The trick in growing tomatoes from seed indoors is timing. You want an ideal-sized tomato transplant to set out in the garden when the weather is just right. You should figure on 5 to 7 days for your tomato seed germination, and 8 to 10 weeks to grow your tomato plants to transplant size. That would mean you will need to plant your tomato seeds 11 to 12 weeks prior to the optimum planting time in your area. Are you are wondering how many tomato plants you should grow? The answer to that is around 8 to 12 plants. This should be enough for both fresh tomatoes and for canning.
Growing Tomatoes From Seed – Plant More Needed
Through my experience of growing tomatoes from seed indoors or in a greenhouse, I always plant more seeds than plants that I actually want to put out in the garden. I find that since tomato seeds are relatively inexpensive, it’s a good idea to start with more peat pots than are absolutely needed. The increase in cost is minute, but the practice may make the difference between failure and success. You may not get 100% germination-and some seedlings may not make the grade to transplant size. So, what I tend to do, is always plant more tomato seeds then I really need. This way if some of them fail or die, I always have extra that are already planted. If I’m lucky, and all the seeds germinate, and grow to maturity, I can always give the extra tomato plants away to my family or neighbors. The way I see it, when it comes down to growing tomatoes from seed, you can never have too many tomatoes.
Growing Tomatoes From Seed – Tips For Seeding
When you are growing tomatoes from seed indoors, direct seeding may be done into 3 inch or 4 inch clay or peat pots or some of the newer plant growing containers. There are times when I don’t have enough peat pots to plant all the tomato seeds that I am intending to grow. If this happens, I will recycle milk or juice cartons or any other container that is handy at the time.
You must remember though if you are recycling milk cartons, always tear the carton away from the soil ball when transplanting to avoid disturbing the roots of the young tomato seedlings.
Fill the pots to about half an inch from the top of the sterilized potting medium. Plant 1 to 3 seeds one third to half inch deep into the center of each pot. Plant at a uniform depth so seeds will germinate evenly and result in uniform plants for transplanting into the beds. After germination, thin seedlings to one per pot. Whether in, trays, cubes, or what-have-you, the material should be thoroughly moist before seeds are sown. Give them the warmest place you can find. When you are growing tomatoes from seed, and you want fast germination, seeds of tomatoes need a soil temperature of 75° to 85°F.
Cover peat pots or trays with paper or slip them into a plastic bag to prevent drying out. There should be no need for watering until the seeds have sprouted. Once the seedlings emerge, keep them in full sunlight for 12 hours a day if possible. The temperatures for optimum growth of tomato seedlings should be between 70° and 75°F during the day, and 60° to 65° F during the night.
If you follow this process, when you are starting from scratch and growing tomatoes from seed. You shouldn’t have too much difficulty growing healthy tomato plants to set out in the garden or in pots or containers.
Here’s a Good Video I found on Growing Tomatoes From Seed it explains how to seed and transplant your young tomato seedlings. Hope you enjoy!