This pre-treatment lifts the germination mood of tomato seeds
The 2-3 millimeter small tomato seeds signal with their velvety, slightly hairy shell a natural germ inhibition. It is therefore advisable to stimulate germination before sowing the seeds.
- Soak tomato seeds in lukewarm chamomile tea for 6 hours
- alternatively put in garlic juice diluted 1:10 at room temperature
- When is the best time to sow tomatoes?
- Harvest tomatoes correctly with a sense of proportion
- Tie up tomatoes correctly - this is how you outsmart gravity
Of course, normal tap water is also suitable for the pretreatment. The advantage of the solutions mentioned is the simultaneous prophylaxis against mold formation, which is probably the greatest danger in the context of sowing.
Early sowing behind glass - these steps are key
Regardless of whether you want to cultivate your favorite tomato varieties in a bed or in a tub, we recommend growing them behind glass. The best time to start sowing is in late February / early March. Ideally, a light-flooded winter garden, a bright greenhouse or a spacious window sill are available.
- Cultivation pots (€ 14.90 at Amazon *) or a seed tray two-thirds filled with commercially available seed soil, coconut fibers, perlite or peat sand
- Sow tomato seeds individually at a distance of 3 centimeters
- Fill the seed pot with substrate so that the dark germs are covered 0.5 centimeters high
- moisten the seeds with water from the hand sprayer
An exemplary germination temperature fluctuates between 18 and 24 degrees Celsius. If you keep the growing medium slightly moist, you can look forward to the first seedlings after 10 to 14 days. During this phase, create a warm and humid microclimate on the windowsill, for example with the help of a heated mini greenhouse. Alternatively, you can simply stretch cling film over each cultivation container.
Compensate for insufficient lighting
The lighting conditions are a central factor in the cultivation of tomatoes. Experience has shown that there is enough light in the winter garden or greenhouse. On the windowsill, special plant lamps improve the light supply during cultivation. Otherwise, the little plants will stretch towards the sun, where they will inevitably turn over and turn over. For this reason, we recommend sowing on the windowsill from mid-March at the earliest.
If you then place a mirror behind the seed pot, the light-hungry tomato seedlings should no longer go in search of light. Rather, they then take on the desired compact habitus.
All the important steps up to planting out
If the general conditions are right, the first tender cotyledons will appear after 2 weeks. The development is now proceeding rapidly, while the warm and humid climate is maintained. The ventilation flaps in the conservatory or greenhouse should be opened for a few minutes every day. In addition, the substrate and the seedlings must not dry out under any circumstances. As soon as at least one more pair of leaves has developed above the cotyledons, the time is ripe for pricking. How to do it:
- Pour compost-based vegetable soil into 9 cm pots and moisten
- lift the strongest seedlings out of the substrate using a prick stick
- Shorten very long root strands with scissors to a length of 2 centimeters
- Use the pricking stick to drill small planting holes
- Put each tomato plant in the ground up to the leaf base
- Press the substrate on and moisten with a fine showerhead
Water the tomato plants moderately but regularly. There is no fertilization in this phase of growth. By mid-May, the tomatoes had reached a height of about 30 centimeters. Once the ice saints have said goodbye, they are planted in the bed or in the tub.
Does direct sowing make sense?
In our latitudes there is a tight window of time for growing tomatoes outdoors every year. Direct sowing can be considered from mid-May at the earliest. So that the tomatoes ripen by autumn, good to optimal weather conditions are necessary. Before you give up growing tomatoes yourself, it is worth trying, taking the following precautionary measures.
Choose a sunny, sheltered location as the location. A place in front of the south wall of the house is ideal, ideally under a canopy. Offer the heavy eaters nutrient-rich, humus-rich, fresh soil. Protect the seeds with a foil tunnel. (€ 7.94 at Amazon *) Then you build a tomato roof as rain protection. When sowing, proceed as follows:
- Weed the bedding soil thoroughly and remove roots
- Work garden compost, horn shavings (€ 6.39 at Amazon *) or horn meal into the soil
- draw a seed channel and sow the tomato seeds in it
- Sieve thinly with earth and moisten carefully
- The second real pair of leaves is pricked out
Tips & Tricks
The mild, spicy tomato aroma unfolds even more intensely if garlic broth is used for the watering from the start. To do this, let two cloves of garlic soak in 10 liters of water for 12 hours. This solution replaces the irrigation water for one pass every 14 days.