There are many different ways to start your tomatoes. The best way for you depend on your local conditions and your way of farming. Here we will describe the most common way to start the seedlings. Before you sow we recommend you to sterilize your potting soil. Read our blog post about Darkwinged Fungus Gnats to find out why.
- Sow indoors 8 weeks before the estimated time to plant in your garden or greenhouse. Use your sterilized soil and sow the seeds about 1cm deep. Tomatoes are not light-germinating. Keep the soil moist, not wet. You can sow several seeds in each pot.
- The best temperature for germination is 22-26°C. But tomatoes, in general, are not very picky and will normally germinate very well at room temperature.
- After the seeds germinate and sprout the best temperature is 18°C. Place the seedlings as light and airy as possible. If you use a cover for keeping moist, remove this when the seeds have sprouted.
- When the seedlings have some pairs of real leaves it's time to transplant them in separate pots. You can place the plants deeper down in the new pot and fill it with soil. The tomatoes will grow new roots on the stem. The temperature can now be lowered further.
- If needed, replant once more in larger pots before planting the tomatoes in your garden.
- Before you plant outdoors you should temper the plants successively, letting them get used to sunshine. Do not plant before the risk for nightly frost is over and the nightly temperature is above 7°C.
- When you plant the seedlings in the garden, plant them a bit deeper than they were in the pots. In this way, they will grow roots on the stems, this will make the plants stronger and not dry out easily. Do not let the plants dry out!
- Do not sow the tomatoes too early if you dont have a really good nursery. Tomatoes that have been sown too early and planted outdoors too early can get disturbed. This will cause lanky plants and a bad crop of tomatoes.