How to sow tomato seeds is challenging but also very rewarding. Hopefully the following tomato growing tips will help you to get started the right way. You may obtain your seeds from reputable stores. You may also opt to use heirloom tomato seeds, they are considered as a variety that has been passed down through generations because of its valued characteristics. Whatever variety you choose homegrown tomatoes usually produces succulent fruit crops.
Basically planting tomatoes seeds is done indoors for about 6 to 8 weeks prior to spring frost in your area. Transplanting tomato seedlings outdoors takes another 2 weeks after that.
Here are some tips on growing tomato seeds:
1. The initial step is to grow tomato seeds indoors. Using a flat tray or pot, plant your tomato seeds about 1/4 inches deep using fertile soil mix. Soil mix is usually a combination of peat moss, perlite and sphagnum.
2. Water it consistently keeping soil moist. Dry soil makes the tomato seeds die. You may cover the tray with plastic to conceal moist. Germinate tomato seeds in soil with 75 – 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Once you see leaves starting to sprout remove the plastic immediately.
3. Ensure that your tomato seedlings are exposed to sunlight at least 6 – 8 hours every day. If not possible you may use a fluorescent lamp fixture at least a couple of inches away from your growing tomato seedlings. Sufficient supply of sunlight makes your plant grow sturdy. Lack of it will cause them to grow leggy. Another way to help your plant grow sturdy is to lightly brush the plants with your hands twice a day.
4. When leaves begun to grow before it becomes root bound transfer them to a bigger pot to allow root growth and development.
5. When you see potential growth of about 6 leaves you may already transplant your tomato plant outdoors or in a bigger container where you plan to grow tomato plants. Remember to hold only the cotyledon leaves when transplanting and not the stems. The stems are still at their fragile stage.
6. But before transplanting, harden off your tomato plant meaning gradually expose your growing tomato plant to outside temperatures. Harden off your plants by bringing it outside during the day and then bring it back indoors during the night with longer exposure to outdoor temperatures each day until ready for outdoor gardening.
7. Planting tomato plants outside must be done 12-24 inches apart for the determinate variety and 30-36 inches apart for the indeterminate varieties.
8. Plant your growing tomatoes deeply to allow root expansion and growth. This will aid in building strong foundation for your growing tomato plant. Make sure that when adding soil to your plant it is evenly spread around the stem. Press the compost soil lightly to ensure contact of roots and soil. Sprinkle with water immediately.
9. Consistently water and ensure sunlight exposure to your tomato plants. Lack of sunlight will result to bent stems and is prone to blossom end rot and bacterial contamination.
10. Prune excess leaves to eliminate pests and other bacteria. Cutting some of the leaves will allow sunlight penetration to your tomato plant up to its soil. However do not excessively cut off leaves for they are the source of photosynthesis which is the source of the sweet flavor of your tomatoes.
11. Staking is also helpful to avoid blossom end rot to your tomatoes.
Planting tomato seeds with this few simple tomato growing tips can help you gain ample and luscious fruit crops during the harvest. When you plan on gardening again try tomato seeds in preparation for your next tomato planting.
Lisa Lovelock is a tomato growing enthusiast and author (she gained platinum EzineArticles expert status), who enjoys helping others get started in this amazing hobby. If you wish to read more tomato growing tips [http://www.growtomatoesguide.com/tomato-growing-tips/] or to get a copy of her Free ‘Growing Tomatoes Secrets’ mini-course then visit her site http://www.growtomatoesguide.com
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