Who wants to grow tomatoes!
Who wants to grow Tomatoes
How to grow Tomato Plants from Seeds
Growing tomato plants from seeds is not that difficult and it is extremely rewarding. You can find a large variety of tomato plant seed packets and it is fun to experiment with the different varieties you find. In this article, we’ll be going over how to grow tomato plants from seeds but also when and how to transplant them outdoors.
You’ll want to plant your seeds early in the spring and not plant them outside until after the last frost date in your area. Usually, you want to plant your tomato seeds indoors about six to eight weeks before you intend to plant them in an outside garden. Check your local area to see what zone you live in to determine when you’ll want to start planting.
The easiest way to plant tomato seeds is into a pot that can be placed in the sunlight. Scatter your seeds thinly over potting compost placed in a tray. Tomato seeds like warm conditions so you will want to keep your tray in a warm area or in a windowsill. You can also add cling film over the tray to keep the soil from drying out. Once the seedlings begin to appear, remove the cling film. Tomato plants like moist soil but be careful not too over water seedlings.
Tomato plants also love sunlight. If you are growing your seedlings in a tray on a windowsill, make sure that you turn the tray every day or two. This will ensure that all of the plants gain access to the light and grow evenly. Tomato plants will also grow towards the light so if they are not receiving enough light, they may grow bent. Tomato plants can also grow thin and leggy if they do not receive enough light while indoors.
When seedlings have grown to be about 1 to 2 inches high, it is time to transplant them from the tray to individual pots. Carefully separate each seedling very careful not to damage the roots. You should lift the seedlings by the leaves and not the stem because they can easily get damaged at this young stage.
Place the seedlings in a hole in the soil which is big enough for its roots. You’ll want to plant the new seedling all the way up almost to the first leaves on the stalk. Back fill the hole with compost and water the seedling immediately.
Lightly press the compost around the roots to ensure that the roots have good contact with the soil. The seedlings should continue to be kept within the sunlight and turned if the sunlight is uneven.
When the seedlings have grown to be about six to eight inched tall, you should transplant them again into larger pots. During these last stages, you can harden off the seedlings before placing them into an outdoor garden.
Hardening them off simply means to get them used to the outdoor temperature which is obviously harder to control then the inside temperature you were growing your seedlings at. Place seedlings outside in the sun for a few hours each day to harden them off.
When seedlings finally grow at least six leaves and the weather is warm enough for them to be transplanted to an outdoor garden, bury the seedlings within the soil that that only the top four leaves are showing.
Since tomato plants can develop roots all along the stem, burying the stems deep into the ground will ensure that your tomato plants grow strong root systems. This will create a stronger plant that can better withstand the weight of the fruit.
As the weight of the fruit brings down a weaker plant, the fruit will touch the ground and become rotten. A stronger plant means a better harvest and crop.
Next time in our series "Who wants to grow Tomatoes" we will cover