The Best Tomato Seedlings: How to Grow Healthy and Strong Seedlings

When to plant tomato seedlings in 2023

Tomato seeds are sown for seedlings about 55 days before transplanting into the soil. Also, the time of planting depends on the variety of tomatoes – the earlier the vegetable, the earlier it is sown.

The winter in 2023 is quite warm, and spring is likely to be early. Therefore, you can plant tomatoes in seedlings from about February 20 to March 15. And transplanting seedlings to the plot in this case will be possible from April 15 to the end of May.

If you are going to grow tomatoes not on the plot, but in a greenhouse, you can plant seedlings even in early February.

Treatment of tomato seeds before planting

If you buy packaged seeds from large producers, then they are most likely already treated in advance. This should be indicated on the package. But if you picked the seeds by hand or bought them at the market, they need to be disinfected from diseases.

To treat, dissolve 1 tablespoon without a slide of baking soda in 1 liter of warm water. Soak the seeds in this solution for 24 hours. Then spread the seeds out on a cloth – let them dry slightly. The seeds can then be planted.

How to sow tomato seedlings

Fill plastic cups, shallow boxes, or other containers with moist soil. Make furrows in the container 1 cm deep with a distance of 4 cm between them. Place the seeds at a distance of 2 cm from each other and lightly sprinkle with soil.

How to care for tomato sprouts

Cover the seeds with cling film or glass so that the moisture stays inside. Place the container with the seeds near the radiator – they need a temperature of 23-25 degrees to germinate. In 4-8 days the first sprouts will appear – the higher the temperature, the earlier the seeds will sprout.

After sprouting, the seedlings need good light and warmth. Place containers with tomatoes near the battery in a well-lit place. The soil of the seedlings should not dry out. Check it every day and water it as needed. Remove the film gradually over a week.

Young seedlings do not tolerate watering overnight. This can cause the plant to freeze. Therefore, water tomatoes in the morning, so that during the day the sun slightly dries the soil.

Tomato plants can be watered 2 weeks after the first leaves appear and then every 2 weeks thereafter. Tomato seedlings can be fed with manure, grass, bio humus, nitrogen, or phosphorus fertilizer.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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