tomato transplantsHow about growing tomato seeds and transplants indoors?

There are several known methods to get tomato seeds started, While you may opt for any of them you must ensure certain pre-requisites.

It is really crucial that you start with fresh seed. Aging of the seeds with increased exposure could cause them to attempt to come out of dormancy. It is therefore extremely essential that all the necessary factors for germination are properly ensured otherwise the seed development process will stall and the tomato seed will lose viability.

Seeds that are exposed to moisture and heat over time while in storage will activate enzymes which start the germination process. If these seeds are not planted in an appropriate growing medium with a steady supply of moisture, the process will be halted and the seeds will lose viability. 

Experts opine that the seeds may be planted in sterile containers filled with growing medium specifically formulated for starting seeds. Small containers are the easiest to transport from one location to another and this will become important after the seedlings emerge (germinate) from the medium.

Small containers would be a better medium as the small containers are effective such as 4 inch pots that have been sanitized with a 10 percent bleach solution. Tomato transplants will need about 4 inches of depth to establish a good root system prior to transplanting outdoors.

Keeping the tomato seeds properly seeds moist and warm until they emerge is very important. Temperatures of about 80 degrees Fahrenheit are optimal. Master Gardeners also advise that you could place the containers on top of water heaters. Light isn’t important until after the seedlings have emerged.

As soon as the seedlings start emerging out off the soil, they’ll need light in order to photosynthesize their own food. A window not exposed to a cold draft would suffice for this purpose. You may also use a fluorescent grow lamp alternatively. Place the lamp about 18 inches above the seedlings and allow them to remain on for at least 16 hours daily. You’ll need to continue to keep the seedlings warm. At this point, 65 degrees Fahrenheit is perfect. In case of a window being used as a light source rotating the plants becomes essential.

Tomatoes need almost eight weeks before acquiring the status of being transplantable. Ensure that the transplants do not remain indoors for longer period otherwise these will become weak and leggy.

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