Tomato Sowing Quick Start Guide

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For the easiest and quickest way to start from scratch – read the Tomato Sowing Quick Start Guide…

Sow at the right time

Eight to ten weeks before your last frost date – that’s the second half of March to early April in the UK.

If you miss this date you could buy small tomato plants from the garden center April – May.

Choose the right variety

Start with a cherry variety – they are usually the easiest to grow.

  • Gardener’s Delight (tall cherry) for grow bags
  • Tumbling Tom (tumbler tomato) for hanging baskets and high sided pots and containers
  • Sweet n Neat or Heartbreaker (small upright bush) for a pot on the kitchen windowsill

 

Tomato Red Robin - Small Bush Tomato
Small or dwarf bush tomato for windowsills

 

The larger the tomatoes – the harder they are to grow!

Sow seeds just below surface (3 or 4mm) in a small pot or container of fresh compost

Don’t use garden soil – it has too many diseases and all sorts of little critters who will eat your seedlings!

Cover with cling film and put in a warm place such as an airing cupboard.
Seeds will germinate between 5 to 10 days.

Seed propagator
An unheated seed propagator is good for germination.

 

***It is extremely important that as soon as they start to come through – put in a lighter – cooler position such as a windowsill.

The biggest challenge with seedlings is to stop them from becoming too leggy / spindly. Over watering will also cause leggy seedlings

Seedlings ready for transplanting

 

After about four weeks transplant to individual pots –
3 inch or slightly larger.

Tomato Seedlings just transplanted to their own pot

 

One reason why we don’t sow in final position containers is because we have to keep them indoors until after the last frost.
If we sow after the last frost, tomatoes won’t be ripe before the end of the season when temperatures drop too low for tomatoes.

Grow bags are a great way to grow tall varieties such as Gardener’s Delight

 

Tall varieties are best grown in grow bags where special grow bag pots can be used to optimize watering and feeding.

Planting in grow bags is done after your last frost when growing tomatoes outside.

More information about how to sow tomato seeds