Tomatoes are one of the most popular ingredients in our recipes. Many people do experience Tomato Seeds growing problems even though they are one of the common fruit vegetables that families can easily cultivate at home.
In order to reap bountiful of luscious fruit crops make sure that you choose the right variety of tomato. The appropriate variety is dependent on where you intend to grow your tomato plants from Tomato Seeds.
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The Common Mistakes Growing Tomato Seeds
The constant mistakes frequently encountered by most people starting to grow tomatoes at home are
- incorrect choice of variety,
- when to plant, over planting, planting in the wrong area,
- growth of pests, and
- insufficient knowledge on how to successfully grow tomatoes in your own backyard.
All these problems can be avoided if you know how to effectively grow tomato plants at home. Let us discuss on each matter one by one.
8 Useful Tips to Plant Tomato Seeds
1- Choosing the Right Variety of Tomato
The first is what type of variety you should choose if you have limited garden space.
There are two kinds of varieties, the determinate and indeterminate kind.
Read more about determinate and indeterminate Tomatoes types at The Basics To Planting Tomatoes
2- Planning Ahead and Preparing Your Seed Tray
You should start the process of planting your seeds about 6 to 8 weeks before you are thinking of planting them outside.
Depending on how much room you will have when you transplant your seedlings ready to become fully grown tomatoes, you need to decide on which type of tomato you want to grow.
If you don’t have a lot of room and are thinking about growing them in containers you might like to look at the smaller cherry tomato variety.
But if you have adequate space to grow your tomatoes it shouldn’t be a problem with whatever you choose.
Read also The Ultimate Guide to Heirloom Tomatoes
3- Prepare your seed tray
You should prepare your seed tray by lining it with a thick base of potting soil and filling it up to approximately 1 inch from the top.
An ideal mixture would be equal amounts of organic potting soil, vermiculite, perlite and sphagnum peat moss.
4- Plant your tomato seeds
Plant your tomato seeds about 4 inches apart. There are many different ideas on how spaced you should keep your seeds (some say 1 inch is fine, some say 2 inches etc…)but I find that keeping them well apart like this makes it easier to separate the plants when it comes to the time of transplanting them and avoids damaging the fragile roots.
Once you have planted your seeds and are happy with their spacing you should spray the soil and the seeds with a fine mist of water and cover the top of the tray with cling film to help keep the air moist.
Some germinating trays come with a plastic lid already fixed to them. Place the tray in a warm area.
5- Spacing the Tomatoes Seeds / Plants
If you have only a small space you may opt to choose the determinate kind which means they will grow only for about three inches in height. Pots or any containers are suitable for planting tomatoes with small places or having a patio.
However if space is not an issue then you may choose to grow an heirloom tomato plant in your back-garden.
6- When the seedlings appear
When the seedlings appear, which should be after about a week if conditions are right, and most of the plants have developed at least 1 leaf you can remove the cling film or lid.
Keep the tray in the same location and keep the new seedlings moist. Be careful not to over water them though as this can make your tiny plants wilt.
7- Transplant them into small individual pots
Transplant them into small individual pots when the seedlings have reached approximately 2 inches high.
Lift them out very gently with their leaves and try to avoid touching the stems as they are still extremely fragile at this stage. Poke your finger into the soil in the new pots to make a hole. \
Place the seedling into it and gently press the soil around it to keep it in place and water it. These should be left outside in the sunlight and can be turned every so often so that they get even exposure.
6- Transplant your plants again
Transplant your plants again once they have reached a height of about 6 inches tall.
This time they will need the larger 6 inch pots and this is where they will stay until you decide to either plant them into the ground or in containers.
7- Supplying Tomatoes
Another thing is to avoid too much supply of tomatoes during harvest. Therefore, you may simultaneously plant tomato seedlings to ensure proper timing and constant supply of tomatoes all throughout the season.
Planting one or two fruit bearing plants at a time is sufficient enough but is solely dependent on the immensity of consumption needs.
8- Knowing the Tomatoes Growing TimeFrame
It would be a waste if you plant more than what you can eat because it will only rot.
Knowing when to plant gives you the correct time frame and frequency of growing your tomato seedlings, thus you will know how to divide you planting schedule.
9- The most suitable Temperature for Tomatoes
Always remember that the absolute time for growing tomato plant is 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
The temperature during the day must be 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 65 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit at night.
Read more about Tomato Seeds and Temperature on How to Grow Tomatoes in Different How to Grow Temperatures ?
10- Tomato Seed Months
Tomatoes planted in the months of March to May, the first tomato does not ripe until late July. Full production of tomato fruits usually begins early August when planted early May.
Tomato plants cannot tolerate frost so it is advisable that you schedule planting in the month of June in order to harvest in November just in time before the first frost in December.
For home growers with cold climates may make their own portable greenhouse to avoid problems growing tomatoes.
In this way, allowing the plants to gradually and safely be exposed to the colder temperature of their outdoor garden.
11- Sunlight for Better Tomato Plants
Another way to avoid problems growing tomato plants is to ascertain that the tomato plant gets six to eight hours of sunlight every day. If the sun gets too hot you may use a newspaper to cover them.
To add to that make sure that the plants are provided evenly with sunlight therefore constantly turn the plants around or place it where sufficient supply of sunlight is provided.
The reason you do this is because homegrown tomatoes tend to grow toward the direction of the sun.
12- Transplanting Tomatos Outdoors ?
Home tomato growers who prefer to plant tomato seedlings must wait five to six weeks before transplanting them outdoors. If the plant has grown at least six leaves then it is ready to be transplanted to your garden.
Before doing so, tilt the garden soil well and should be slightly acidic with a 5.5 to 7.8 PH level.
Growing tomato plants with well maintained soil that is moist, fertile and high in organic matters as that will help in growing enormous and crisp fruit crops.
With these simple guidelines you should be able to avoid problems growing tomatoes at home.
Experience the confidence of enjoying fresh organic home-grown tomato fruit in your own garden.