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Grow tomato plants from seed? It's not that difficult, and it is advantageous. You can find a large variety of tomato plant seed packets, and it is fun to experiment with the different variations you see. Here, we'll be going to teach how to grow tomato plants from seeds but also when and how to transplant them outdoors.
How to grow tomato plants from seeds
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 sunny or windowsill area. 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. This measure will ensure that all of the plants gain access to the light and grow evenly. Tomato plants will also grow towards the sun, so if they are not receiving enough light, they may become bent. Tomato plants can also grow thin and leggy if they do not receive enough light while indoors.
Time to transplant
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 being careful not to damage the roots. It would be best if you lifted the seedlings by the leaves and not the stem because they can easily get hurt at this early 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 up almost to the first leaves on the stalk. Backfill the hole with compost and water the seedling immediately.
Lightly press the compost around the roots to ensure that it has good contact with the soil. The seedlings should continue to be kept within the sunlight and turned if the sunlight is uneven.
Time to transplant again
When the seedlings have grown to be about six to eight inches tall, you should transplant them again into larger pots or your garden bed. During these last stages, you can harden off the seedlings before placing them into an outdoor garden.
Hardening them off means to get them used to the outdoor temperature, which is 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 reliable root systems. This will create a more vigorous plant that can better withstand the weight of the fruit.
As the fruit's weight brings down a weaker plant, the fruit will touch the ground and become rotten. A healthier plant means a better harvest and crop.
Other posts about tomatoes that you may find helpful:
- For Early Tomatoes, Try These Tomato Growing Tips
- Easy to Grow Heirloom Plants
- What To Plant In Your Summer Garden
- Best Plants for Square Foot Gardening
- Upside Down Tomato Plants Grown on The Back Deck