Posted on 01 April 2010 by

The Tomato Chronicles – The Beginning

tomato12By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

Every February brings the thought of dirt under my fingernails and the smell of fresh soil as I get my tomato seeds organized.

Through the years I have planted many types of tomatoes.

These have ranged from seeds I saved, heirloom and discount seeds I have bought, and tomato seeds that were sent into space, but regardless where your seeds come from the process is the same.


  • Flats
  • Cell packs
  • Cardboard egg cartons
  • Labels
  • Waterproof markers
  • Potting soil
  • Seeds
  • Watering can with a fine misting head

Optional supplies

  • Newspaper
  • Panes of glass to fit flats


  1. Assemble all supplies together.
  2. Fill flats, cell packs, or empty cardboard egg cartons with potting soil.
  3. Open 1 seed packet at a time and sprinkle seeds into the flats or cardboard egg cartons. Cover with less than ¼ inch of soil.
  4. Label flat or egg carton that you just planted with the appropriate tomato variety.
  5. Continue this process until all seeds are planted and labeled. One label per container will be enough for this process.
  6. Gently water flats or egg cartons completely.
  7. Move to a sunny location or use grow lights. Make sure that your seeds stay moist not wet during this process.

Optional Steps

Plant in flats as described above but cover with a layer of newspaper and 1 pane of glass. Stack your flats one on top of the other and place in a warm location. This process speeds up germination and you do not have to worry about checking soil moisture but you have to watch germination more carefully.

If your seeds have sprouted and the glass has not been removed the seedlings will break off. When the first signs of sprouting occur remove newspaper and glass. Then place seedlings in a warm, sunny location until the second set of leaves appears.

Following these steps will help you have a successful start to your garden. The next chapter to the tomato story will be transplanting. So just like the book you cannot put down, continue following the tomato chronicles and see how the story ends.

Next Transplanting

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