Growing Tomatoes from Seeds

Growing Tomatoes from seeds is tricky, except for the volunteers that come up everywhere. Volunteers are tomato plants that sprout on their own from last years tomato plants. Usually from a tomato that fell on the ground and got covered with dirt, or from some spilled seeds. They are usually cherry tomatoes. The snails will go straight for the fresh sprouts in the garden, but leave the volunteers alone.

In the Garden

It is easier to grow tomatoes from seed in some areas than others—specifically, anywhere that doesn’t have snails. One of the trickiest parts of growing tomatoes is getting them past the stage where the snails can get them. In Southern California, we have lots of snails. See the section on pests.

Preparing the Soil

The soil should already be prepared as described above. The main thing is the soil should be slightly moist all around where the seeds are sprouting. If the sprout dries out, it will not survive, so make sure to keep it well watered or plant during a time of the year when the ground generally stays moist all day.

Growing your own Sprouts

A great way to get a head start is to get your sprouts started 4-6 weeks before you can plant in the soil. This is fairly easy to do, but requires a few items and some space to do it.

    Indoor Sprouting Checklist

  • heating pad
  • mini greenhouse
  • light source and stand
  • sprouting soil
  • seeds
  • seed markers