Use these instructions to learn how to transplant tomato seedlings.
How to Transplant Tomato Seedlings
Whether you grew them from seed yourself or bought some seedlings at your local garden center, you will need to transplant them eventually to make sure you have strong tomato plants that produce delicious fruit. Transplanting tomatoes is easy and they can even be planted in containers. Tomato seedlings are pretty hardy and don’t require a lot of extra care like carrots or types of peas do. Here are some tips for transplanting tomato seedlings.
How to Harden Off Tomato Seedlings for Transplant
Hardening off is a process that gets your seedlings ready for the outdoor elements and is a pretty important step so it should not be forgotten or skipped. The process isn’t hard and will just add about a week onto your time before you transplant them.
To harden off, you will just take your tomato seedlings out to a semi-protected spot, such as your porch or balcony and allow them to sit outdoors for a few hours. Each day, increase the time they are outside until you can leave them outdoors at night. When you get to this point, you are ready to get them transplanted into the ground.
How to Transplant Tomato Seedlings into The Ground
Plant seedlings outdoors when the daytime temps are at least 60 degrees fahrenheit. Tomatoes are from a semi tropical area so they do need warm temps day and night. Be sure not to plant them when there are still frosty nights ahead.
Till the soil and add some compost mix. When your seedlings are approximately 3 to 4 inches in height they are ready to transplant. Dig a hole that is about the size of the container you are growing your seedlings in. Gently remove the seedlings from the containers (or peel off the paper cups if this is how you grew them). Gently place your seedlings into the ground.
Gently pat them into place with a bit more soil. You will want to space your seedlings out between 24 inches to 4 feet, depending on the variety you are growing and the size the plants will grow to.
Give them a good watering and you are set to go. If you are concerned that your soil is not warm enough, try to cover it with black gardening plastic.
How to Transplant Tomato Seedlings into Containers
Transplanting tomato seedlings to containers is almost the same as in the ground. Follow the steps above, but be extra careful not to grow them in too shallow of containers. A 5 gallon bucket is a good choice for a minimum of deepness and be careful not to overcrowd your seedlings.