How to grow tomatoes from seeds in 5 easy steps

If you prefer the taste of fresh tomatoes in your salads or meals, you can easily learn how to grow tomatoes from seed. Home grown tomatoes are not only as organic as they come, they will also save you money on your grocery bills.

The good news is that you don’t have to be a gardening expert to know how to grow tomatoes: they’re pretty easy to manage, just like growing potatoes. And while it may seem easier to buy ready-made tomato plants at local plant centers, growing tomatoes from seed is actually not that hard to do. And you will have many more options to choose from.

Additionally, tomatoes tend to grow profusely when placed in the right conditions, so you can expect a bountiful harvest throughout the growing season. So if you want a juicy summer harvest, follow our easy steps to grow tomatoes from seed.

If you’re new to growing food, check out the 9 Easiest Vegetables to Grow for Beginners. Or learn how to plant sunflower seeds and when to plant them for a brighter garden.

How to grow tomatoes from seeds.

1. Choose your type of tomato seed
If you don’t have a favorite, there are many tomato seed varieties to experiment with. When selecting tomato seeds, always look for certified organic seeds, that would be free of additives. Also check if the tomatoes you want to grow are fixed or undefined. Essentially, determinate varieties grow to a fixed size and mature quickly, while indeterminate varieties are “climbing tomatoes” that continue to grow throughout the season.

Choosing tomato seeds

Choosing tomato seeds (Image credit: Shutterstock)

two. Prepare your containers for planting

Tomato plants are naturally heat-loving, so gardeners recommend sowing the seeds indoors before transplanting the seedlings into the ground outdoors. Place your growing containers on a flat surface. So add your land, leaving about a half inch between the ground and the top. Gently tamp down the soil before planting the seeds.

potted soil

Potting soil in containers (Image credit: Shutterstock)

3. Plant the seeds
Place 2-3 seeds per container and spread them out equidistant. Keep in mind that not all of them will sprout, so plant a few at a time. So, cover the seeds with an extra pinch of potting soil before lightly watering the soil. Make sure the soil is moist but not soggy.

Plant tomato seedlings in the ground.

Planting tomato seedlings in a pot of soil (Image credit: Shutterstock)

4, put the seedling containers in a warm place
Since tomatoes thrive in warm temperatures, place your containers in a warm place, for example, near a sunny window or windowsill. tomato seeds they usually germinate in 5-10 days.

Watering seedlings through the window.

Watering seedlings through the window (Image credit: Shutterstock)

5. Plant your seedlings
Once the weather warms up, the soil temperature should not drop below 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, you can plant your tomatoes outside. However, before you set them in the ground permanently, you’ll want to “harden” them, that is, get them used to the elements.

About a week before you’re ready to plant them in the ground, take the seedlings outside during the day, then bring them inside at night. This will prepare the tomato plant for the outside world.

When the tomato plant has its first set of leaves and reaches a height of 2 to 4 inches, it is ready to be transplanted outdoors. Find a spot in full sun and place your seedlings in the ground, spacing them about two feet apart.

Remove the bottom set of leaves and bury the plant so that only the top two sets of leaves are showing. Water lightly.

Transplanting a Tomato Plant Outdoors

Transplanting a tomato plant outdoors (Image credit: Shutterstock)

When can you start planting tomatoes?

tomato plants

Tomato plant (Image credit: Shutterstock)

The ideal time to begin planting tomato seeds is in late spring or when signs of frost have passed and soil temperatures have reached 60 degrees. Planting too early could lead to potential frost damage, rot, or mildew. It’s always best to let the warm weather roll in and warm up the soil before planting outdoors.

Tips for Growing Tomato Plants

— Use stakes or a trellis to support your tomato plants and keep them above ground. These will help them grow vertically and save space in your garden.

— If you don’t have a garden but you use outdoor planters, avoid plastic pots. These prevent the natural circulation of air to the plant, which can lead to root damage or mold. Terracotta pots are good for keeping tomato plants growing. We have additional tips on how to grow tomatoes in containers.

— Water regularly, at least an inch of moisture each week, and more in summer. You can purchase a handy tool for knowing when your soil needs watering, like this Gobetter Soil Moisture Meter, Plant Water Meter ($9, Amazon).

If you want to plant this season, take a look what to plant in march when spring arrives or advice on how to save a dying plant.

Also, be sure to check out How to Clean Toilet Bowls with Vinegar as you learn how to clean every room in your home for spring cleaning tips.

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