder EarthWork Seeds, who produced the seed in California. High resistance to late blight, nematodes, and verticillium wilt. Indeterminate. Organically grown. Avg. 175,000 seeds/lb. Packet: 15 seeds.
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Solanum lycopersicum DETERMINATE (Bush): Varieties do not need pruning and may be grown with or without support; fruit ripens within a concentrated time period. INDETERMINATE (Climbing): Varieties should be staked, trellised, or caged, and pruned for best results; fruit ripens over an extended period. CULTURE: GROWING SEEDLINGS: Don't start too early. Root-bound, leggy plants that have open flowers or fruit when planted out may remain stunted and produce poorly. Sow 1/4" deep in flats, using a soilless mix (not potting soil), 5-6 weeks before plants can be transplanted out after frost danger. Keep temperature of the starting mix at 75-90°F (24-32°C); tomato seeds germinate very slowly in cooler soil. When first true leaves develop, transplant into plug trays or 3-4" pots for large, stocky 7-8 week transplants for earliest crops. Grow seedlings at 60-70°F (16-21°C). Water only enough to keep the mix from drying. Fertilize with fish emulsion or a soluble, complete fertilizer. TRANSPLANTING OUTDOORS: Transplant into medium-rich garden or field soil 12-24" apart for determinate varieties, 24-36" apart for indeterminate, unstaked varieties, and 14-20" for staking. Plant 3-8" inches deep, covering the root ball well and up to the cotyledons (first leaves). If using grafted plants, take care to ensure the graft union is not touching soil. Water seedlings with a high-phosphate fertilizer solution. For earliest crops, set plants out around the last frost date under floating row covers, which will protect from frost to about 28°F (-2°C). If possible, avoid setting out unprotected plants until night temperatures are over 45°F (7°C). Frost will cause severe damage. FERTILIZER: Abundant soil phosphorus is important for early high yields. Too much nitrogen causes rampant growth and soft fruits susceptible to rot. DISEASES: Learn the common tomato diseases in your area. Select resistant varieties. For prevention, use young, healthy transplants, avoid overhead irrigation, plow in tomato plant refuse in the fall, rotate crops, and do not handle tobacco or smoke before handling plants. Fungicides can reduce certain diseases when properly selected and applied. BLOSSOM END ROT: Prevent blossom end rot by providing abundant soil calcium and an even supply of soil moisture. INSECT PESTS: Use row covers to protect young seedlings from flea beetles. Tomato hornworms can be controlled with Bacillus thuringiensis. Use spinosad for potato beetle larvae and adults. HARVEST: Fully vine-ripen fruit only for local retailing or use. To deliver sound fruit, pick fruit less ripe the further the distance and the longer the time between the field and the customer. STORAGE: Store firm, ripe fruit 45-60°F (7-16°C) for 4-7 days. DAYS TO MATURITY: From transplants. TRANSPLANTS: Avg. 850 plants/1,000 seeds, 7,450 plants/oz., 119,000 plants/lb. AVG. PLANTING RATE: Avg. 785 seeds/667 plants to produce 1,000 ft. of row. Avg. 8,540 seeds/1 oz., to produce 1 acre of transplants, 18" between plants in rows 4' apart (7,260 plants needed). SEED SPECS: SEEDS/OZ. (varies): Avg. 13,400. PACKET: 40 seeds, unless otherwise noted.
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Days To Maturity
Average number of days from seeding date to harvest, within a specific crop group. If a transplanted crop: average number of days from transplant date. Not sure if crop is direct-seeded or transplanted? Check the Growing Information box for details. If crop can be both direct-seeded or transplanted, days to maturity refers to direct seeding. Days to maturity for all flowers and herbs is calculated from seeding date.
Disease Resistance Codes
Hybrid: The offspring of a cross between two or more distinct parent lines, usually of same species, and selected for improved traits. Open-pollinated: A non-hybrid variety that can reproduce itself in kind, demonstrating relatively stable traits from one generation to the next.
Good for Trellising
Variety requires a trellis in order to grow properly.
Organic Seeds, Plants, and Supplies
Plants, or seeds harvested from plants, that have been grown without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, strictly adhering to the USDA's National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) organic gardening practices are designated as Organic.
Supplies that meet the USDA's National Organic Program (NOP) rules according to a third-party authority such as OMRI, WSDA, and/or a local authority such as MOFGA or NOFA.