Start your seeds in punnets
Tomato seed are best started in punnets, small pots or multi-celled seed trays. Plant seed, into good quality seed raising mix, two into each cell or pot. Cover with a thin layer of the mix and water gently. Put into a warm position, but not direct sunlight. Keep moist until the seed germinates, and continue to keep moist but not too wet until seedlings are at least 5cm tall.
Plant these seedlings (or purchased ones) into pots with the seedlings deep enough so that the first seed leaves are covered. Water with dilute seaweed extract and if the weather is still cool, cut the bottom off a plastic bottle and pop it over the top as a mini-greenhouse. Make sure you remove the bottle once the weather warms up.
Avoid cheap potting mix
Like soil, the potting mix you use is vital to the health of your plants and a fruitful harvest. Always read the ingredients before buying, as some contain water-saving crystals, which are not organic. Coconut coir peat added to your potting mix is an alternative to help hold more moisture. To minimise disease, always use fresh potting mix, rather than soil or old mix that has been used for tomatoes or any plants from the Solanaceae family in the last two years.
To learn more about growing tomatoes in pots, including the top cultivars for containers and the latest news on dwarf varieties, get a copy of the latest issue of Organic Gardener Magazine Australia.
By: Karen Sutherland
First published: September 2019