Tomato Plant Seed: Learning the Factors for Its Growth & Development

Starting to grow tomato plant seed takes patience. One easily does it in a greenhouse or even a windowsill.

We offer this guide to give you all the steps you need know about how to grow tomato plant from seed. This includes possible soil, planting pot, and lighting suggestions.

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Growing the Tomato Plant Seed

Ripe Sprouting tomato Fruit with seeds pattern on a plate from Tomato Plant Seed

Image: CC by 2.0, mykhal, via Wikipedia Commons

Whether you are a green-thumbed gardener or new to the adventure of gardening, planting tomatoes is an exciting opportunity. Tomatoes are very versatile, and nearly every garden has at least one variety of them.

Whether you grow tomatoes to sell, make salsa or eat fresh, we bring you few steps you need to take to start growing your tomato plant seed.

This guide shows you the basic steps and helpful tips on how to grow a tomato plant seed.  We also suggested a few other easy-to-grow plants to start.

Soon, you own your beautiful tomato plant in your house or row-upon-row of excellent tomatoes in your field.

Your Tomato Plant Seed Options

Ripe beautiful tomato Fruit with seeds pattern on a plate from Tomato Plant Seed

Image: CC by 2.0,
Brett Taylor, via Wikipedia Commons

After a few minutes of looking through any seed magazine, you discover countless varieties of tomatoes available. With this huge variety to choose from, it feels daunting to pick the best one. The biggest decision to make when selecting seeds occurs between indeterminate or determinate tomato plants.

Determinate tomato plants appear small and typically grow to around three feet tall. Indeterminate tomato plants continue to grow, sometimes up to six feet.

If you wish to grow for a tomato in a pot or a planter box, determinate variety works the best. Tomatoes in gardens or larger areas go indeterminate.

Next, take a look at some of the wide variety of tomatoes available. Then, select a plant based on the tomato’s flavor, color, size or a number of other features.

Consider what you like the most to use your tomato. Because the best cooking tomatoes happen not necessarily the same as the best-tasting fresh tomatoes.

The Best Time for Indoor Tomato Plant Seed Growth

There remains a great range of time when you can grow seeds indoors, and it depends largely on your area. Consult a frost chart and find out the time when your area usually has its last frost.

You’ll want to start your tomato seeds six to eight weeks before that date. This can be anywhere from March to May, so make sure you know the average time in your area.

If you start too late, your tomatoes may not be ripe before the season ends. Start too soon, and you won’t have a garden warm enough for your growing plants.

Methods for Tomato Plant Seed Growth & Development

Man Checking Unripe Green Tomatoes on a Farm to show the Tomato Plant Seed growth

Image: CC by 2.0, Media Mike Hazard, via Flickr

There are a few important steps to take in growing a tomato plant seed. Once the plant is large enough to be transplanted outdoors, you can treat it like any other plant in your garden.

As a seed, however, there are special soil, water, temperature and potting features you’ll need to consider. Here are some of the basic steps to take when handling tomato seeds.

These steps show you how to start a tomato plant indoors, either near a window or in a greenhouse, and keep soil temperature warm enough for the seed to germinate.

Either way, your outdoor garden won’t be warm enough to get these seeds started in time for peak growing season.

With that in mind, unless you live in a very warm climate, you’ll have to start your seeds indoors and transplant them after the frost date.

Containers

There are several containers available for your seed to start its journey to becoming a tomato plant. First, you can use a pot, usually a smaller one, around four inches tall.

You can also start your tomato plant in a cell pack, which is the plastic pots used in garden centers. They typically come in bundles, so you can break them apart or plant multiple tomato seeds altogether.

The containers that you use usually consider the space in tomato plants.

Soil

Unlike tomato plants, seeds don’t want garden soil or regular soil. Choose a specialty soil, either called potting soil or seeding mix.

These soils are sterile, so you won’t have to worry about diseases killing your tomato plant before it reaches maturity. You’ll need about one-quarter inch of soil on top of your seeds.

Make sure to know the tips on how to get rid of tomato worms naturally. Various types of fertilizer for tomatoes usually require proper types of soil.

Seeds

Once you’ve chosen your tomato seed varieties, you’ll want to place two or three seeds in each pot. This way, at least one of them should sprout successfully, provided you follow the correct steps.

Placing only one seed in each pot may prevent you from wasting seeds, but you may also have lots of pots that don’t sprout. The ideal soil temperature is 80 degrees, but 60 degrees is sufficient.

Tomato plants growing in garbage cans beside the house to show the Tomato Plant Seed growth

Image: CC0 1.0 Public Domain, Tomwsulcer, via Wikipedia Commons

Essentials

Other than soil, there are several fundamental ingredients that make all plants grow. Consider each one, and make sure your tomato seed is starting off on the right foot.

