Gardening

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How to grow tomatoes from seed indoors
  7 answers
  • Denise Samuel Denise Samuel on Feb 13, 2015
    I used egg cartons, supplied by certain suppliers in clear plastic containers, if not, the regular will do. Pierce a tiny hole in the centre of each space for drainage, fill with seed potting mix, plant your seed, close the cover initially and place on a sunny windowsill. It acts like a mini greenhouse. Make sure the soil is kept moist only--don't drown the seed. Once the seed has sprouted, you can raise the cover to completely open in a couple of days when it has produced a couple of leaves. I have had success with several seeds in this way. Good Luck!

  • Pamela Ecker Pamela Ecker on Feb 13, 2015
    For low cost, egg cartons are good along with other recyclable plastic containers. Some people like the old cardboard egg cartons because they can be cut apart and buried without disturbing the plant's roots. I personally don't think the egg carton is big enough as I like to get my plants a pretty good size before setting out/planting. I save 3-4" pots from year to year...(always giving them a bleach bath to disinfect before re-use) and put them in either small clear shoe boxes (6-8 per box depending on size) with lids for mini green houses or larger depending on your site. That way I can move them around easily and fit them here and there insuring good light. You can rotate them to keep the seedlings from leaning toward the light if you don't have over head grow lighting. Using larger pots allows for not having to transplant seedlings into larger pots. Use a growing medium for seeds. I put 2-3 seeds per pot and thin them out leaving the strongest plant per pot. Make sure to cock the lid on the containers to insure that it doesn't get too moist or you will get mold or the plant can rot off. Usually seed growing medium doesn't have much or any plant food. This is good for starting seeds but once the plants are a few inches you can feed with (I prefer organic fish emulsion) fertilizer BUT make sure it is diluted so as not to burn or push the plant growth too fast. Watering by putting the liquid in the bottom of the containers and letting the plants suck up the water and keeping the seedling's leaves dry is best. Start your seeds 6 or more weeks prior to your local frost date. Since I like a larger plant...I start them at 7-8 weeks. Set them out under a tree or somewhere with bright light but not direct sun for several days before planting (bringing them in or protecting them from cold nights). I plant my tomato plants deep (another reason I like larger plants) pinching off lower leaves. Tomatoes are one of the few plants that can be planted deeper than their natural growing crown(the place on the stem where the dirt meets the stem during growing) A tomato plant will root all along any part of the stem that is buried and actually creates a stronger plant. Hope that helps.... Pam

  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Feb 13, 2015
    You've gotten some great advice for starting tomotoes indoors. If you want to keep growing them there, see: http://www.colostate.edu/Dept/CoopExt/4DMG/VegFruit/tomatind.htm

  • Kellie Lineberry Kellie Lineberry on Feb 13, 2015
    I use sterilized 2liter and 3 liter soda bottles and do mini green houses to start make sure to put a little gravel in the bottom for drainage

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    • Lisa Lisa on Feb 16, 2015
      I am going to try using gallon water jugs..I drink a lot of water and have always recycled the jugs but I think I will try making green houses out of them. I am thinking I could get 2-4 peat pots in each.

  • CycoSue CycoSue on Feb 14, 2015
    I save my nursery pots to reuse for starting seeds as the more soil I have the easier it is to keep the tender seedlings from drying out. If you like the egg carton idea, you could also use your the tubes from toilet paper and paper towels. I have found tomatoes to be the easiest vegetable to grow from seed. They are pretty hardy and don't suffer much transplant shock. The hardest thing for me is to get them enough sunlight to keep them from being spindly. Good luck!

  • Lorraine Lorraine on Feb 14, 2015
    I have started seed for the last couple of years. I start them in Jiffy peat pots about 6 weeks before I plan to set them out in the garden. After 3 weeks I repot the whole Jiffy pot into a larger pot that I have saved from bedding plants - about 5" pots. I grow them indoors under a florescent fixture that has two grow bulbs in it and keep it on for about 18 hours a day for the first couple of weeks. then cut it back to about 12 hours. My plants are currently about 6-8" tall and will go in the garden by March 1 provided there is no frost predicted for the next 10 days. Good luck with your garden.

  • Rosanne Rosanne on Feb 15, 2015
    I just started using plastic k cups from my Keurig--just remember to poke 3-4 holes in the bottom before transferring little tomato plants.