Stages of growing tomatoes from seed

If you are thinking of growing your own tomatoes from seed then firstly I strongly encourage you to try it, it is a really rewarding thing to do, and secondly here is a complete guide on all the stages of growing tomatoes from seed! Enjoy.

stages of growing tomatoes from seed
stages of growing tomatoes from seed

Stage 1 New Seedling

This is the stage where your tomato seedlings just start to poke their head above the soil. This photo was taken on the 18th Feb. I start my seedlings inside on a window sill above a radiator, this gives them the heat they need to germinate.

Brand New Seedling 18 Feb
Brand New Seedling 18 Feb

They are tiny little things at this point and are very vulnerable. If I tried to sow these outside in the UK at this time of year they would never germinate to begin with but even if they did the cold weather would soon kill them off.

Stage 2 Established Seedling

The little tomato plant has now turned into a more established seedling. It has developed a few leaves and will also have grown a lot of roots under the soil.

You will want to leave them growing on like this in the same pot for a few weeks yet.

Established Seedling 10 April
Established Seedling 10 April

Stage 3 Transplant

The seedling is now strong enough that it can be planted out into a greenhouse or polytunnel. Because it is still spring at this stage in the UK I would not advise planting your tomatoes outside unless you are a lot later in the season.

They will still be vulnerable to any frosts at this stage.

Note that I plant my tomatoes really deep in the soil and I have also taken the lower leaves off the plant. Tomatoes will grow new roots off the main stem, so by planting them deep we make the plant create extra roots. This helps to develop a really strong plant.

Planted Deep 23 April
Planted Deep 23 April

Stage 4 Developing Strong Roots

While it may not look like much has happened between the last and this photo the tomato seedling will have been growing lots and lots of strong roots out of its buried stem.

This is all setting the plant up for really strong future growth. It is building a strong foundation now so that it can grow like crazy when the weather warms up a bit.

Seedling May 4th
Seedling May 4th

Stage 5 Established Plant

Look at the amount of growth these tomatoes have put on in a few weeks, they are now at the rapid growth stage where there will grow like mad.

Tomatoes May 20th
Tomatoes May 20th

The plants have also started developing side shoots which we need to pinch out to encourage our tomatoes to grow up rather than out.

These are money maker tomatoes so are made to be cordon grown. This just means you grow them vertically up one main shoot.

Daniel

Daniel

Hey, I'm Daniel. Having worked as a professional gardener for years as well as keeping a private allotment I decided to create this website to help spread my knowledge. I love gardening and hope to show you just how rewarding it can be!

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