How Do You Start Tomatoes from Seed?

gwtamaraJanuary 1, 2013

Using a sterile, well moistened seed starting mix, start tomato seeds indoors, 8 - 10 weeks before the last frost date. Sow seeds a quarter inch deep, and cover with plastic to maintain moisture.

Seeds will germinate in 10 - 14 days.

As soon as seedlings emerge, move to a bright, warm location and keep consistently moist.

Select a garden site with well-draining, fertile soil and at least 8 - 10 hours of sunlight each day. Tomatoes can also be grown in large containers filled with potting mix; containers should have adequate drainage.

Harden-off the plants one to two weeks before planting outdoors. When temperatures are warm enough, move the plants into the garden. Tomatoes should not be transplanted to the garden until the nighttime temperatures are consistently above 55°F.

Set transplants 24 - 36 inches apart in rows 24-36 inches wide.

Plant seedlings a little deeper than they were originally grown.

Provide support for the tomato plants.

Tomato plants need sufficient moisture, about 1 inch of water per week. Crop should be harvested after they are fully developed and ripe.

Learn more about growing your own tomatoes by following a few simple steps with this gardening project: Growing Healthy Tomatoes

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