Temperature

Room temperature is fine, but tomatoes prefer slightly warmer areas, up to 75 degrees. After the seed germinates and you can see the seedling, you’ll want to move them into a slightly cooler room, around 65 degrees.

Light

Tomato seeds need plenty of light to grow. Depending on your climate zone, you may not have enough daylight for your seeds to grow properly.

If you live in more northern areas, consider using a garden lamp to get the most sunlight for your tomato seeds.

Water

While seeds need water, there are many diseases that can quickly kill them if they remain too wet, particularly if there is no air circulation.

Be sure to have some air movement around the soil, and keep it damp. You don’t need a lot of water for a seed, but the top of the soil should stay moist with proper methods of watering.

Thinning

Once the seed finally starts to sprout, you’re almost ready for transplanting. As the tiny tomato plant seed grow, you need to make sure there’s only one in each pot or cell pack.

By trimming the smaller, weaker seedlings, you allow enough room and nutrients for the healthiest one to grow successfully.

Transplanting

Watch out for true leaves. A seedling has two small leaves, which are called seed leaves. After those two, you should begin to see more leaves, which are called true leaves.

These leaves show that the seedling is about ready to be transplanted. Once there are two sets of true leaves, you can add water-soluble fertilizer, but be careful not to over-fertilize.

It’s a good idea to add only half as much as you normally would. Once the last frost date has come and gone, you should be ready to transplant your seedlings outside.

When planted in a well-tended garden, you can have fresh tomatoes in about eight weeks.

Frost

Of course, the average frost date isn’t an exact science. Often, there will be weeks of warm weather, followed by an unexpected frost. If there is a late frost, it could kill all your tomato plant seed. If you’re concerned about a late frost, there are a few products that can help protect your seedlings.

First, there are plant covers that help keep your plant safe. These tube-like devices protect one plant. You can also get row covers or garden fabric that can protect more than one tomato plant at a time.

Do I Use a Tomato Plant Seed Seed or Starter?

Tomato plants grown from seeds near window at the house to show the Tomato Plant Seed growth

Image: CC0 1.0 Public Domain, Tomwsulcer, via Wikipedia Commons

While starting tomatoes from seeds can be an exciting new challenge, many gardeners choose to buy starter plants. These plants are ready to be put into the ground the day you buy them and are far more convenient.

If you have trouble growing seeds indoors, this can be a great alternative. Rather than buying extra gear, like heating pads or growing stations, starters are an easy alternative if you want to plant right away.

However, there are some downsides to using starter plants. First, it’s much more expensive than buying a pack of seeds. Starter plants from a store or garden center can also be weaker.

Because they’ve spent more time moving between locations, you may not have a healthy tomato plant seed plant. Also, depending on the size of your local garden center or flower shop, you may not have many varieties of tomato plants available.

Seeds can come in hundreds of varieties, and it is far more common to find unique or heirloom varieties as seeds rather than starters.

What Else Can I Start From the Tomato Plant Seed?

Tomato Farmer Harvesting Tomatoes on a Greenhouse to show the Tomato Plant Seed growth

Image: CC0 Public Domain, Melvin Medina, via Pixnio

Once you have some experience growing tomato plant seed, you’ll realize that many vegetables have similar requirements. With a little more knowledge about each specific plant, you can easily accommodate an entire garden of starters in your home.

Whether you choose a greenhouse approach or a simple setup on your windowsill, you’ll be able to grow a large variety of seeds to create a diverse garden in the summer.

Broccoli, peppers, and eggplant are all examples of plants that should be grown indoors before transplanting into your garden.

Conclusion

Now that you know how to grow a tomato plant seed, you can see it isn’t difficult. But, best gardening methods require some know-how and a lot of patience.

As long as you start on time, buy the right soil and give it plenty of light, warmth and a little water. Then, you have tomato plant seed sprouting in no time.

It’s a simple way to save money on starters. Also, it remains a great way to choose some unique varieties of tomatoes that may not be available in your area.

Once you have a tomato plant transplanted and flourishing in your garden, all that’s left is some weeding and watering. Now, find great recipes to use your fresh, ripe tomatoes.

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Featured Image: CC 0 by Public Domain, _Alicja_, via Pixabay

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Lucy M. Clark
 

Hi there! I’m Lucy, and I’m a self-confessed garden fanatic. Gardening has always been a passion of mine and will always be my favorite pastime. Now that I am married and have one adorable son, I have the time to write and share my personal experiences with other garden enthusiasts like me.

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