Tomatoes are the first vegetable many gardeners grow from source, by and large in pursuit of interesting varieties that are rarely available as seedlings. To improve your shot at success, here are my top tips for growing tomatoes from source .
1. Make a Clean Start
If you are reusing plastic cell packs, wash them well in warm, buttery water system to remove old soil and accumulate salts. My front-runner containers are modest wallpaper cups with several holes punched in the bottoms, because I can write the variety names on the cups. When the seedlings are fix to move to larger containers, it ’ randomness easy to peel away the soften cups and compost them .
besides use a new bag of high-quality seed-starting blend. Avoid brassy imitations, which are much the cause of seedling failure.
2. Label Your Containers
Write variety names on them with raincoat markers, or you can make labels from utility tape. Labels ferment better than little stakes, which wiggle around amongst the tomato roots and can be by chance lost. I learned this one year when a gust wind toppled the table that held dozens of seedlings. Most survived with prompt repot, but I had to guess which markers went with which tomatoes. Labels work good .
3. Plant Tomato Seeds Dry
The furred coating on tomato seeds softens and gummifies when body of water is added, which helps the seeds stick in put among dirty particles. The seed coats besides release chemicals into the dirty that enhance growing conditions for the soon-to-come roots .
4. Water Wisely
I use a heart spray bottle to thoroughly moisten the semen starting mix, which can take several hours. When the containers feel heavy with water, I use a pencil eraser to make shallow holes for the seeds, and cover and press them in with my finger. then I spritz more water over the top. If you are not certain about the honor of your body of water, use filtered water system that has been allowed to natural gas off overnight in an open jar.
5. Tomatoes Need Warmth and Light
Tomato seeds kept at warm room temperature and sprayed with water doubly casual should sprout within a workweek. equally soon as the seedlings break the open, move them to bright light. A full-spectrum grow-light is ideal, but a cheery window will do provided the seedlings are watched closely to make certain they don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate dry out .
6. Pot On in Stages
I like the idiom “ pot on ” for moving a seedling to a slenderly larger container, which happens doubly with my tomatoes. soon after the first truthful leaf appears, I move the seedlings to larger newspaper cups or belittled plastic pots. Most of them must be potted on again three weeks belated .
7. Handle Tomato Seedlings With Care
never touch the main stalk of tomato seedlings, because the fat tissues are easily bruised, and bruises serve as introduction points for the fungus that cause seedlings to rot. The main bow besides can be damaged if a seedling falls over, which sometimes happens when a weak-stemmed tomato seedling becomes top-heavy with new leaves. Prevent fall-overs by sprinkling extra seed starting mix around the base of leggy seedlings, and press it in. To further confirm seedlings until you can repot them, prop up leaners with toothpicks or a woodwind skewer.
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Avoid the temptation to plant little tomato seedlings in large containers, which can cause the lean roots to become overwhelm by land microorganisms. It ’ south better to pot on seedlings to a slightly larger container angstrom soon as you see root growing through the bottoms of the containers .
8. Don’t Rush Hardening Off
gradually expose your indoor-grown tomato seedlings to increased sun and wind. An opaque storehouse bin with the eyelid removed makes a good hardening-off chamber, or you can use a cold ensnare or protected plant shelf. Allow at least a week for your plants to prepare themselves for outdoor life .
With a little practice, you can expect great results growing tomatoes from semen. Tomato seedlings that enjoy stress-free lives with no unplayful setbacks quickly adapt to garden life sentence, and few things are more rewarding that harvesting sunlight ripened tomatoes from plants you started as bantam seeds .