Preparing tomato seeds for planting seedlings

Preparing tomato seeds for planting seedlings

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One of the important stages in preparing for a future rich harvest is the stage of preparing tomato seeds for planting for growing seedlings. Gardeners and summer residents with experience begin to prepare seeds since February. They carry out various special measures that will further favorably affect the growth and development of seedlings, and also reduce the likelihood of infectious diseases to a minimum. Each individual procedure brings its own advantages to increasing yields.

Culling or sorting tomato seeds

The best seeds are visible to the naked eye. They differ in weight and size. Large seeds contain more nutrients, so they grow better quality plants that are well adapted to life.

For convenience and speed of sorting, the seeds are dipped in a saline solution (200 grams of water - a teaspoon of salt). Those seeds that settle to the bottom are the very first to go for planting. They need to be rinsed with clean water and dried. And those that surfaced are either empty or very small. Most of these small seeds are of poor quality. But it is worth looking for the best among them.

Warming up the seeds

This procedure does not apply to hybrid tomatoes. Warming up, first of all, is necessary for those seeds that have been in cool storage conditions for a long time. To do this, the seeds are placed in a small cloth bag and placed on a hot battery. Over the course of several days, the seeds are gradually heated to eighty degrees Celsius. It is advisable to hold this event a month before the day of planting.


On the surface of some seeds, there may be pathogenic microbes that will harm the seedlings in the future. Therefore, as a preventive measure, the seeds are disinfected. One way to dress the seeds is to soak them in a 1% manganese solution for twenty minutes.

Seed treatment with nutrients

Tomato seeds, shortly before planting, are soaked for twenty-four hours in any solution that is saturated with nutrients. The drugs that our industry offers (for example, Epin), as well as time-tested folk remedies, are also suitable. A nutrient solution such as aloe juice or potato juice will serve well for future tomato harvests. After such treatment, it is not necessary to rinse the seeds. You can immediately start drying them.


The number of seeds should be four or five times less than the amount of water for soaking. The seeds in a gauze bag are placed in water at room temperature for the whole day. It is advisable to change the water to another every four hours. To saturate the seeds with oxygen, it will be necessary to remove a bag of seeds from the water several times.

Germinating tomato seeds

This procedure significantly affects the germination rate of tomato seeds and early ripening of fruits. Seeds do not like excess moisture and drying out. Therefore, the germination process requires patience, attention and vigilance. In a shallow plate you need to spread a small gauze patch or a piece of a wide bandage and wet it. Then the seeds are spread on it. Each seed should be at a short distance from each other. The dishes should be in a room with a temperature of twenty to twenty-five degrees Celsius. Moderate seed moisture must be maintained until the first shoots appear.


Tomatoes are a vegetable that is very fond of sunlight and warmth. These two indicators are very important for the future harvest. But during the summer season, the weather can change dramatically towards cold weather. In order for the plant to withstand such weather changes, and they do not affect its development and growth, it is necessary to harden. Hardened seeds will guarantee healthy seedlings, early flowering and a more bountiful harvest. Hardening occurs under the influence of temperature changes from zero degrees to twenty degrees Celsius.

First, the swollen seeds are left in the refrigerator overnight, and then kept in a warm room throughout the day. Such movements are repeated at least three times.

Seed bubbling

This procedure is carried out using a compressor that produces oxygen. You can use an aquarium compressor. In an ordinary glass jar, pour water at room temperature, immerse the seeds there and fix the end of the hose from the compressor in the jar. This apparatus passes oxygen through the water. During the procedure, the seeds move under the influence of air and water movement. The duration of this event is twelve hours. After that, the seeds must be thoroughly dried to a state of flowability.

Each stage of seed preparation for planting is of great importance and requires endurance and perseverance. We wish you every success!

Tomato seeds: how to properly process before planting seedlings

Ripe, sweet and tasty tomatoes start from seeds, or rather from sowing them for seedlings. The success of growing seedlings at home largely depends on the quality of the planting material, but the preparation of seeds is no less important. To get strong seedlings that will give you a great harvest in the future, you can prepare tomato seeds at home before planting. Read on to find out what pre-sowing treatment methods exist, as well as instructions on how to carry out and photo materials await you.

