Make your own seedlings of tomatoes makes it possible to obtain old tomato plants, even rare varieties, whose taste quality is absolutely incomparable. It is therefore much better than buying plants in garden centers because there is not always a sufficiently rich choice. Let’s see what time of year to sow your tomatoes and what is the procedure to follow.
When to sow tomato seeds?
It is from the end of February and until mid-April that we start by sowing the tomatoes. The principle is as follows:
- Count one seed per pot,
- Sow in compressed peat,
- The substrate must always remain moist, watering must be frequent,
- It is essential to place the seedlings indoors, in the sun, because they must be warm, preferably in a greenhouse. At this time of year, sometimes severe frosts are still to be feared.
As tomato sowing is carried out in covered environment, they can be done from the end of January. This allows you to anticipate even if, two months later, when the time has come to transplant your feet, it will still be too early to install them outside… risk of frost obliges. This is why we must provide a frame in order to see the plants start up, sheltered from the cold.
We will take care to plant in the ground from the beginning of May or, better still, after the Ice Saints, a crucial climatological period that takes place from May 11 to 13, three days during which it can still freeze.
How to sow your tomatoes?
The seedlings do not present any particular difficulty and that avoids buying its plants. In this way, you can grow different varieties of tomatoes while preserving your budget. Either way, it’s always better to produce fruits and vegetables from your own seeds whenever possible and you take some pride in that.
The conditions to respect are the following :
- Keep your seedlings in a room where the temperature is between 18 and 20 ° C,
- Place its seedlings in full light, for example not far from a window,
- Use egg trays or even a small box if you do not have a greenhouse.
The process to follow to sow his tomatoes is as follows:
- Soften the seed coat by soaking in water 24 hours before sowing, knowing that this step is optional but widely used because it facilitates germination,
- Place a drainage layer of two good centimeters on the bottom of a box, either clay balls or coarse gravel,
- Cover the drainage layer with a mixture of 20% sand, 40% soil and 40% homemade compost, which is preferable to commercial soil which is generally not sufficiently rich.
- Use a seeder to sow the seeds of tomatoes which should be spaced from each other 4 to 5 cm,
- Cover the seeds with three millimeters of the sand / earth / compost mixture,
- Ensure good contact between the seeds and the substrate by tamping with the hand,
- Moisten to allow germination to start. Be careful not to use a watering can or a bottle, but only a mist or a spray,
- Place a transparent glass, plastic or plexiglass cover on the box, and place it inside, in the light and in the heat,
- Remove the cover as soon as the plants emerge from the soil.
If you choose to sow various varieties of tomatoes, you should plan one box per variety and use labels to identify them without risk of error.
Thoroughly clean all kinds of collection buckets in order to transplant each young plant there as soon as two or three true leaves will have formed. It will then only remain to let them strengthen themselves a little in the shelter before planting them in their final place. Weather permitting, the buckets can spend an hour or two in full sun outside, but no more.