We know it is the middle of Winter. But, now is the time to be thinking about the upcoming gardening season. With that in mind, Cathy Isom has a few tips for you about how to get started growing tomatoes from seed. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.
When considering growing tomatoes from seed, look for certified organic seed. If you live in an area that is prone to disease, look for varieties with built-in resistance.
Plant size matters. Many seed descriptions will tell you the mature size of the plant. In general, determinate plants tend to be smaller than indeterminate tomatoes. Small plants for containers often have names like ‘patio’ or ‘pixie’. If you want your tomatoes all at once, to preserve them, look at determinate varieties. Indeterminate types bear over a longer period; some start late in the season and some earlier.
To get started you will need any small pot or container, at least 3 inches deep. Potting mix. Labels. You could use popsicle sticks or plastic knives.
Tomato seed germinates fairly quickly, within 5 to 10 days. The plants also develop fast, so seeds can be started 6 to 8 weeks before you intend to transplant outdoors. Your transplant date outdoors will be determined by your areas last frost date. If you plan to transplant outdoors in early May, start your seedlings indoors in mid- to late March.
Use your label to make a 1/4 inch furrow in the planting mix. Sprinkle 2–3 seeds into the furrow and cover them with a sprinkling of potting mix. Gently firm the mix down, so the seeds make good contact with the soil. Then just add water and wait.
I’m Cathy Isom…