Tips on how to sow tomato seeds
There are dozens of tomato varieties to select from, however the type you pick may depend upon whether you’re growing them outside or in a greenhouse.
Tomato blight was an issue for me during the last few years, because I grow my tomatoes outside, so high on my list are disease-resistant varieties.
I also find that although i will grow tomatoes of all sizes quite successfully, the really big ones never quite ripen properly – even in last year’s summer sunshine.
So I’m going to be growing small cherry tomatoes again this year, which ripen quickly. Last year Unwin’s Organic Tomato Sweetie was very successful.
I also will try blight-resistant seeds comparable to Thompson & Morgan’s Tomato Ferline F1 Hybrid, that’s proof against fusarium and verticillium wilts, and even though it is a beefsteak tomato, it truly is quite small compared with others.
If you’re growing tomatoes in a greenhouse you will have fewer issues of blight because your crops should be sheltered from wind-borne diseases, and your tomatoes can keep on ripening well into autumn.
Unfortunately greenhouse growing does produce other problems, together with tomato leaf mould due to loss of ventilation.
Whatever form of tomato you to decide to grow, though, all of them start up a similar way.
Fill a seed tray or modules with seed compost then gently water the compost before sowing any seeds, in order that they don’t get dislodged.
You have to sow them as thinly as possible – or simply two to every module.
Because tomato seeds are so small they just want a thin covering of seed compost or, better still, vermiculite on top, in order that light can penetrate to help germination.
Put the tray or module in a propagator when you’ve got one, or simply on a sunny windowsill, and the seedlings should emerge within 10 days.
If you don’t have a propagator you could put the seed tray inside a transparent plastic bag, to maintain within the warmth, but it’s lots of messing about and never really necessary.
Once the seedlings have a couple of real leaves, which can be slightly ragged instead of smooth-edged just like the first two seed leaves, you may transplant the strong-looking ones into their very own small pots.
If you don’t have many small flowerpots yogurt pots or plastic cups will do, however it is healthier to punch holes within the bottom for drainage.
Fill these pots with general compost then firm it down and use a narrow dibber or pencil to create a planting space.
Use the dibber or pencil to tease out the seedling from its tray, and hold it by a leaf as opposed to the stem as you transfer it.
Don’t forget that if a leaf tears in two the plant will grow more, but when the stem breaks the plant will probably die.
If you’veyou’ve got you have got sown seeds in modules just keep the strongest seedling in each module.
Then it’s only a question of keeping the seedling watered and in loads of light in order that it grows right into a strong plant able to go within the ground or a growbag in May, once the specter of frosts is over.
• For a step-by-step video guide to sowing tomato seeds, click play at the Thompson & Morgan Seeds above