Tomato Germination (Tomato Seed Germination)

Tomato germination takes about 5-10 days.  The process is not difficult if you know what the seeds needs are and you provide the right conditions.  Not all seeds require the same conditions.  For example a bean will have a different requirement as how deep to plant.  A petunia will have a different requirement as to how much light it needs to germinate.  One thing that most all seeds need to germinate is water.  How much depends on the plant.  Some like it wet, and others just like it damp.

Preparing for Tomato Germination

Before you start make sure that you either start with new containers or you wash used containers with a 10% bleach solution.  Use a planting mixture that does is soil less.  There are some that are specifically made for starting plants.  These are great, but not critical.  A mixture that has a good drainage is the key.

Tomato seeds germination takes place when the soil is between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit .  They do not need light, and actually need to be covered with ¼ to ½ inch of planting mixture.  They like to be kept damp, not wet.

tomato germination

The best way to keep the soil at the right temperature would be with a seedling heat mat.  This will keep the soil at the right temperature.  If you don’t have a heat mat then the top of the fridge would do if it is not drafty.

What are the best conditions for Tomato Germination

To keep it moist and keep the heat in, use a seedling tray with a plastic dome on top.  If you don’t have one, then put clear plastic wrap on top.  Tomato germination happens best when you keep the moisture in and the cold out. Keep a close eye on this as you will have to remove the plastic before the seedlings reach the top.  A plastic dome will give you a bit more room for the seedlings to grow.

The combination of the heat and the moisture will trigger the embryo inside the seed and the tomato seed will germinate.  The moisture will help soften the seed coat .  The embryo will emerge and form roots and the first leaves called Cotyledon.   They are very simple and will fall off once the true leave form.  Once the seedling emerges, you will need to care for them carefully until they are ready to harden off. When done correctly tomato germination will provide you with baskets full of big juicy tomatoes.