Growing Tomatoes from Seeds
A beginners guide to growing tomatoes from seeds
Here I will explain how to get and what you need to grow your own tomatoes from seeds.
Where to get tomato seeds
You can buy them in your local garden center, DIY shops, supermarkets or online. You can also save seeds from tomatoes when you find something that you especially enjoy or if you can’t find it ready to buy.
Pots for growing tomatoes from seeds
If you haven’t done it before and don’t have a lot of pots and other gardening tools, that isn’t going to be a problem! You don’t need much to start the seeds.
What to use to grow tomatoes from seeds
You can use any pot or container with a drainage hole in the bottom. I like using yogurt cups as they are just the perfect size and I feel good about reusing them. If you use a yogurt cup or any other food container, make sure to wash them thoroughly before using them to grow tomatoes, to avoid molds developing which could harm your plants.
But you can also buy a seed tray or a propagator.
If you are growing various kinds of tomatoes, label the pots to know which is which!
How many seeds to grow
Always grow more seeds than the number of plants you want to have as not each of them will germinate. It may also happen that some plants will get damaged, you or your pets may knock them over, they may get damaged by blight etc. So do expect that you may lose some on the way.
How to sow tomato seeds
- Fill the pot or container with a seed-starting mix
- How deep to sow tomato seeds? Sow tomato seeds 1 – 2 cm deep. Make little holes 1 – 2 cm deep and 2 cm apart. To make holes you can use a pencil, a stick or your finger.
- Drop the seeds in the holes
- Pinch the soil together with your fingers to cover the seeds
- Water them gently and thoroughly
How to water tomato seeds
To water tomato seeds use a pump spray bottle and dump the soil thoroughly. Keep it very moist until they start germinating.
How often should you water tomato seeds?
Water tomato seeds by spraying the soil twice a day until they sprout.
Sowing the seeds indoors
The best way to start the seeds is to sow them indoors, before the gardening season. Ideally they should have a place in a warm room with stable temperature (18 – 21 ºC), with plenty of natural light. A windowsill or conservatory would be a good place for them.
A DIY propagator
If you don’t have a propagator, you can cut a plastic bottle, turn it upside down and cover the pot to create a DIY greenhouse. Although it’s not absolutely necessary, it will speed up germination. You can keep it on until the seeds cast off their seed pods. Once they did, remove the cover as they need air circulating around them. Otherwise they will be prone to mould and rot.
How long does it take for tomato seeds to germinate?
It takes 8 – 12 days, however it depends on the temperature.
How to save tomato seeds
If you want to save tomato seeds for the next year, this is how to do it:
- Remove the seeds from the tomato and separate them
- Dry the seeds naturally on a plate or paper
- Store them in a paper envelope with a note about the type, in a cool dry place
When are tomato seedlings ready to transplant?
You can transplant tomato seeslings when they are 10 – 20 cm tall and have 4 – 6 true leave.
I hope this helps you to get starting with growing your own tomatoes from seeds and you find it as enjoyable as I do!