How to Care for Tomato Plants - A Guide

Tomato Seedling - tender and young
Tomato Seedling - tender and young | Source

Growing tomatoes from seeds all you need to know

Tomato seedlings – growing, nurturing and caring for tomato seedlings is a small guide that I’ve written after thoroughly researching this topic and I’ve also added a few points from my own personal experiences. Growing tomatoes from seeds is every gardeners dream. The excitement you feel when you get your first fruit is truly amazing and unmatched. If you plan to grow tomato seedlings you’ll need to ask yourself a basic question – “When to plant tomato seedlings”. When exactly you plant your tomato seedlings depends on various factors as discussed in this article.

That’s not all you’re going to find in this article; you’ll also get all the information you need regarding the common doubt “transplant tomato seedlings” – check out the exact procedure that needs to be followed when transplanting tomato seedlings and when you need to do it.

Caring for tomato seedlings a hard task for some, but it is really important as well-nourished plants will eventually grow better and stronger; thereby, producing not just a higher yield but tastier and lively tomatoes. Many of us just grow and water the tomato seedlings without providing proper care. You’ll surely get fruit – but not as much as you hoped for.

When to plant tomato seedlings?

When to plant tomato seedlings is a common question asked by every tomato gardener. The answer basically depends on the place you’re from and the weather conditions prevailing in that particular year. Basically, planting tomato seeds is done about two months before the beginning of spring. You’ll need to plant the tomato seedlings indoors at this time as they’ll need to grow a bit before their ready to be planted in the outside world. Within 2 weeks of their growth they’ll be ready to take on the outside climate. If you still have doubts regarding the exact time to plant tomato seedlings in your area you could consult a garden expert or any of your friends who plant tomatoes year after year. I hope this answers the question and erases all doubts from your mind regarding – When to plant tomato seedlings.

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Growing tomatoes from seeds and caring for tomato seedlings

If you’re planning on growing tomatoes from seeds then you’ll need to begin indoors. The container you choose should have soil rich in nutrients and the moisture level should be maintained at a suitable level – not too wet neither too dry. When growing tomatoes from seeds you’ll need to plant the tomato seeds in tiny furrows which are separated by at least half an inch or more.

Once the seeds are placed inside the furrows you can then gently cover up the furrows with a pinch of soil. These containers need to be kept in a warm place so that the seeds can germinate well. Once the seeds germinate and the plant is visible you can then place the containers in a corner that receives ample sunlight – for instance the windowsill. If you can’t get a spot indoors that receives good sunlight you could also use fluorescent bulbs. But, natural light is always better and preferred.

The tomato plants will emerge with just their cotyledon leaves present. Their still tender and need the most care in this stage. They grow rapidly and you’ll notice a huge change every single day. Caring for tomato seedlings also consists of giving them enough sunlight – you can easily tell by the colour of the leaves; the greener they’re the better.

The stage of growing tomatoes from seedlings is now completed. The plants will continue to grow for about two weeks indoors within the container they were first planted in. Once they’ve grown to a decent size it’s time to transplant tomato seedlings.

If you're looking for a complete guide right from planting to harvesting explained in steps then you'd love the article I've written titled: How to plant a tomato plant in your garden or a container

The first true leaf
The first true leaf | Source

Transplant tomato seedlings – how to go about

Once the tomato plants have grown to a desired height and girth it’s time to transplant the tomato seedlings. You should wait until true leaves have grown on each of the tomato seedlings. Now that the tomato seedlings have grown you will have to plant them each in individual pots or containers. This is known as pricking out the tomato seedlings.

You need to take care and perform this task gently. When pricking you’ll need to hold the plant below the cotyledon and scoop up the plant from below the roots. You need to get the plant along with the whole root system. Use a small scoop or a spoon/fork to achieve this.

Now dig furrows in each of the containers and gently place the plants into the furrows. The whole part below the cotyledons needs to be buried as this will make the plant to grow firm and strong. A sturdy plant will not collapse due to wind. The plant will readily grow roots from the part of the stem buried. Once the plants are placed gently water the plants so that the loose soil settles and the plant can be firmly fixed in the container. Transplanting tomato seedlings is an easy task provided you have the patience to do it right.

