Food Gardening Network

Growing Good Food at Home

Mequoda Publishing Network

Choosing to Grow Tomatoes from Seeds or Seedlings

Tomato seedling in the garden

Getting your tomato garden started every season begins with the choice of how to grow your plants—from seeds or seedlings? Buying seedlings at your local nursery is quicker and easier, but your choices are limited to what they carry, and the cost of seedlings will likely exceed the cost of starting from seeds. If you’re growing heirloom tomatoes from seeds that you already have, then the choice is already made for you! Or perhaps you’re trying a mix of seeds and seedlings.

When growing from seeds, you’ll need the right tools and a disciplined process for getting from seeds to plants that will produce a good harvest for you.

Besides your seeds, tools might include:

  • Starting soil
  • Containers
  • Widger (a spatula-like tool for lifting seedlings without damaging them)
  • Germination station
  • Grow lights
  • Heat mats

Depending on your set-up situation, you might not need all of these items—or you might be able to do-it-yourself (DIY) on some things. If you choose to grow your tomatoes from seeds, take advantage of all the options to select the varieties that you really want.

Have you tried growing tomatoes from seeds, seedlings, or both? Which method do you prefer—and why? Please tell us how you get your tomato garden started every year.

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