Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Planting Tomato Seeds





It is official the 2012 garden season here on my homestead has officially started! I planted 144 tomato seeds and currently have them under the lights.

A week ago my garden seeds arrived in the mail.



All the seeds except for tomato seeds will go directly into the garden. The tomatoes need a few weeks head start. I’m not an expert at planting starter plants by any means. I did it the first time 2 years ago. Tobin built a box that was long enough to hold two trays of plants. He hung fluorescent lights (not plant lights) by a chain. I can raise the level of the lights as the plants grow.


Today I pulled out my little Jiffy greenhouse pellets to use to plant my tomatoes. I know there are other ways to start seeds, but this is how I did it 2 years ago and it worked great. So I stick with what I know works.



You add about 10 cups of water to the pellets and wait 10 to 15 minutes for them to absorb the water and the pellets expand.


Then I pull open the netting and use a chop stick to stir the dirt around. Now it is time for seeds.  I carefully put a seed into each little pellet…



Then cover them up using the chop stick to help move the dirt around…



Now it is time to put the dome lid on and put them under the lights…



I have a plastic cover the comes down in the front to keep the inside of the box nice and toasty warm…



I’ll keep you updated on how my seeds progress!

 

10 comments:

  1. You may already know this, but when you plant your tomato seedlings into the ground ~ you can cover most of the stem with dirt (up to the leaves). The tomato will then send off more roots from the stem to help strengthen the plant.

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    1. Great advice! And yes I do this too.. in fact I plant them sideways only leaving a small portion of the plant showing.. gives them a great root base and they grow great!

      Crystal :)

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  2. I love starting seeds in the house and watching them grow. :)

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  3. How many tomato plants do you plant, and what all do you do with your tomatoes?

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    1. Donna, I planted 144 starts. I'm assuming not all of them will come up and by the time I repot them 2 or 3 times I usually end up with about 35 to 40 plants. Extras I give to my friends or daughters who have gardens. I can salsa, spaghetti sauce and tomato sauce with them. Crystal :)

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  4. Hi Crystal!
    When do you know its time to re pot? Im a beginner, and cannot wait to get started!

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    1. Kelly, when the plant has the first 2 true leaves.. the first 2 you will see are just for the plant to get nutrients.. then 2 more will come, pretty quickly.. then it is time to repot.. Soon, they grow fast, they will out grown the second pot and I find I have to repot once more before finally planting in the ground..

      Crystal :)

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  5. Crystal,

    I am growing my tomato plants inside. Do you have to repot them? Or will I make it to plant them in the ground. I love in Indiana and the weather is quite different. And irritating at times. Please let me know what you think. They are growing and already have leaves, etc

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    1. MartiS... I repot my plants twice typically.. In my part of the world (Pacific Northwest) it is usually garden planting time the first week in June. Tomorrow I plan to repot for the first time and most likely be doing it again by mid May. Crystal :)

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