Did you know that you can learn how to grow tomato from seed without having to purchase any seeds at all? Every time I slice up a tomato there is always some leftover and I hate having to waste it. Starting tomatoes from seed is wonderful because you can just use a slice of leftover tomato. Every slice of tomato has a ton of seeds in it. Think about how many plants you could get from one piece of fruit!
A little misunderstood thing about tomatoes is that they often associated with vegetables, but in fact tomatoes are not considered vegetables they are actually are fruits. Though the US Supreme Court still to this day considers tomato as a vegetable, but botanically speaking they are fruits.
Learning how to grow tomato from seed is very easy, even people without any green in their thumb have luck. There are only a few simple instructions you need to follow in order to grow a healthy tomato plant.
Starting Tomatoes From Seed
Growing tomato plants from seeds is a very rewarding experience that will provide you with plenty of fruit. Only a couple of plants will provide you with enough tomatoes to make up all the salsa, sauces and salads you’ve been dreaming about. They are almost always delicacy every delicacy you can think of, especially so in Italian dishes. By planting it in your backyard or in a pot you can have access to it easily, which is even might fresher than any of the tomatoes in the supermarket. With the abundance of its benefits, what not to consider not planting it?
Before you begin picking which tomatoes to plant, consider these factors first. As some business men would say, location, location, and location, and this same theory will be beneficial in planting your tomatoes. Tomatoes, like most plants are, needs environments that are best suitable for their growth and maximum productivity. Some varieties and hybrids of tomatoes are better suited in certain areas while some don’t thrive as much in those areas. Look into first which varieties or hybrids of tomatoes are best suitable in your area. If you are not sure which one of those varieties and hybrids of tomatoes to pick, contact your local agricultural office or just search it in the web.
Although you can plant a slice of tomato right in the ground, you will have a better growing process starting tomatoes from seed if you ferment them first.
To start the fermenting process you will need a container with a loose fitting lid and a tomato. Cut your tomato in half and scoop everything out to put in the container. The pulp, juice and seeds all go in. It is common for a layer of mold to form on the seeds during this process.
Place your container somewhere that is warm and out of the direct sunlight. The fermenting process will look really awful and doesn’t smell the greatest, so it’s a good idea to keep it somewhere out of sight.
This process should last around 2-3 days, so you will need to stir it daily to check for mold. Once a layer of white mold has formed across the top your seeds are ready. Don’t leave your seeds in the container any longer once the mold has appeared. When this happens, scoop the mold off of the top and you’ll notice all of the seeds are at the bottom of the container.
Now you will need to pour some water in your mixture to dilute it. Pour the mixture out over a strainer so you can collect the seeds. Once you have your seeds give them a thorough rinse to get all the mixture off.
To make sure that the seeds are healthy, we want to make sure to sterilize it first. Sterilizing the seeds will help kill any potential diseases and bacteria from sprouting. Do this by soaking the seeds in a mixture of 1 tablespoon (14.8 ml) of apple cider vinegar or bleach and 1 US-quart (950 ml) of water for 15 minutes.
Lay your seeds out on a flat surface to dry. Use something such as a baking tray, window screen, or ceramic plate. Avoid using anything made out of paper or cloth because your seeds will stick. You will need to leave your seeds out for a few days to dry. Once they are dry you can seal them in an air-tight container. Make sure you keep them in a cool dark spot.
You will know when your seeds are dry when they are completely dry to the touch and they don’t stick to each other. A slight damp on the seeds can potentially cause molds, bacteria, and other diseases to sprout up causing the seeds to rot.
How To Plant Tomato Seeds Indoors
I loved growing tomato plants from seed because it was so easy, but growing them is much quicker if you learn how to plant tomato seeds indoors first! If you want your tomato plant to start bearing fruit as early in the season as possible then make sure you plant them indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost.
To start this process, you will need planting cups that are at least 1 inch deep. Sow 2-3 seeds about ¼ inch deep in your cup. Keep your containers in a room where the temperature is between 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit. For the first 7-10, until you see sprouts, you should mist your seedling with water every day. You won’t need to water as often once you see sprout. Too much water causes the roots to rot.
Planting Tomato Plants Outdoors
Once the last frost has passed and your plants have grown to be at least 6 inches tall, you can plant them outdoors. Before you plant them outdoors they will need to get used to the outdoor temperatures. The week before outdoor planting you should bring them outside for a few hours a day so they can adjust. Start with only one hour on the first day and gradually go up from there. When they are fully ready for transplant, you should find a place where the plant can at least receive 6-8 hours of sunlight.
Your tomato plant ideally wants a soil temperature that does not drop below 50 °F (10 °C) in night time and daytime temperatures stay below 90 °F (32 °C). If you want to be specific about the temperature, consider getting yourself a thermometer. Check your soil’s temperature using the thermometer, 50 °F (10 °C) is ideal for planting.
You should add some peat moss to the soil where you plan on placing your tomato plants. Do this by mixing it with equal parts soil. Your tomato plants also need to be planted in well-draining soil. The ideal ph balance for your soil is between 6.0-7.0. If the soil level is below 6.0 add some dolomite lime and if it is above 7.0 mix in some granular sulfur.
Dig a hole that is 2 ft deep and fill the bottom with compost, this will stop the plant from going into shock from transplanting. Make sure only the first ¼ of the plant is coming out of the ground. When removing your tomato plants from their pots for transplant, make sure you are very gentle and try not to disrupt the roots. If there are any tomato leaves that will be below the surface always remove those because if they come in contact with soil your plant will have a higher risk of disease.
Your plant will grow very quickly so make sure you have a wooden stake ready to hold it up. This is one thing I forgot my first year growing tomatoes and the plants just flopped over making a huge mess!
Make sure you only water your plant at the base because the leaves will get mildew if you water from the top.
Continually prune your tomato plants to maintain its health and to help achieve its maximum productivity. Use pruning shears to cut off any unnecessary small branches that come out of major branch intersections and any branches that are hidden underneath and in near constant shade. Pruning will allow your tomato plant to only focus on its growth and its fruit bearing productivity.
Fruit will start to appear approximately 60 days after you transplant your plants. Once a ripe tomato appears all you need to do is twist it off of the vine to harvest it. Make sure you twist gently to avoid rupturing the vine.
Once you have transplanted your tomato plant into the ground it requires very little maintenance. That is one of the greatest things about starting tomatoes from seed. It is so easy to grow your own fruit.
What is your favorite way to eat home grown tomatoes? Let us know in the comments.