Folks, making good choices is everything in life, and picking the best tomato seeds for your needs is crucial. Keep in mind that some varieties prefer outdoor conditions with tons of light as others are more suited to indoors, enclosed spaces where lower lighting levels are the rule of thumb. Chances are you are going the more controlled, indoor route for any number of very smart reasons, so let’s focus on that.
The first thing you need to do is to equip yourself with a little research in order to make the best choice on your seed. Modern advances in hybrid strains have opened up a great range of choices to help you find seeds with just the right yield characteristics for your personal tastes. Auto-flowering varieties offer the great benefit that they begin flowering automatically, regardless of the photoperiod. They do this after they reach a certain level of maturity.
If you are into the most potent effects possible for consumption then the special varieties of Feminized Seeds or those specially designed to have the highest potency may be where you want to focus.
In general, seeds are the starting point of life, and in order to really control your genetics and get a genetic that has not been cloned 1000 times, you can start by seed. If you have the time to let it grow, that is.
This is one of the simplest parts of the overall process. All that you are doing here is jump starting the seeds by getting them to sprout roots. By germinating instead of placing the seeds directly into soil or a grow medium, you are helping expedite the growth process and giving your seeds the best chance for successfully growing into healthy plants. Once you’ve achieved this, then it’s all systems go for planting the seed in the grow medium. First things first – let’s look at the super simple and straightforward technique.
All you need is a glass, very little water in the bottom and a plain jane household paper towel. Simply dampen the paper towel without making it too sopping wet. The reason for this is that we don’t want to over saturate the seeds and rot them. Set your seeds onto the dampened paper towel and gently wrap them. Don’t wrap too tightly, and allow a little bit of free space for air to circulate into the mix.
Next, place the wrapped up paper towel into the glass. Back to the amount of water – just make sure that overall you have less than an ½ an ounce of water collected on the bottom of the glass and you should be fine. Take the glass to a dark space like a cupboard or cabinet closet, etc. Keep an eye on the seeds, but generally within about 3 days or so, most of the seeds should be cracked open with their sprouted roots. Now the roots are out and hungry for action, you’ve got your seeds in the best position to turn into successful plants!
Now that you’ve got your seeds sprouted and ready to plant, and you have chosen your grow medium, you are all ready to tuck your little rootlings into the happy nest that will deliver you a successful yield.
The way you will plant your seed is going to depend entirely on the grow medium you’ve selected. Whatever the medium, we’ve got to make sure that it is of the appropriate moisture level before starting.
If you plan to use Rock Wool make sure you’ve pre-soaked for 24 hours in 5.5 ph measured water in order to counteract and balance out the high alkaline levels found in rock wool. The typical rock wool cubes that it’s produced in will form a great starter base for planting.
For soil users – assuming you’ve done your homework and followed our advice in the grow medium section, you will have already chosen neutral, well-balanced soil, so simply soaking in water is fine. We recommend small, plastic cups to start your plants off. If you love watching the roots grow, use clear plastic cups.
For inserting the sprouts into the medium, with rock wool, simply put the sprout down into the wool about half and inch deep and then pinch in the wool around the top of the hole with your fingers. With dirt, after you have the seed sprout down half an inch into a pre-poked out hole, gently cover the top of the depression with more soil. Adding a little water to the top of the covered in soil is the final touch, but don’t go crazy with it because remember – you’ve already pre-moistened your medium.