How to Grow Tomatoes Step by Step
Hi, I'm Ali Reynolds with Ali's Organics, and I'd like to show you how to start tomatoes step-by-step. Pick the seeds that you want that's number one. And what I like to do is just put them in a pot that has a soilless mixture. This is just vermiculite and peat moss. And sprinkle these seeds in here. Just kind of spread them out. And then just cover the soil lightly. Now, if you are doing this indoors rather then a greenhouse then you can actually cover this with some plastic wrap and put it in a warm place up until it sprouts. And then about 10 days you'll see them sprouting and they'll actually look like this. Once they get their true leaves, which these are the cotyledon leaves, their very first leaves, and these are their first true leaves. Then you can separate these guys. Just be really careful, bring them out of their pot. And then just gently pull them apart. And then just take some potting soil, some good potting soil, and this is Happy Frog is what I used here. And just make an indentation, put that guy in there go deeper then what he was in the other pot. And then just kind of firm him in a little bit. Not too hard. And then watering and then they'll just start growing and then growing. And once they hit this stage they are ready to be planted out. So what we want to do when we come outside to plant them of course we want to harden them off. So don't bring them out in the middle of the day when it's hot because they'll get sunburn on them. And just bring them out and put them on a porch let them kind of get use to the outside temperatures. So about an hour before we plant this we want to water it down with some kelp meal tea. And kelp meal tea is something that I make with one quarter of a cup with kelp meal mixed into a gallon of water a couple of days before swished around. And then it just kind of steeps and then I water that in really well. So after it sat for an hour then I have my soil that's already been prepped. There's compost been added to it tilled in. And I just dig a trench. Then I got some fertilizer and this fertilizer is a mix that I do but you can use an all purpose fertilizer. And I always use organic fertilizer because I just think it's so much better for the soil. This is one part neem seed meal, two parts fish bone meal, and two parts green sand. And so it gives a nice mix and it's not too high in nitrogen and it just gives a nice amount of phosphorous and potash in it. I'm just clipping off these lower leaves making it long and lanky but that's alright because that's kind of what I want. Then I'm just going to lay them in here sideways. I put a little pillow underneath him and this one's great because he's already kind of poking up. But they'll do that naturally within hours they'll reach for the sun. Just cover this guy up. Okay so then we can just stake it. This is probably too long of a stake because this is a determinant variety and it's only going to get about three foot tall. So just secure it in there good. And then as it grows up we just want to tie this guy. Because it's a determinant we do not want to prune it because then we have the possibility of losing all of our fruit off of this tomato. So come out here about once a week, every 10 days and as it grows we want to continue to stake this tomato up. Keep it moist. If it feels like the surface is dry stick your finger in the soil and if it's moist down there then you are ok. But if it starts to dry off more then the length of your finger right here then you know it's time to water. Keep it the water level just nice and just even throughout it's growing season. That way you don't have any blossoming or rot problems or anything like that. Always watch for insect problems that you have on it. Come out in the evening times that's the best time to check for tomato worms. If you see them pick them off if you can't pick them off because there's too many or you just don['t like to then go ahead and squirt them with some garden dust, some BT, Bacillus thuringiensis it's a powder it's safe. And there's your step-by-step for planting a tomato plant.