Most people know that in order to have a successful garden, you need to plant seeds in the ground.
But what many people don’t know is how many seeds to put in each hole.
When you’re ready to plant tomatoes, only put a maximum of two seeds per hole. Although, there’s quite a lot to do before you can put seeds in the dirt.
Choosing a Tomato Seed
The first step to growing tomatoes is to choose the type of tomato you want to yield after spending time caring for the plant.
The best way to pick the right tomato plant is to think about how you want to use the tomatoes.
For Example – You can use tomatoes to make a sauce, use tomatoes as an ingredient on burgers and sandwiches, and some tomatoes do well as a snack.
Some tomatoes are better than others when they are cooked, mashed, and used as a sauce.
Roma, Pompeii, and San Marzano are great choices for cooking tomatoes.
They have thin skins, few seeds, and comparably less water content than other tomatoes.
The perfect types of tomatoes for slices are ones that are much larger and have a fresh crispness to them.
One or two slices should be able to cover a burger bun or toast for a BLT.
The best tomatoes for slices are Beefsteak tomatoes, but Brandywine and Mortgage Lifters are also good for sandwiches.
Cherry tomatoes are the way to go for a healthy snack that can also be used in salads or as an appetizer.
There are many different types of cherry tomatoes that vary in size, color, and taste.
If you love tomatoes but haven’t found the right one for snacking, try:
- Gardener’s Delight
- Sun Sugar
- and Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes
Planting Outside vs. Starting Inside
When you’re ready to start growing plants, there are a few things you need to take into consideration.
One of the most important decisions you’ll have to make is whether to start the plants indoors or outdoors.
There are pros and cons to both methods, but in the end, it comes down to what’s best for your climate and your schedule.
Starting the plants indoors gives you more control over the growing process.
You can control the temperature, amount of water, and type of soil the plant is exposed to.
However, starting plants indoors also requires more work.
You’ll need to provide light for the plants and make sure they get enough water and nutrients.
If you live in an area with a short growing season, it’s probably best to start your plants indoors.
This way, they’ll be ready to plant as soon as the weather warms up.
On the Other Hand – If you live in an area with a long growing season, you can wait to start your plants until the weather is warm enough.
Planting seeds directly outside is much easier and doesn’t need additional growing pots, but you do need to live somewhere that the ground doesn’t freeze.
Getting the Soil Ready
There are a few things you need to do before planting tomato seeds in the ground.
The most important is to make sure the pH of your soil is between 6 and 7.
You can lower the acidity of the soil by adding limestone, and you can increase acidity by adding sulfur, aluminum sulfate, or sulfuric acid.
Another thing to consider is the type of soil you have.
Tomatoes do well in loamy soil, and if your soil isn’t loamy, you’ll need to adjust it.
Whether you have a more clay-based soil or a sand-based soil, you should add organic compost:
- If you have clay soil, the organic matter will loosen the particles and give roots more space to move.
- If you have sandy soil, the compost will help it hold moisture and add much-needed nutrients.
The last thing to do before planting is to make sure the soil is loose.
You can do this by tilling it or digging it up with a shovel.
Watching Tomatoes Grow
All the preparation work is finished and it’s time to plant your seeds and watch them grow.
Planting the Seeds
Whether you’ve chosen to plant directly in the ground or small seedling pots, you’ll want to create a hole about 1/2 an inch deep and 2 inches apart.
Only add a maximum of two seeds per hole you make.
Once they’re in the ground, water them well. Keep the soil moist but not soggy until you see the seedlings sprout.
You’ll see those little sprouts pretty soon.
What to Expect? Tomato seeds usually take about 7 to 10 days to germinate.
Thinning the Seedlings
Once your tomato plants have sprouted, you’ll need to thin them out.
This means getting rid of all but the strongest plant in each hole.
To do this, simply snip off the weaker plants at the base with a pair of scissors. Be sure not to damage the roots of the stronger plant.
You can transplant the seedlings you’ve removed to another spot in the garden or throw them away.
Staking the Plants
As your tomato plants grow, they’ll need support.
You can do this by placing a stake in the ground next to each plant.
Tomatoes can get pretty top-heavy, so make sure the stake is at least 2 feet tall.
You can also use a tomato cage or other type of support structure.
Pruning the Plants
Once your plants have reached about 2 feet tall, you’ll need to start pruning them.
Pruning helps the plant focus its energy on producing fruit, and it also makes the plant easier to support.
To Prune a Tomato Plant – Simply remove any side shoots that have grown between the main stem and the leaves. These are called suckers, and they won’t produce fruit.
You can also remove any leaves that are touching the ground. These can attract pests and diseases.
Harvesting the Tomatoes
You did it! Your hard work has paid off and it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Tomatoes are usually ready to harvest about 70 to 80 days after planting.
The exact time will depend on the variety of tomatoes you’re growing.
To tell if a tomato is ripe, gently squeeze it. If it’s soft but still has some resistance, it’s ready to be picked.
Be sure to harvest tomatoes before they start to crack or show signs of disease. Any damaged fruit should be used right away or thrown out.
Growing tomatoes can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it does require some preparation and maintenance.
By only planting two seeds per hole and following these tips, you should be able to successfully grow healthy tomato plants that yield delicious fruit.
Enjoy your homegrown tomatoes!