When to sow tomato seeds for seedlings: optimal timing

Sowing seeds at the right time is very important for the successful growing of home seedlings. As a rule, they are planted in February and March, but there are many nuances. When choosing the timing, you should focus on the varietal characteristics of tomatoes, the weather and climatic characteristics of the region in which cultivation is planned. Thus, in the Moscow region it is better to land in early March, in Siberia and in the Urals - in late March or early April, in the South - in early February.

Important! Also, when choosing the timing, you need to study the information on the package with seeds. There, as a rule, the recommended time for the procedure is indicated.

Sorting tomato seeds

After buying tomato seeds, you should not immediately rush to soak them. The package may contain a large number of unseeding seeds, and the time spent on them will not bring any results. The first rule of preparing tomato seeds for planting involves sorting them. The minimum that is required is at least to visually inspect the grains. You can get healthy tomato seedlings only from large and thick beige seeds. All thin, darkened, as well as broken grains must be discarded.

Manual culling is appropriate for small quantities of seed. But what if you need to sort out a lot of tomato grains, for example, intended for planting in the entire greenhouse? The simplest method of soaking will come to the rescue. You will need a liter jar of warm water. For efficiency, you can chop 1 tbsp. l. salt. It should be noted right away that starting from seed preparation and ending with watering sprouted tomato seedlings, it is advisable not to use tap water. The chlorine impurities contained are dangerous for both nascent sprouts and adult plants. It is best to stock up on rain or melt water. In extreme cases, you can buy purified water sold in PET bottles.

So, the saline solution is ready, we proceed to the culling of unusable tomato seeds. To do this, the grains are simply poured into a jar of water and watched for about 10 minutes. Usually all empty seeds float to the surface. You just need to catch them all, but do not rush to throw them away. Often, if stored improperly, tomato grains simply dry out. Naturally, even a high-quality, highly dried seed will float to the surface of the water, so all floating specimens will have to be visually inspected. Any thick grains that come across are best left for germination. Well, those tomato seeds that have sunk to the bottom of the can can be safely taken for planting.

There is another method for selecting low-quality grains, based on the school practice of a physics lesson. Dry tomato seeds are laid out in a thin layer on the table, after which they take any object that has the property of electrifying. An ebony stick works best, but you can use a plastic comb or any other similar item. The essence of the method consists in rubbing the object with a woolen rag, after which it is led over the decomposed tomato grains. An electrified object will immediately attract all empty seeds to itself, because they are much lighter than full specimens. This procedure needs to be done about 2-3 times for 100% certainty.

Seed replenishment and hardening

After such processing seeds are soaked in one of the nutrient solutions:

  1. a teaspoon of wood ash is diluted in 1 liter of water,
  2. in 1 liter of water, dilute a teaspoon (at the level of the edges) nitrophoska or nitroammophoska
  3. 1/2 tablet of a microelement is diluted in 1 liter of water,
  4. teaspoon of sodium humate powder is diluted in 1 liter of water.

The seeds in bags are immersed in any of the solutions for 12 hours, after which, without washing, they are placed in clean water for 24 hours. This procedure is especially necessary for large tomato seeds. To keep the water and nutrient solution at a temperature of 24–25 ° C, place them in a warm place. Then the seeds must be hardened... To do this, they are placed in a refrigerator (in the middle, where the temperature is plus 1-2 ° C) and left for 1-2 days, occasionally sprinkling with clean water so that the fabric bags do not dry out. After cooling, the seeds are immediately sown into the soil, where they give quick, friendly shoots.

What should you do before planting tomatoes?

Tomato seeds are prepared in several stages. It is up to you to decide which ones are required and which ones you can skip.

Culling and calibration

Purchased or harvested seeds must be poured onto the table and carefully sorted out. Feel free to discard any darkened, deformed, stained, or broken specimens. Next, immerse the planting material in a jar of salt water. Floated seeds are either unsuitable for germination or too dry. Their future germination is highly doubtful.

Avoid planting darkened or deformed tomato seeds

Divide all the remaining seeds into groups by size. Each of them will need to be planted separately so that the shoots appear at the same time and the plants in the future do not drown out the growth of each other.


In order to destroy pathogens, soak the seeds in a disinfecting solution. The procedure is only necessary if the producer did not take care of it or the seeds were collected by themselves. To achieve the desired effect, it is enough to soak the seeds for 20 minutes. To do this, use:

Potassium permanganate... The solution should not be too saturated in color.
Hydrogen peroxide... A weak solution must be heated to 40-45 ° C.
Aloe juice... Squeeze the juice from the leaves of at least a 3-year-old plant and dilute 1: 1 with water. After processing, the seeds are not washed.

