Foreword: Growing any vegetable from Seed. This article refers to growing tomatoes, the steps are the same for any vegetable.
Hello everyone, I would like to begin talking about starting your tomato plants from seed with talking about organic soil. What is organic you may ask? Well good organic soil has living organisms within the soil make-up. A good soil contents has things like chicken manure, earthworm castings, and something called Bat Quano. All of these materials are good for your plants because they promote healthy bacteria which feeds the soil and your garden plants.
A lot of people shy away from growing their plants from seed because they think that it might be to hard for them. I think it simply is a fear of the unknown. I will attempt to get you through the necessary steps to grow you very own successful tomato plants starting from seed. The first step is to select a quality organic tomato seed from your local garden center. The seeds should display the USDA organic label on the package.
You will need a few seedling growing supplies to start your plants off properly. The first item is a seedling heating mat. This mat is necessary because it warms the root area 10 to 20 degrees over room temperatures to improve germination. The organic seeds you selected need the best growing medium possible to grow. You should select seed starting mix which contains Canadian sphagnum peat moss, grade perlite, and vermiculite. All of these ingredients provide the optimum environment for seed germination.
The second item necessary is a seedling tray to place you seeds into the growing medium. These trays come in various sizes such as 50 to 75 individual planting cells for your seeds. One smart way is to purchase a small hot house growing kit which come with a UL listed waterproof seedling heating mat. A 6″ tall humidity dome, 11″ X 22″ watertight base tray, and a 72 cell seedling insert plus instructions with a few growing tips.
To start your seed sowing or planting you fill your trays with soil and poke a small hole in the soil to drop one seed in the hole and proceed on to the next hole to plant. Once all of your seeds are planted into your growing medium you will want to lightly water the soil till moist, but not soggy.
The third item which is very important is a growing light such as the Jump start T-5 growing light. This growing light has a special grow bulb design to closely simulate the suns natural infrared rays. A key note here is to have your light on so that when your first seedlings start to come up from the soil they immediately receive the light from the above lamp. The grow light should be on between 12 to 14 hours a day to help your young tomato plants thrive and grow. As your plants get stronger and start to develop its first leaves you will soon be able to transplant your organic tomato plants outside. Stay tuned for more helpful garden tips about properly transplanting your plants.