Growing Tomatoes from Seed
Posted on 14 November 2015
It takes about six to eight weeks to grow tomatoes from a seed to a seedling plant that is ready to transplant outside. Start seeds indoors for best results. In 5 to 12 days your tomato seeds should germinate. Germination is best in warm temperatures (70° to 80° Fahrenheit). A heat mat for seed starting will dramatically hasten tomato seed germination. Sow seeds in cells filled with seedling mix and lightly sprinkle a bit on top to cover. Gently moisten the cells with water and place on a seedling mat under a grow light.
Seedling Cell Trays need drainage holes. They can be placed directly into a tray without holes to keep table dry. The 18 inch cell is a good size if you are not going to bump your seedlings up to another pot size before transplanting outside. It will produce a nice tight root system in 8 weeks.
Seedling Mix for your seeds need to be fine with great water holding properties and nutrients. If tiny sticks are present remove them from the seedling mix. Don't use outdoor soil or peat pellets.
The Seedling Heat Mat is a must. Seeds can take weeks longer to germinate if they cool off at night. The 9 x 19-1/2" fits nicely under one grow tray. Keep the seedling mat plugged in 24 hours per day. The seedling soil will dry out quickly on this mat. Pay close attention and keep your soil moist at all times. You may have to water everyday.
The Jump Start T5 Grow Light system is THE BEST as far as lighting for a seedling tray goes. The light ballast can be lowered to be 2-4" from your seedlings , and then raised as they grow taller. This avoids the elongating of plants trying to reach light. The light be can plugged into a light timer and then into an outlet. 12 hours on and 12 off is good.
Superthrive as a liquid fertilizer. Once a week, starting after the first week. Water your tray with a dilute solution of Superthrive and water.
Below are a few of our favorite products to get you started.