tomato plants - planting seeds
Adobe Stock

Start your tomato plants inside! Here’s the step-by-step process to get you growing

You don’t have to wait until it’s warm outside. Start tomato plants indoors!

Gardening enthusiasts often face the dilemma of when to start planting, especially when it comes to temperature-sensitive plants like tomatoes. While it might be too early to plant outdoors, you can start tomato seeds indoors!

Horticulture manager Jessica Berrett guided us through the process, from seed selection to transplanting.


Choosing the Right Seeds

There are lots of seeds to choose from, so Jessica gave us a few guidelines. If you have limited space, such as a balcony or patio, look for seeds labeled as ‘determinate,’ ‘patio,’ or ‘compact,’ which will grow into smaller, manageable plants.

For a variety of flavors and colors, consider cherry tomatoes, which are not only delicious, but also easy to grow.

Jessica said you can find a lot of tomato seeds locally. “You don’t have to go online to get these. Your local nurseries will have a lot of them.”

Seed Starting Materials

When it comes to materials, simplicity is key.

“Some people get hung up on this part, but don’t overthink it,” Jessica said. “It’s actually really easy to find stuff even just around your house to start seeds.”

You can even use repurposed yogurt containers, paper cups, or cupcake liners. Ensure proper drainage by poking a hole in the bottom.

“Biodegradable pots are another great option that you can purchase locally at nurseries or even Home Depot,” Jessica recommended. “These are fun because they’re eco-friendly. They’re just going to disappear, unlike the plastics.”

Jessica also likes this seed starter kit from Amazon.

The Planting Process

Planting tomato seeds is straightforward. Fill your container with potting soil, which is lighter and more suitable for seed growth than regular yard soil. Make a small hole with a chopstick or similar tool, place a couple of seeds in, and cover them lightly with soil.

“I would plant at least two, but most of the time they’re both going to germinate,” Jessica advised. “So a little seed goes a long way!”

Water them and wait for the magic to happen.

Caring for Your Seedlings

Tomato seeds typically sprout within a week. They don’t need light until you see the leaves, so you can keep them in a convenient spot until then.

“When you see them sprout, you’ll move them under a grow light,” Jessica said.

That can be as simple as an LED bulb in a desk lamp. If you’re looking for a legit grow light, Jessica recommends looking on Amazon.

Keep the soil moist and a comfortable room temperature to keep them growing healthily.

Transferring to the Garden

After the risk of frost has passed, you can move your tomato plants outside.

“That date changes every year, so you’ll want to keep an eye on the weather,” Jessica advised.

Find more plant advice from Jessica on Instagram, @plant.geek.

Studio 5 has affiliate relationships, so we may get a small share of the revenue from your purchases. Items are sold by the retailer, not by KSL. All prices are subject to change.

Add comment