Growing Tomatoes From Seeds
Tomatoes are an ideal food for growing indoors throughout most of the year. You can keep your tomato plants healthy and active through the summer months, too. Tomatoes, like other varieties of fruit, do best when kept on a warmer night schedule with access to indirect sunlight. Good tomato varieties include varieties such as grapefruit, cherry, and respect, which are native to Central and South America. However, most varieties grown commercially today are hybrids and as such may be resistant to some diseases.
The best time of year to plant tomatoes is spring, although most varieties can be started growing in the late summer or early fall. Tomatoes seeds should be sowed in rows about a foot apart, according to your vegetable garden plan. To assure themselves a firm hold, plant the seedlings at the edge of your existing row. Keep in mind that if your garden has not been established, make sure you prepare the soil properly by removing any weeds and adding compost to help the seeds germinate.
If you are uncertain of which varieties of tomato seeds are right for your garden, check with local seed catalogs. For those growing indoors, look for information on the specific tomato varieties suited to your area. If you live in an area with cold winters, go with winter tomato varieties. In warmer climates, such as California, hybrid varieties are best. Keep in mind that most seed catalogs will list all the proper care instructions, so be sure to read through them carefully.
One of the most important steps in planting tomatoes is preparing the soil. Before hand, dig a hole that is two to three feet deep and then lay down a layer of mulch. Since most varieties require full sunlight during the growing season, you will want to add mulch to help protect the roots from frost. Once the mulch has begun to break up, remove it and move the seedlings inside of the deeper hole.
After mulching, add the tomato seeds and start the germination process. The seeds should germinate within seven to ten days. You will know if the seeds are germinating properly when the seedlings begin to form. The tomato seeds you are growing should form themselves easily and without damage if you keep them moist.
If the seedlings do not form themselves correctly, don't worry. Most quality seed companies will provide troubleshooting guides for most problems. Keep in mind, however, that most seed catalogues will list heirloom seeds separately from standard varieties. Standard seeds are generally less expensive than heirloom seeds, so always buy a variety that is listed in your heirloom tomato guide, and make sure to plant the seeds according to directions.
Now that you have your seedlings, it is time to plant them. Prune any dead or broken branches to create room for the seedlings to grow properly. Once the weather conditions are right, water your seedlings generously and watch them grow. If you follow the growing tomatoes guide, your tomato plants should reach harvest in two to three weeks.
For most people, this is a very easy way to grow their own food, no matter what the time of year. Tomatoes can be eaten just as they are in the stores or used to season other dishes. They're perfect for any diet and with their thick skin and seed coating makes them tastier than even the best preserved tomato product. It doesn't take much to get started growing tomatoes from seed. But you do need to find good heirloom seed catalogues so that you can find exactly what you need. It is important to make sure that the tomatoes you plant won't grow too well or else you'll have a tough time getting them off the plant!