It’s easy to learn how to grow tomatoes from seed. If you’ve been to the local garden center lately, you may have been shocked by the prices of tomato plants. Even more shocking is the lack of varieties available for you to grow tomatoes from. You will see the usual Boys and Girls varieties along with some, but very few of the old standbys like Rutgers, Supersonics, etc. You may even have noticed them selling “Heirloom” tomatoes, at an outrageous price. Now, there is nothing wrong with selling products at a fair price, these garden centers have to make a profit to survive and prosper, but there is a way to support them and save money at the same time.
If you take the time to grow tomato plants from seed, you can save lots of money. It’s really simple and can be a fun family project. If you have children, you can also educate them while they are having fun.
The supplies are simple and they are readily available from your local garden center. To grow tomatoes you will need, of course, tomato seeds. There are usually many more varieties available on the seed rack than on the plant tables. The other supplies needed are planting medium, pots and a place to start to grow tomato plants for your garden.
Seeds are usually planted in a soil-less planting mixture made up of mostly peat moss and perlite. There are commercially available pots made of plastic, compressed peat moss or even recycled paper. The choice is up to you, they all work well. You can even make you own from saved paper tubes from paper towels or toilet paper.
Once you choose the seeds to grow tomatoes from, you need to look at when the last frost date is in your area. Count back from that date 8 to 10 weeks and you will have the date for staring to grow tomato plants for yourself.
If you choose to plant the seeds in individual containers, fill the container with the planting mix and press 2-3 seed per container lightly into the mix. Set the containers into another with some water in it and it will absorb water from the bottom. You can also spray the top of the mix gently with water if you are careful not to flood the mix and disturb the seeds.
Set the containers in a sunny place or under lights and in a few days they will start to sprout. Prune out all but the sturdiest plant in each container, keep them watered and fertilize lightly once the plants develop their first true leaves.
That’s it! It’s easy to grow tomato plants from seed to save money and to try different varieties of tomatoes to enjoy all summer long.