from the MSU Extension Service
Like many home gardeners I like to grow my own tomatoes from seed for the coming summer season. It’s an easy process, so let me share my latest tips for starting your own tomato at home. In the past I’ve demonstrated using coir pellets and cell trays to start tomato seeds. Lately I’ve been trying to save tray space by sowing seeds densely and be able to start more varieties at a time in a smaller space. Let me show you how. Of course we need good commercial container mix. You could use germination or seed starting mix, but I like using this general-purpose container mix. And you’ll need cell packs, pots and seeds. In the past if I wanted to sow six different tomato varieties, I would sow one or two seeds per cell in six cell packs. These packs would take up this amount of space. Now I just use a single 6-cell pack for all six varieties. I sow multiple seeds of a variety in each cell and be sure to add a label. I’ll cover and place on my germination rack under LED lights. After germination I let the group of seedlings grow until they form true leaves. Removing the plug I’ll gently tease the seedlings apart and transplant these seedlings into 3-inch cupusing the same container mix. After about three weeks these will be ready to transplant into my EarthBoxes. Starting tomatoes like this works great and it works for peppers too. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman and I’ll see you next time on Southern Gardening.