Successfully growing tomatoes in the garden often start in germination kit. Because garden soil can contain many organisms that can cause a disease to tomato seeds. So, it is better to start with this equipment indoor – whether in a greenhouse or sunny windows ledge. However, make the seeds germinate on the media is always tricky and need more practicing. And how long does it take for tomato seeds to germinate is depend on some condition like seeds selection, the container, timing, light and also the water.
Preparing The Tomato Seeds
The best way is to purchase a prepared seed starting mix. It already comes with mix pasteurized soil or compost. And also sand, vermiculite or perlite. You can store tomato seeds much longer than others, just make sure the storage condition is cool and dry. The temperature should maintain around 65° Fahrenheit to preserve the seeds quality. Humidity will shorten the seeds life.
Many references give a recommendations to soak the seeds at least 8-12 hours. But do not exceed 24 hours. Usually, you can start planting in the morning if you start to soak process in bedtime. Use warm water to get a good result
The Germination Container
Choose the right container that gives the seeds the moist and warm condition. You also need pay attention to the drainage of the bin. I found a commercial germination station with a heat map, tray, 72/128 cell, and dome. Give great protection from temperature and scavengers that can harm your plants. Put your preferred media and plug the seed to start growing.
The container will provide enough water to the seeds. Furthermore, it is also made easy for air to reach the seed for it to absorb the oxygen that a vital part during germination.
Planting The Seeds
First, check the climate zone map for your area. The recommended schedule for outdoor planting should be two weeks following the average last frost date. Or you can just ask a local nursery or another gardener to find the right time to start planting.
Not all seeds will successfully germinate in your media, so add at least 20% more seeds than you need. Fill the container cell with dampened media, and plant your seed with 1/4 inch deep. Cover with soil mix and press the soil with your finger. It makes good seed and soil contact that very important for germination.
Spray the seeds with water if the top of soil looks dry. Be careful not to add much water; the seeds may rot. Besides the water and air, this seeds also need a sunny window at least 4 hours a day. The germination speed also depends on the temperature; warmer is better for germination process.
Waiting For Germination
If the seeds have all the requirement such as water, air, and warm temperature, the tomato seeds will germinate in 5 to 10 days. Try to maintain the temperature between 70° to 80°F. When temperature down below 50°F, it is a poor condition for germination.