Buying a plant and putting it into the garden is the primary method most people try. Quite a few gardeners have attempted growing tomatoes from seed, not had success with it, and reverted back to buying plants. By following a few key steps, growing tomatoes from seed is very doable. You'll save money and after all your effort the fruit tastes even better.
Tomato seeds should be started indoors six to eight weeks before the last frost date. Then the seedlings should be planted about two weeks after the last frost date. That means you'll have tomato seedlings in your house for a full two months or more before they go in the garden. Anticipate the space required and choose an area that you can spare for two months.
You can fill a large planting tray with sterile potting soil or seed-starting soil mix and sow your seeds. Plant about 1/4 inch deep, lightly cover with moist soil, and keep moist until they germinate. If you follow the large tray method, at some point you'll have to transplant the individual seedlings into larger containers of their own. Transplanting can help develop stronger root systems. This is also a good method if you are planning to grow dozens of plants, but transplanting can be stressful to the plant and the gardener if not done correctly.
You can use large peat pots or pots filled with potting soil as the primary growing location to avoid transplanting. Spread five or six seeds per pot. You'll probably have very good germination and all of the seeds should sprout. This means that at some point you'll have to sacrifice some of the smaller seedlings so that one one or two plants remain in each pot to grow strong. Thinning out or cutting the small seedlings can be stressful for the gardener too, so you have to decide which method of sowing you prefer.
As soon as you see the little stems, it's critical that they begin receiving a strong light source. Let me repeat that point because it is the most important aspect of starting tomato seeds indoors. As soon as the seedlings begin to emerge from the soil, they need to receive strong light.
Many people think they can put the tray on a south-facing windowsill and the sun will do the work for them. This leads to the reason most seeds fail when started indoors. The spring sun is not strong enough to provide the best light. The seedlings that result in this case are spindly, weak, and light-colored because they're reaching for the light. If you do this, occasionally turn the pots to try and balance the light levels.
When growing seeds in eggshells, punch a few small holes in the bottom of the shell to allow water drainage. Use a small nail from the inside of the shell for best results. Fill with potting soil and sow the seeds. When the plants have grown large enough for transplanting, put the entire shell (gently crushed) and plant into a larger pot.
One of the most common issues with tomatoes in the garden is Blossom End Rot. One of the causes of this problem is a deficiency of calcium in the soil. By planting tomatoes in an eggshell you are introducing the roots to the calcium in the shell. Though not all of the calcium in the shell is available for the roots directly, it is an innovative way to add minerals to your soil.