Tomato seedlings

How to pot on tomato seedlings

Ensure young tomatoes have plenty of room to grow by potting them on – we show you how.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
To do
To do

Do not To do in January

Do To do in February

Do To do in March

Do To do in April

Do not To do in May

Do not To do in June

Do not To do in July

Do not To do in August

Do not To do in September

Do not To do in October

Do not To do in November

Do not To do in December

Tomato seedlings grow fast and are hungry feeders, so keep them in vigorous growth by potting on as soon as they have rooted through their containers.

The more space they’re given in the greenhouse, the stronger they’ll be, as tightly packed plants tend to be drawn upwards with weak stems.

You can sow tomatoes into April, so if you haven’t started them off yet, take a look at our tried and tasted favourite tomato cultivars, to help you decide.

Growing tomatoes in grow bags? Watch this quick video with Alan Titchmarsh on how to plant tomatoes in growing bags.

Discover how to pot on tomato seedlings, below.

Tomato seedlings grow fast and are hungry feeders, so keep them in vigorous growth by potting on.

You will need

  • Multi-purpose compost

Total time:

Step 1

Handle seedlings with care when easing them out of their containers for repotting to minimise root disturbance.


Step 2

The tiny leaves below the first true leaves can be removed so that when the plant is potted deep into the compost, they’ll not rot.


Step 3

Lower the plant into a larger pot so that the true leaves are just above the compost surface, filling in gaps and topping up the pot with multi-purpose compost. The stem below the surface will grow more roots, to boost the crop.



Planting out your tomatoes

When the time comes to plant out your tomatoes – usually done after the last frosts in May – choose a sunny, sheltered spot which will boost the flavour of your tomatoes, and how many you harvest. If growing in a greenhouse, try planting basil alongside the plants, which enjoys the same conditions.

Trowel and garden hand fork