start

Step by Step: Growing Tomatoes from Seed

if you've never bitten into a fragrant

vine-ripened Sun warm tomato harvested

fresh from your own garden you haven't

tasted a real tomato

fortunately tomato plants are easy to

grow and they're one of the easiest

plants to start indoors from seed here's

how to grow your own tomatoes from seed

to harvest plan to sow the seeds indoors

about 6 weeks before your average last

frost date begin by moistening a sterile

seed starting mix such as our

germinating mix don't use garden soil

which often drains poorly and may Harbor

disease organisms add mix to the

containers here we're using our grow

ease seed starter gently firm the mix to

remove air pockets use your finger or

pencil to poke two holes per cell each

about a quarter inch deep planting two

seeds per cell increases the likelihood

that at least one seed per cell will

germinate shake some seeds into your

hand and place one seed in each hole

sprinkle additional mix over the cells

to fill the holes and cover the seeds

once again gently firm the mix to

eliminate air pockets and then water

lightly to ensure good seed to mix

contact use a plant mister or apply a

few drops of water to each cell place

the tray in a warm place about 70 to 75

degrees Fahrenheit at this point you

don't need to worry about providing

light covering the tray helps retain

moisture which is important for

germination check daily taking care to

keep the planting mix moist but not

saturated once you see the first sprout

place the seedlings under grow lights

keep the lights a few inches above the

tops of the plants remove the greenhouse

cover so air can circulate around the

seedlings

this helps prevent disease problems keep

the planting mix moist but not soggy a

self watering seed starter makes it easy

you fill the reservoir and it delivers

water to the roots when they need it

when the seedlings are about two inches

tall it's time to thin choose the

strongest healthiest looking seedling in

each cell and remove the others by

snipping them off at the soil line once

the seedlings have two sets of leaves

it's time to start feeding them every

week with a soluble fertilizer

ideally one formulated for seedlings

about a month after so

gently remove one of the seedlings and

look at the roots when the roots begin

to fill the cell it's time to repot each

seedling gets its own container in this

case a four-inch self watering

transplant pot place a thin layer of

soil in the bottom of the pot and place

the seedling in the pot fill the pot

with moist planting mix unlike other

types of seedlings it's okay to bury the

stem of a tomato plant in fact it's a

good idea because the plant will grow

roots along the Buried stem water the

planting mix and then place the

seedlings back under the grow lights for

a few more weeks of growth this seedling

was transplanted into a cow pot these

biodegradable pots can be planted right

in the garden once all danger of frost

is passed it's time to transplant your

seedlings into the garden if your

seedlings are more than about a foot

tall it's best to plant them in a trench

so you can bury the lower part of the

stem begin by pinching off the lower

branches and leaves you want to avoid

burying any of the foliage to prevent

rot begin by digging a trench about

eight inches deep and six inches wide

lay the plant on its side in the trench

gently bend the stem so the top portion

is above the soil line fill in the

trench firming the soil around the stem

so it's upright water thoroughly and add

a support here we're using a tomato cage

be prepared to protect the seed links

with a row cover like our garden quilt

if a late frost threatens keep the

plants watered and fertilized and you'll

be harvesting ripe tomatoes in about two

months