It is widely believed that growing fruit or a vegetable that one could normally eat is difficult. However, this is just an erroneous belief. In fact, growing tomatoes from seed are exceptionally easy.
This widely used fruit and a culinary vegetable can be grown indoors or outdoors without a hassle. Even if you are a beginner at gardening, you can easily use tomato seeds to grow a plant. It can be easily grown and harvested as a container plant. Just follow these simple tips for getting a fresh batch of tomatoes within a few weeks.
How to grow tomatoes from seed?
Take a large container and fill it with well-moistened, sterile seed-starting mix. Make ¼ inch deep small furrows inside the potting mix and sow the tomato seeds by dropping them about ½ inch apart.
Cover each furrow by gently pinching the soil together. Water immediately after planting the tomato seeds and label each variety (in case you are using multiple varieties of tomato seeds).
Put the container in a warm place (where the temperature ranges between 75-80˚ F) which receives 12-16 hours of sunlight every day. In case you do not have one such spot in your home, consider using artificial grow lights for growing tomatoes from seed.
Is the plant growing optimally?
Once the tomato seeds have germinated, cotyledon leaves will start appearing. Notice the color of the leaves analyze if your plant is receiving enough sunlight or not. Nice green color leaves are the indication that your plants are growing optimally.
Wait till the true set of leaves pop out. These leaves will begin to appear just above the cotyledon leaves. Once they have emerged on all the seedlings, it is time to transplant tomato seeds’ plant into larger individual containers, which are at least 18-24” in diameter.
Before transplanting, you will have to prick out the seedlings. This is a delicate process that requires precision and patience. For this, gently lift the seedlings from below by holding their cotyledon leaves and scoop up the entire soil ball from beneath. An old fork works excellently for achieving the same.
If you see that the roots of multiple seedlings to have grown together into clumps, gently tease them apart.
How to Transplant
For growing tomatoes from seeds, transplant each seedling into its container, which should be filled with high-quality, well-moistened potting mix. For doing so, dig holes large enough to hold the germinated seedlings and insert the later into them up till the base of their cotyledon leaves.
Water immediately after transplanting the seedlings. Make sure to keep the transplanted seedlings at a place where the temperature ranges in between 65-70˚ F, for this is the ideal temperature to support their optimal growth.
Keeping Them Outdoors
Once you observe that the plant is growing well, you should plan on moving the well-rooted plants outdoors. For doing so, you will need to acclimate them. Therefore, firstly move them outside in the sun for a couple of hours and then gradually increase their sun time exposure over a weeks’ time till they can be fully left outside.
This process is known as hardening off. This is essential for avoiding transplant shock. Otherwise, you can plant them at windowsill or use indoor lights.
Note: If at the time of transplanting, the young plants are close to 6 inches tall, cut off their bottom branches before you plant them. Don’t worry, as it would not harm the plants in any way for new roots will develop along the buried stems. Plus we suggest you to transplant the plant to your rooftop gardens.
So, go ahead and prepare pots with tomato seeds for a fresh batch of tasty, juicy and healthy tomatoes!
Also Read: 13 Best Indoor Hanging Plants