Saturday, April 11, 2009

Planting Tomatoes

Natural disasters, strange weather and the outrageous cost of diesel full have all contributed to the sky rocketing cost of tomatoes. Consumers who never considered gardening suddenly find themselves standing at a fork in the road. They can either decide to give up on eating tomatoes or they can learn how to plant tomatoes in their own yard. Read on to learn how to plant a tomato seed.

1) Before you can plant your tomato seeds you have to decide what kind of tomato you want to grow. Spend some time reading about what variety of tomato appeals to you. You can purchase tomato seeds at co-ops, garden stores, nurseries, online and through gardening magazines.

2) Don’t start digging up your backyard the minute you get home with your packet of tomato seeds. You’ll get the best results if you first plant the seeds in small plastic containers. Fill the plastic containers with sterile soil (you can pick this up at the same time you purchase your tomato seeds).

3) Once you’ve filled the containers with the sterile soil, use a little water to moisten the soil. The soil should be damp, not saturated.

4) Insert your tomato seed into the sterile soil. The seed should be planted approximately ¼-inch down.

5) Keep your freshly planted tomato seeds in a darkened area for a few days. Many seeds prefer to germinate in the dark before they are exposed to light. Try to keep the soil moist (not wet) while you wait for your seeds to germinate.

6) Your tomatoes should germinate within five days. Once they have germinated you will need to place the plants somewhere that they can receive about 6 hours of sunlight a day. A growing light is an excellent way to encourage the growth of your young tomato plants while you wait for them to grow large enough for transplant.

(Note: I like using the Jiffy Plant starter pellets found in the garden section of the store. You keep them watered and seeds fit in the center nicely.

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