Tomato seeds planted inside-March 21

Bleaching pots before use

drying on an OLD towel

Last evening I planted my tomato seeds-both heirloom and hybrid seeds. I brought out and set up the light boxes and heating mats last week. Before planting my seeds, I always clean the little pots with some bleach water that I use for starting tomato seedlings. It’s important to disinfect the pots because you don’t want your plants to pick up any soil borne diseases. I use about a 10%  bleach to water ratio.  I use the kitchen sink and try to not get dirt everywhere from the used pots. The trick is to convince your partner that it is ok! Just tell them you are disinfecting the sinks out (which is true)! I picked up the seed starting soil-Metro mix 300 from Agua Fria Nursery last week. It comes in a big bag but you will be planting up into larger containers in a few days after the second set of true leaves appear and besides if you have any left over, you can use it for next year. I’ve bought many seed starting soil mixes (usually at the big box stores) and hate the way the water rolls off of the soil when you first go to use it. With this soil mix (Metro Mix 300) I just plant the tomato seeds about 1/4 inch deep and water it all at once. It saves time and anything that saves time I like!

Metro Mix 300

After I water the seeds, I put them under my lights and on top of a heating mat which is great for warming the soil for the seeds to germinate. I’m starting the tomatoes later this year because last year I started the first week of March and they got too big-about 3-4 feet tall because I couldn’t put them out with the cold spring we had.  This year I’m hoping to get them transplanted into the garden around mid April (with protection) weather permitting. Why do I think I might be able to get them in early this year? We are in a La Nina which generally means warmer weather in spring but less rain. By planting them later if I have to, they shouldn’t be as big as last year.

seeds on heat mat

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7 comments on “Tomato seeds planted inside-March 21

  1. Kay says:

    Love the photos and “how-to-do-it” in this article. Will do a link on our April Santa Fe Garden page.

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  2. Candace Chan says:

    I live in Southern California zone 10 & started the tomato seeds in March 2 indoor. I put them under a regular desk top study light (I am being cheap & didn’t wanna spend money on buying any growing light 😉 ) for a week or so, then stopped doing it as the weather here started to warm up ( I still take them indoor at night when weather is in the 50s) . Until today, the seeds are still not sprouting yet. I am keeping my fingers crossed and waiting for the little seedlings to sprout, hopefully soon 😉

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    • Hi Candace-
      Good to hear from you again. My guess is you will need to replant the seeds. I think they should have germinated by now. Make sure they don’t dry out and your seeds are not old. Plant them 1/4 inch deep and put 2 seeds per hole (cut the weaker one off later)-that way if one doesn’t germinate the other one probably will. I put some ‘play sand’ on top of the seeds so they can push through easily but it isn’t necessary unless you have some around. Do you have a heating mat to put them on? A heating mat helps keep the soil in the pot at the right temperature for germination. Also if your soil is drying out, a lid is good to keep the humidity up.You can get them online or at some nurseries. They should probably germinate depending on the seed within 15 days and most likely a lot sooner. Try again. A few years ago I had to start over too. You are in a great zone so you have lots of time! Let me know how it goes.

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  3. […] tomatoes, organic vegetable gardening, seed starting tips, … … Follow this link: Tomato seeds planted inside-March 21 « Giantveggiegardener's Blog ← Edible Herbs, Flowers & Other Edibles – Grow Your Own Dinner […]

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  4. Thanks Crystal for that bit of info. I didn’t know that. It’s nice we all learn from each other!

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