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Monday, December 23, 2013

Starting Tomato Seeds Indoors for New Gardeners: Starting Mixes, Seed Cells and Planting Tomato Seeds

Starting Tomato Seeds Indoors for New Gardeners:
Starting Mixes, Seed Cells and Planting Tomato Seeds

These videos address the first three areas for successfully starting tomato seeds and other garden vegetable seeds indoors. I have a new blog for new gardeners called: My First Vegetable Garden. It will totally focus on new gardeners for the 2014 season. Coming soon... will be videos on lighting, feeding, watering and transplanting your indoor tomatoes and seedlings.

The first area covered is starting mixes.  Starting mixes are important because you want a sterile starting medium. Bringing in soil from outside or using soil mediums that have earth in them, typically brings in trouble in the form of disease and fungus. Starting mixes usually come in 8 quart bags and they are dry.


You want to start seeds in a sterile starting mix. No life. A combination of peat moss, perlite and vermiculite are the main sterile mediums used for staring seeds and growing transplants. This video clearly explains starting mixes and how to prepare them for your seeds.




Starting mixes may or may not have fertilizers in them. A lot of products do. If you make your own starting mix, you would want to add some sort of fertilizer. There are many choices. You can also skip the initial addition of fertilizer and use a water soluble fertilizer later. You can even do both. It is your choice.

Once you've made or chosen your seed starting mix, you want to purchase the supplies needed for starting seeds indoors. They are inexpensive and can be found at many places. If you can't find them locally, you can order them on-line. Whatever you choose to start your seeds in, you want to make sure the starting mix is pre-moisten and properly packed into your seed starting cells. Two steps that can make a huge difference toward successful germination.


Starting your seeds in dry mix or in loosely packed starting medium will inhibit or delay germination. It is really important to starts your seeds off properly and give them the greatest chance for timely germination.




Once you have your seed cells packed with starting mix, you are ready to add seeds. I recommend starting two tomato seeds per cell and thinning them to one once they grow their first 'True Leaves.'




These videos are only the first steps in getting your seeds started indoors. I will be doing future videos on lighting, feeding, watering and transplanting the seedlings in 2014.


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