With increasing food prices throughout the country, there has never been a better time to grow your own crops! Not only is gardening a money-saver, but it also lets you control how you grow your fruits and vegetables, allowing you to abstain from using common herbicides and pesticides. Today, we will provide tips on how to start tomato seeds to grow in your garden.
Tomatoes are very nutritious, containing a host of vitamins — vitamins C, B6, E and molybdenum, copper, potassium, dietary fiber, niacin and folate. The problem with purchasing tomatoes at the store is that they are grown using traditional fertilizers, genetically modified (GMO) seeds and herbicides. In fact, tomatoes are listed as #10 on the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list of the dirtiest fruits and vegetables.
If you are a novice gardener, one of the easiest vegetables to grow in your garden is the tomato. Tomatoes require very little care and maintenance, and hold up well to common garden pests.
How to Start Tomato Seeds
- Choose the Tomato Type
There are a multitude of different type of tomatoes, so it’s important to pick the kind you like. You can choose between cherry tomatoes, which are small and easy to toss into your lunch bag for a healthy snack, delicious heirloom tomatoes, and so on. When making your decision, consider the following factors:
- disease resistance
- growth habit
- time to maturity
- flavor and texture
- Acquire seeds
You can either purchase tomato seeds at a store, online, at a local nursery, seed exchange sites or other gardeners. It may be advantageous to reach out to neighbors or local gardening groups to see if you can find some seeds for free. You can also collect seeds from an heirloom or open pollinated tomato.
- Prepare the Right Environment
Before starting your tomato seeds, you need to prepare the right environment to help them thrive. Choose a soilless mix for seed starting and a container that is sturdy enough to hold soil and has holes for drainage.
Tomato seeds need warmth when they germinate; they thrive in temperatures of 70-75 degrees F; once they grow, they need cooler temperatures of 65 degrees F. In warm weather, you can grow them on a sunny windowsill, but you can also incorporate heat mats and grow lights to set the perfect perfect temperature.
- Start the Seeds
Fill your containers or seed starting trays with moistened seed-starting mix, leaving about ½” at the top. Insert up to three seeds per container and cover with ¼” of soil. PlantCatalyst® has been proven to significantly increase seed germination, root growth during germination and strength of plant after germination so it should be an essential part of your germination regimen. Lightly water the soil with a diluted PlantCatalyst® solution and leave the containers in a warm spot, keeping them moist but not overly-watered. Once the seeds sprout, move them to natural or grow light.
- Care for the Seedlings
To prevent disease and grow the healthiest plants, pick the strongest seedlings, and cut the other ones at the soil line (a process calling thinning).
Once the fifth and sixth leaf grows, you can fertilize one or two times a week with a water-soluble fertilizer. If the seedlings get too large for their containers, but it’s not yet time to move them outdoors, replant them into bigger containers or pots.
- Move Plants Outside
Once the last frost has come and gone, it’s time to move the plants outside. Make sure to leave 3 inches of space between your plants, and use PlantCatalyst® as part of your gardening routine. This product is composed from all-natural ingredients and has no harmful toxins, as opposed to many common fertilizers. You can rest assured that you are going to be growing the healthiest tomatoes for you and your family!
PlantCatalyst® will also help you to save money; not only does using a small amount cut the use of fertilizer by up to 50 percent, but this product will also help you grow more tomatoes that are healthier, bigger and more pungent! Try this product out for yourself to see what professional growers around the world have known for decades – that PlantCatalyst® is the most important product in any gardener’s shed!