Growing tomatoes from seed

Posted on: 13 May 2020 by 50connect editorial

It's not too late to cultivate a juicy tomato harvest for the sunmmer. You can easily start your tomatoes on your windowsill in 4 inch pots. Read our handy guide of simple tips.

growing tomatoes from seed

Soil preparation

Tomatoes are a delicate crop, so choose a warm spot in front of a southfacing wall or fence to plant your tomatoes for the best results. During the winter, dig up your plot thoroughly (being careful not to bring clay or granite to the surface) and incorporate a good compost into your soil. Shortly before planting add a good source of fertilizer to the plot. If you lack groundspace, you can easly grow excellent tomatoes in 2 gallon sized pots or grow bags, but remember to water them regularly. In addition, regular feeding with a good fertilizer will be neccessary.

Sowing & planting

Sow the seeds into a standard sized propogator filled with a good seed starting mix or compost.  Before you sow your seeds dampen the soil in your protogator and allow it to sit overnight.  Sow one seed in each cell of the propogator by placing the seed on top of the soil in the centre of the cell.  Sprinkle a light cover of compost or seed starting mix over the seed.  Cover the propogator with a cloak.  Alternatively if only a few plants are required you may use a pot of any size and a home-made cloak.  To make a home-made cloak take a small, clear-plastic bottle and cut off the top part of the bottle.  Small soda bottles cut at the top of the label are ideal for this purpose.  Place the cloak over the sown area.  Keep the soil moist, but not wet, for the best results.  Keep the newly sown seeds at around 65 degrees for the most rapid growth.  When the seeds have sprouted and matured into seedlings that are 6 inches high, transplant the seedlings into your plot, 2 gallon pots or grow bags.

Looking after the Plants

Tie the main stem of each plant to a cane or provide a cage for each plant.  Water and feed the plants regularly, especially in hot weather, to keep the soil moist.  Alternating dryness and flooding will lead to many problems, primarily split-fruit and blossom-end rot. 

harvesting tomatoes

Harvesting

Pick the fruits when ripe and fully-coloured.  Always harvest the fruit with a sharp knife or pruners to avoid damaging the plant. 

Storage

Tomatoes can be kept in a polythene bag in the bottom of your refrigerator for up to one week.  For longer storage they may be canned or frozen.  If you wish to can your tomatoes, you are recommended to obtain a good reference book on the subject.  Please visit our website for some recommended titles.  If you chose to freeze your tomatoes, for the best results peel and remove the cores of your tomatoes, simmer the tomatoes on your stove in a pot of water for 5 minutes and sieve them through a strainer to rid them of water.  Allow them to cool and then pack into a container and place them in your freezer.  Frozen vegetables keep for approximately one year.  Be sure to date your containers!

 

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