How to sow tomato seeds

How to sow tomato seeds

Delicious tomatoes are easy to grow from seed. Find out how to do it, in our How-to guide.

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 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

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.

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You Will Need

  • Tomato seeds
  • Multi-purpose, peat-free compost
  • 10cm pots
  • Vermiculite (optional)

Step 1

How to sow tomato seeds - adding vermiculite over the seeds
How to sow tomato seeds – adding vermiculite over the seeds

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.

Step 2

How to sow tomato seeds - tomato seedlings
How to sow tomato seeds – tomato seedlings

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.

Step 3

How to sow tomato seeds - potting on the tomato seedlings
How to sow tomato seeds – potting on the tomato seedlings

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.

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

Seedlings. Photo: Getty Images.