Don't forget to add the right tomato fertilizers to the soil as well because tomatoes are known as heavy feeders. Also, when you add fertilizers you'd need to know how to water the tomato plants that you grow. Mastering these basics is the first step towards a successful harvest and juicy tomatoes.

What's your opinion?

According to me the tomato is a fruit. What do you say? I've clearly explained the reasons that prove it's a fruit as well as the common reasons that make you think that it's a veggie.

Tomato seedlings turning yellow

Tomato seedlings turning yellow is something that happens very often. There are various reasons regarding the yellowing of tomato plants. Anything right from excess watering, overdose of fertilizers, lack of nutrients and many other factors cause yellowing of tomato plants. I've written a whole article about yellow tomato plant leaves, all your doubts regarding tomato seedlings turning yellow will be cleared.

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Comments 23 comments

ThompsonMorgon 5 years ago

Really impressive article including all you need to know about growing tomatoes. Found the videos really interesting as well. Good stuff!!


lobobrandon profile image

lobobrandon 5 years ago Author

Hi ThompsonMorgon thanks for the comment :)

Glad you found the article interesting and the videos good :)


Hubertsvoice 5 years ago

Very good agricultural tutorial.


lobobrandon profile image

lobobrandon 5 years ago Author

Thanks Hubert :)


Hubertsvoice 5 years ago

Sorry it took me so long to answer your response. I was making a tomato and cheese sandwich.


lobobrandon profile image

lobobrandon 5 years ago Author

Haha hope you enjoyed it :)


Hubertsvoice 5 years ago

Indeed I did. Thank you.


lobobrandon profile image

lobobrandon 5 years ago Author

Thank you for taking the time to read and making this hub more lively with your comments :)


Hubertsvoice 5 years ago

Not a problem.


jfay2011 profile image

jfay2011 5 years ago

very interesting hub. I like growing tomatoes. One year, I tried to save the seeds from a tomato I got at the grocery store.


lobobrandon profile image

lobobrandon 5 years ago Author

Hi jfay :) thanks for stopping by :)

If you get seeds for cheap you should buy them instead of saving seeds, at least for the first lot as then you know that they are grown properly i.e. not hybrids. Then from the next year on you could use the seeds saved from your previous crop :)


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 5 years ago from USA

I like growing tomatoes, but I haven't tried to grow them from seeds. Maybe I will have to try it this spring.


lobobrandon profile image

lobobrandon 5 years ago Author

Ya :) Hope it works out :)

When's spring in your place?


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 5 years ago from USA

Spring officially starts in March, but we can't plant until May.


lobobrandon profile image

lobobrandon 5 years ago Author

Oh so I've got lots of time then to get my tomato hubs up on google. They rank on page 3 and 4 for their main keywords :). Thanks for the reply. Here the tomato season is around mid Jan


JT Walters profile image

JT Walters 5 years ago from Florida

This is such a well written professional article. I am completely impressed with your writing talent.

Your friend and fan.

JT


lobobrandon profile image

lobobrandon 5 years ago Author

Hi JT

Thanks for the comment, I really appreciate it and it's a perfect birthday wish :D

Regards

Brandon


Apostle Jack profile image

Apostle Jack 5 years ago from Atlanta Ga

Great hub.You bring out the tomato in me..and all its many ways of use. Thanks for sharing.


lobobrandon profile image

lobobrandon 5 years ago Author

Hi Apostle Jack

Thanks for the comment and gratitude :) I enjoyed writing it as well :D

Regards

Brandon


cr00059n 5 years ago

Lobobrandon, tomatoes were part of my main dishes back in England and London. My family always harvested these vegetables on the roof of the house. We used green technology, fertilizer and the techniques you wrote about to make it work. Thanks for sharing. Cool New Article. Keep it up.


lobobrandon profile image

lobobrandon 5 years ago Author

Thanks cr00059n :) glad to know


thumbi7 profile image

thumbi7 17 months ago from India

I have a tomato plan growing on my balcony. It looks healthy. But it is taking so much time to flower

I dont know why


lobobrandon profile image

lobobrandon 17 months ago Author

Hey Thumbi, sometimes it takes time as it also depends on the weather, being the rainy season it would probably take longer. They need sunlight.

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