Growing Tomatoes From Seed

I let out a little gasp the other day while reading a San Diego gardening magazine.  I realized that NOW is the time to sow tomato seeds indoors!  The last average frost in my region of Southern California is late March.  Tomato seeds can be sown 8 weeks before this average last frost, which will vary depending on your particular area.  Check into your last frost to be sure.

Seen as though my relatives are now also saving empty toilet paper rolls for me (kinda funny, but hey, I’ll take ’em), I used them after cutting them in half.  I didn’t use any special seed starter soil, just regular organic potting soil.  Tomato seeds are a little tricky for a few reasons: they’re small and difficult to handle, they need to be sown at 1/8″ below the soil, and they are known for being hard to start from seed.  Just make sure you plant them at the correct depth and keep moist.  I use the mist selection on my hose nossle so as not to wash away the seeds.   They need as many daylight hours as possible and they sleep in the garage at night to protect them from the cool temps.  I created my own little greenhouse by way of a clear plastic storage bin.  (Sorry, xmas ornaments!)  I invert the bin so that the seedling rolls are sitting on the storage bin lid and then I place the storage bin over the top, just like a mini greenhouse.  Free and eco-friendly!  It’s large enough to store about 30 seedling rolls.

Here are the varieties I decided on:

Black Krim, Rainbow Cherry Blend, Brandywine and Cherokee Purple. The rainbow cherry seeds are dyed the same color as the resulting cherry tomato to allow you to know which color you're planting. When you open the seed packet, you look down to see a rainbow of seed colors. Pretty cool.

Just 6 days after sowing they have begun to emerge!  I get excited checking them daily for new seedlings.  It’s awe-inspiring to think that these fragile little guys will (fingers crossed) be robust, productive tomato plants come summer.

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One thought on “Growing Tomatoes From Seed

  1. You are so inventive! Are you really my little girl who hesitated every time I wanted to teach you how to cook? You have always loved gardening and I am so happy to see your love “blooming” into an eatable garden. Love all your blogs, keep them coming. XOXO Mom

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