How to Save Tomato Seeds
1) If you are collecting from hybrids (most store-bought seeds, except varieties that say Heirloom or Heritage on the package) you will most likely not get the tomato that you grow last year but, it’s always fun to play around. (I could give you the phenotypic ratios if you like.)
Anyway, take the tomato that you want to save seeds from and slice in in half.
Squeeze the seeds and pulp onto a plate, cover with a bit of plastic wrap or lightly with paper towel
Leave until mold just starts to form, then rinse the seeds with warm water, Lay out and pat dry with paper towel. Leave to dry.
Store in labeled, little zip lock bags (I’ve only been able to find them at Michael’s but, I’m sure they are elsewhere).
How to Start your Tomatoes from Seed
In most zones start in February
1) Buy yourself a grow light, don’t buy the conical shaped bulbs, my experience has shown me that they don’t last long at all.
2) Buy some small pots, a bag of potting soil, a bag of manure and use or buy some compost
3) In a wheel barrel mix the three soil amendments and then fill your pots
4) Place 1-3 seed in a whole that is about an inch deep and cover with soil.
5) place in a tray and leave inside, keep the soil moist but not saturated with water.
6) Check daily and as soon as you see round leaves (cotyledons) turn your grow light on.
What to do Once Tomato Seedlings Have Sprouted
1) Once the first set of true leaves are up, leave for a few more days (don’t forget to water).
2) Pot the seedlings up to a larger pot of the same soil mix but, add a handful or two of Kelp Meal to the mix now.
3) Continue to grow in pots, indoors until after the last frost. Fertilize with liquid seaweed fertilizer.
4) Once the roots fill their containers, pot the tomato plants up again by pinching off the cotyledons.
5) When potting your tomato plants also, pinch all the leaves off and bury the entire stem until only the top two leave is above the soil. I know it seems drastic but, it really works. You’ll provide your plant with a healthy root system.
If you wish to grow tomatoes in pots, use larger pots and one cedar stake. Use old Nylons to tie your tomato plants to the stakes. Don’t forget to throw a handful of Kelp meal in the hole before adding your tomato plants.
How to Feed Young Tomato Plants
You can mist your plants with a weekly dose of an Aerated compost tea:
Take about a cup of nice humus compost (not the stuff that smells bad) and place in a five gallon (or 8 gallon) bucket and fill with water. Buy a little aquarium pump and place in the bucket and let run outside for about 5 days. Voila! Compost tea.
This will help ward off an plant diseases and provide a healthy flora and fauna of Micro Organisms on your plant foliage.
DON’T USE ANY ANYTHING THAT HAS THE SUFFIX -CIDE.
How to Plant Tomato Plants in the Soil
1) Dig a hole that is twice and deep and twice as wide as the root ball. Sprinkle some manure (I use a horse, chicken, and mushroom but, whatever suits your fancy) around the hole, add a handful of kelp meal, and once the hole is half full bury the defoliated stem (see above) until only the top two leaves are above the soil.
2) Don’t forget to water!
3) Bury a 6-8 foot cedar stake next to your plant and use old nylons to tie to the stake. Don’t use string or gardeners tape.
4) Fertilize once a week with either diluted liquid seaweed fertilizer and diluted liquid fish fertilizer. Compost tea (as above is also recommended).
How to Care for Tomato Plants as they Grow
Sucker the plants by pinching off any leaves that arise between the apex of the main vine and any branches. This will force the plants to produce fruit as apposed to more vines.
Don’t pluck off the green fruit, thinking that this will help in ripening or anything else. All your doing is throwing away tomatoes.