There are numerous varieties of tomatoes. However, they can be classified into two basic categories: determinate (bush) and indeterminate (vine). Whether you are growing indeterminate tomatoes or determinate tomatoes, you can grow tomato seedlings indoor and then transplant outdoors.
There are five stages of growing tomatoes.
- Sowing seeds
- Fertilizing seedlings
- Transplanting seedlings
- Taking care of tomato plants
- Harvesting fruits
Generally speaking, tomatoes grow in the winter, however, the seedlings cannot tolerate harsh cold. Some varieties of tomato grow in the summer, however, the seedlings cannot endure too much heat. However, you grow seeds indoor throughout the year by creating microclimate.
You can sow tomato seeds in a seeding tray or any kind of flat container. If you are using a seeding tray, fill it with potting mix and toss one seed on each hole. If you are using a flat container, fill the container with potting soil and sprinkle tomato seeds thinly. If the seeds are sowed densely, the seedlings will become thin and weak. The best way to sow tomato seeds in a flat container is by mixing one spoon tomato seeds with two spoons of sand and sprinkling on the container. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil and water thoroughly. Tomato seeds are prone to ants and other insects. Therefore, extra care should be taken while sowing. You can use disinfectant on the potting soil or spray disinfectant after sowing the seeds. You can also speed up germination process by covering the soil with peat moss or plastic sheet. If you are using plastic sheet, remove the sheet when you see the sprouts.
When the tomato seedlings become one inch, feed them. You can use compost, compost tea or artificial fertilizer. Tomato seedlings need nitrogen, therefore, make sure your fertilizer contains a good level of nitrogen. You should also water your tomato seedlings regularly. However, do not make the soil soggy.
Tomatoes seedlings need repotting. Repotting is done is two stages.
Transfer the seedlings on another container when the seedling is two inches. Tomato seedlings become two inches tall in two weeks if you have given them good fertilizer and water.
Transfer the repotted tomatoes in another place where you want your tomato to grow mature. This is generally in two weeks after the first repotting.
You should give them fertilizer after the roots have settled which is generally in 4-5 days. The seedlings need phosphorous. Therefore, make sure your fertilizer contains a high level of phosphorous. Water the plants regularly. Your tomato seedlings should also get a good amount of light.
Taking care of tomato
Tomato is prone to mildew and other fungal disease. Caterpillar also causes risk to tomato plants. You should provide water and fertilizer to the tomato plants in the flowering and fruit bearing stages.
The first harvest will be ready in 90-120 days of sowing the seeds.
Whether you are planting seedlings outdoor or growing plants indoor, you can start indoor seedlings. Indoor seeding is best for the plants that need warmth during growing season. Indoor seedling is also a better option for growing seed if mildew is a problem in your area. If you are in a dry area and your plants need humidity, indoor seedling is a better option. Generally speaking, starting seeds indoors gives plants a good head start and brings early harvest as well as great yield.