London (change)

How to sow tomato seeds


Tomatoes are easy to grow from seed and should germinate within two weeks. Compact cherry varieties can be grown in pots and hanging baskets, while larger, cordon types are more suited to being raised in the ground or in growing bags.

How to do it


Fill your pot with seed compost, leaving a couple of centimetres below the rim. Scatter the seeds evenly over the compost and cover with vermiculite. Water well, then cover the pot with a plastic bag or piece of clingfilm to keep the compost moist.


Remove the cover from the pot when seedlings appear. If growing your tomatoes on a windowsill, turn the pot regularly to prevent the plants growing towards the light and becoming distorted.


Pot on the tomato seedlings when they're about 10cm tall. Plant them deeply into individual 7.5cm pots. In late-May, harden off plants before planting them into their final position.

Our tip

Tomatoes are hungry, thirsty plants, so add moisture-retaining crystals and a slow-release fertiliser.

Discuss this project

Talkback: How to sow tomato seeds
Your comment will appear after a quick registration step

gardenerbest 24/11/2011 at 15:29

tick tick tick tick

gardenerbest 24/11/2011 at 15:29

tip: add sugar with the tomato seed so the tomato tastes sweeter

Suzy 2 17/05/2012 at 13:38

I planted tomato seeds on 8 April but 6 weeks on they are only 5 cms high and seem quite weak. Would the soil I planted them in have anything to do with it. The soil is peat based. If I replanted in a richer soil would the plants start growing? Any tips/advice would be very helpful. Suzy

Cestvalere 16/02/2013 at 20:22

I sow my tomato seeds onto damp kitchen towel inside a 'margarine' tub with a clear lid. This makes a mini propagator. The brand of spread that I use now does not have a clear lid so I intend to cover the tub with clingfilm. Then replace the lid, having first cut out the largest rectangle I can manage.
When I can see the root appear I carefully plant the germinated seeds in growing cells. I find that a damp cotton bud is best as it lessesns the chance of damage. The cell pack gets placed inside a unheated propagator and given a little water and lots of TLC until they are big enough to put into larger pots.
These pots are put outside if it is warm and brought in at night until they are sturdy enough to go into the cold frame.
If this seems like a lot of fuss I do admit that I have time on my hands and very large crops of tomatos.

jaybi auxtero 06/04/2013 at 17:52

gotta try this at home. click the link below for more information about planting tomato seeds.

See more comments...