This page is about growing tomatoes from seeds. The tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) we are using is the Red Grape F1, pictured below.
This tomato is an indeterminate (vine growing--needs support) type and of the grape variety, which is a size between cherry and medium.
The Red Grape F1 is a highly productive grape tomato. The fruits are firm, meaty, and free of cracking, with good chewy texture, sweet taste, and few seeds. This tomato plant produces long clusters of 20 or more fruits on tall plants. It performs very well in a greenhouse; they did great in ours. This plant will produce as long as it keeps growing so if you have a long growing season, you will get them the whole time.
This is an annual plant, meaning you have to plant new ones each year.
Days to Maturity: 60
GROWING SEEDLINGS: Don't start too early! Root-bound, leggy plants that have open flowers or fruit when planted out may remain stunted and produce poorly!
When you start them indoors, sow in flats, using soilless peat-based mix, not potting soil, 5-6 weeks before plants can be transplanted out after danger of frost has past.
Keep the temperature of the starting mix at 75-90°F, tomato seeds germinate very slowly in cooler soil. When first true leaves develop, transplant into plug trays or 3"-4" pots for large, stocky seven to eight week transplants for earliest crops.
Grow seedlings at 60 to 70°F. Water only enough to keep the mix from drying. Fertilize with fish emulsion or a soluble complete fertilizer.
TRANSPLANTING OUTDOORS: Transplant into medium-rich garden or field soil, 24-36" apart for indeterminate types.
Water seedlings with a high-phosphate fertilizer solution. Someone told me the other day to plant them with egg shells and when possible use hard boiled eggs.
For earliest crops, set plants out around the last frost date under floating row covers which will protect the young plants from frost to about 28°F.
If possible, avoid setting out unprotected plants until night temperatures are over 45°F. Frost will cause severe damage!
FERTILIZER: Abundant soil phosphorus is important for early high yields. Too much nitrogen causes rampant growth and soft fruits susceptible to rot.
PRUNING And STAKING: Since it is an indeterminate variety it should be staked, trellised, or caged. Fruit ripens over an extended period.
BLOSSOM END ROT: Prevent it by providing abundant soil calcium and an even supply of soil moisture.
INSECT PESTS: Use rotenone to discourage flea beetles on seedlings. Tomato hornworms can be controlled with Dipel.
I prefer growing tomatoes from seeds rather than going through the transplant hassle of providing light and water for them, then hardening them off for so many days before planting them out. Then having to bend over and plant them. I would rather just plant the seeds in the ground.
When growing tomatoes from seeds you want to make sure your soil has a good mixture of soil and mulch. This will help keep the soil for compaction and give the soil the avenue it needs to water the plants and breath.
Once this was done and I was sure my soil is in the best shape it can be, I dug a small hole about 1/2 inch down and planted three seeds in it.
I planted three seeds to make sure that at least one would come up since we cannot depend on 100% germination. Before sowing the seed, I watered down the hole to help with germination.
Once the seed was sown, I put some sifted soil over the top of it and watered it down again. I put a craft stick by the seeds so I would know where they were in my raised garden bed.
The plant below is a Red Grape F1. Notice how it is developing clusters. The blooms will soon turn to tiny tomatoes.
Below is a picture of our Red Grape F1 tomatoes. They are growing very well and soon we will have so many of them that we and the neighbors will be sick of them.
Below are more pictures of our Red Grape Tomatoes. We have been harvesting tons of them and they are tasting great.
More On TomatoesClick here to check out our selection of tomato seeds.
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