Blog: Starting Tomatoes From Seed

To grow tomatoes from seed, begin indoors about 6 weeks before you want to transplant outside:

You’ll  need:

  • Tomato seeds of your choice
  • Potting Soil
  • Planting Pots. I use the larger “Jiffy” containers so the plant can be put directly into the ground when ready.


  • Fill your planter pots with potting soil or seed starter mix and wet them well with warm water.
  • Put a seed in the pot and cover about 1/4″ with potting soil.
  • Put the containers with the seeds under direct light- a florescent light on a shelf works well. The light should be no more than 6 to 8 ” above the containers.
  • Keep the soil damp and the plants should sprout in about 7 to 10 days.
  • Keep the plants in the direct light until they are ready to transplant outside.

To transplant outside:

  • Do not transplant until the soil is warm and the temperatures at night is above 50 degrees.
  • Transplant after the plant is about 6″ tall and has several sets of leaves.
  • Water the hole for the plant well.
  • Put organic fertilizer in the hole before the planting.
  • Remove the first 2 leaves at the bottom of the stem.
  • When transplanting, put the plant into the soil with the stem covered up to the bottom set of leaves. The tomato will grow roots from the stem and will be stronger.
  • Water the plant well with liquid organic compost tea.
  • Cover the plant with a gallon plastic jug (with the top and bottom cut off) around the plant to protect it from the wind and allow it to “harden”.
  • Fertilize weekly with compost tea.

-Ann Ruten, Sisters Gardens

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