Growing tomato plants from seeds is not as difficult as you might think. And it is extremely rewarding. A large variety of tomato plant seed packets can be found. It´s 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.
How to grow tomato plants from seeds: ideal planting time
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.
How to plant tomato seeds
The easiest way to plant tomato seeds is into a pot that can be placed in the sunlight. Spread your seeds thinly over potting compost placed in a tray. Tomato seeds like warm conditions, so keep your tray in a warm area or on a windowsill. Add cling film over the tray to keep the soil moist. Remove the cling film once the seedlings begin to appear. On one hand tomato plants like moist soil but you have to be careful not to over water your seedlings.
Tomato plants also love sunlight. Make sure that you turn the tray every day or two, if you are growing your seedlings in a tray on a windowsill. This way you make sure that all of the plants gain access to the light and grow evenly. Tomato plants grow towards the light. So if they are not receiving enough light, they may grow bent. They can also grow thin and leggy if they do not receive enough light while indoors.
How to first transplant your tomato seedlings
Once your seedlings have grown to about 1 to 2 inches high, it´s time to transplant them from the tray to individual pots. To do this, carefully separate each seedling making sure not to damage the roots. Lift the seedlings by the leaves and not the stem because the stem can easily get damaged at this young stage.
Then place the seedlings in a hole in the soil 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. Fill the hole with compost and water the seedling immediately.
Press the compost around the roots lightly to ensure that the roots have good contact with the soil. Continue keeping these seedlings within the sunlight and turn them if the sunlight is uneven.
Transplant your tomato seedlings a second time
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 seedlings off 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. For this place the seedlings outside into the sun for a few hours each day.
Give your tomato seedlings a final place
When your seedlings finally grow at least six leaves and the weather is warm enough you can plant them outside. Bury the seedlings within the soil so that only the top four leaves are showing.
Since tomato plants often develop roots all along the stem, burying the stems this way will ensure that your tomato plants grow strong root systems. Therefore you 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.
I hope you have enjoyed learning how to grow tomato plants from seeds. Are you going to try? Let me know in the comments. And keep your eyes open, I will be writing more about tomatoes soon.