Soaking in a solution of potassium permanganate is a proven method of dressing tomato seeds

After disinfecting the seeds, immerse them in the nutrient solution. This procedure activates the potential inherent in them as much as possible, they will quickly germinate, and the seedlings will develop well. As a result, the yield of the bushes will increase.

If you've used aloe vera juice for decontamination, then your seeds have already received the nourishment they need. You can also use sodium humate, "Epin", "Immunocytofit" and other drugs. Duration of soaking for a good effect is 12 hours. Seeds dried after soaking can be sown or germinated first.

Aloe juice disinfects and nourishes tomato seeds before planting


To speed up the emergence of seedlings and to see in advance how many there will be, vegetable growers use the seed germination method. If soaking in nutrient solution has not been done, soak the seeds in water for 12 hours. Then, wet, place them in a damp cloth and put in a warm place. Keep track of their moisture, and as soon as small sprouts appear, plant. Temper the plants to make them more resilient.

Due to hardening of seeds, tomatoes begin to bloom earlier.


For hardening tomato seeds, the method of abrupt temperature changes is used. It is necessary to start the impact with the appearance of small shoots. Without removing from a damp cloth, place the seeds in the refrigerator overnight (in the lower part), and for the day in a warm place (+ 15-20 ° C). Hardening should last for at least three days. Farmers note that bushes that have grown from hardened seeds bloom faster and more abundantly.

Sowing start

The prepared base should go through the germination process at the end. For this purpose, tomato grains are placed on a damp cloth, covered with another layer of wet cloth and removed to a warm room. The fabric is re-moistened as needed. As soon as the first sprouts hatch, the seeds are planted in the soil.

Preparing tomatoes for sowing is not complete without good soil. In order for the seeds to germinate, special conditions are required:

  • before sowing, the soil should be doused with boiling water to get rid of any infection
  • disinfect the seeds themselves
  • loosen the soil well
  • plant no deeper than 1.5 cm
  • the soil should not be cold
  • sufficient moisture
  • awakening seeds from a dormant state.

There are other rules how to prepare tomato seeds for planting. Before sowing, they should visit a warm place. If they are in the cold and immediately planted in the ground, then the first shoots will hatch not after three days, but after three weeks.

You can prepare the soil for tomato seedlings yourself. Black soil, humus, peat, superphosphate or wood ash will come in handy. The components can be mixed together.

When sowing cooked grains in one large container, you must follow the rules. The distance between the grooves should be at least 2.5 cm. After planting, the container is covered with glass or plastic wrap. The soil requires regular watering and ventilation. As soon as 90% of the seedlings have risen, the film is removed.

When determining the timing of planting seeds in the ground, gardeners rely on personal experience, they must take into account the climatic norms, the chosen variety of tomatoes and the conditions in which they will grow.

If the seedlings are planned to be grown in a greenhouse, the end of February is considered the best time to sow seeds. For further cultivation in open ground, but under cover, the best time is considered to be the beginning of March, and without cover - the end of March.

But some vegetable growers do all the actions that relate to planting and caring for plants according to the lunar calendar. It is being developed by astrologers and agronomists. In their opinion, the Moon, being at different distances from the Earth, acts on the entire living part of the world. Sowing, replanting plants is necessary when the moon is growing. In this case, the seedlings develop well and quickly. The lunar dates are calculated differently every year.

As soon as the first true leaves appear, the seedlings dive (pinch long roots without touching the weak and short ones). Large and sturdy bushes can be transplanted into separate containers, such as disposable plastic cups. It is imperative to make holes at the bottom of the cups so that moisture does not stagnate.

To avoid problems with seedlings, you need to follow important rules for caring for it:

  • you need to water regularly, preferably with a watering can, without pressure
  • seedlings are placed in a well-lit place without drafts
  • the container must be constantly turned on different sides so that the stems are even and do not stretch up
  • there must be enough space for the development of each bush
  • every two weeks it is recommended to apply mineral or organic fertilizers.

There is nothing difficult in caring for tomato seeds. If you devote a little more time to the preparatory stage, taking into account all the features, then in the future there will be less difficulties and the result will pleasantly surprise.

Watch the video: For New Gardeners: How to StartPlant Tomato Seeds Indoors for Transplants - MFG 2014


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