How do I start tomatoes from seed?
It’s best to have a warm place, or a heat mat, consistently 70 – 80 degrees F. A South facing exposure in a window, or the help of a daylight spectrum bulb, such as a T5 fl uorescent, is ideal.
In a tray with inserts, or really any kind of shallow container with a clear lid, place moist starting mix such as Coco Coir, or Pro Mix BX. Sow the seeds carefully a couple of inches apart and cover them with twice the seeds’ thickness in potting mix. Gently and thoroughly water with chlorine free water (let tap water sit at room temp for 24 hours) You may wish to add B Vitamins, such as B Plus, as a general health tonic, as it is excellent in any propagation practice.
Remember not to let the mix dry out, but don’t over water either!
Once the seedlings have emerged, do not allow them to overcrowd, as they will compete, and become spindly. If lighting is inadequate once they are sprouted, they will also become spindly, so keep light as close as possible. Harden the seedlings off gradually, starting with venting the domes, and making sure humidity isn’t too high.
Once the plants are a 1/2 inch or so high, you may apply a weak solution of plant food, such as Canadian Plant Food Tomato Formula 6-10-8. As the plants grow, so do their feeding requirements, so higher concentrations of good quality nutrients are necessary.