How To Grow Tomatoes By Seed

young woman holding a tomato plant - How To Grow Tomatoes By Seed

The decision to grow tomatoes from seed is a personal one, as many gardeners prefer to simply purchase plants to transplant directly into their vegetable garden or containers. Those who choose to plant by seeds are a bit more adventurous and prefer the more hands-on of growing tomatoes from seed. Of course, this is a much more time-intensive process than simply buying an established plant at the nursery.

Growing tomatoes from seed isn’t too difficult, and it is tough to beat the contentment that comes from seeing the materialization of your patient efforts taking shape.

Using The Right Seeds

For starters, you have to start with the right kind of seeds. If you’re going to use seeds that produce a hybrid tomato variety you won’t have much results. Why? They just don’t grow true to the parent plant the way a good, old-fashioned heirloom will.

According to Mother Earth News, hybrids are more productive and disease-resistant than open-pollinated tomato varieties or heirloom tomato varieties. But open-pollinated tomatoes generally offer the richest flavors, and the great thing about planting heirloom seeds, you can dry out and save the seeds to plant in future seasons. Hybrid tomato breeding focuses on the needs of commercial producers who favor tomatoes that resist diseases and ship well, often allowing flavor to take a back seat.

Here are a few on-line sources were you can purchase tomato seeds.

After you have bought your favorite heirloom seed varieties, just follow the steps outlined below.

How To Germinate Your Seeds

USDA Plant Hardiness Zone MapYou’ll want to germinate the seeds indoors, roughly 6 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost in your area. If you aren’t sure when to start, click the image to the right to be taken to the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map to check out the “last frost in your.”

To get started, purchase several containers of sterile seed growing mix. Moisten your containers, and make shallow holes about 1/4 inch deep. Then, drop the seeds into the hole and gently cover with dirt.

If you are using larger containers, that allow planting several seeds, you will need to make furlongs 1/4 inch deep. Place seeds into furlongs, at 1/2 inch apart.

large heated propagatorWater the containers very gently, and then place them in an area which consistently reaches and holds between 75 to 80-degrees Fahrenheit, such as on top of your refrigerator.

If you happen to have a heated greenhouse, or a propagator to germinate your seeds, then even better.

As soon as you see the seeds begin to sprout, immediately add a strong light source from either a florescent grow bulb or natural sunlight.

true identifiable tomato leaves appearingAfter about a month you will notice the first “true” and identifiable tomato leaves begin to appear.

This tells you that it is time to transplant your seedlings to bigger containers. This is known as “pricking out” your seedlings.

With a spoon or fork, scoop out each individual tomato seedling. Transplant individual seedlings into containers at least 3 to 4 inches in diameter filled with moistened potting mix.

Gently water in the seedling after planting. When spring weather reaches and holds 55-degree temperatures at nights, move your plants out into the sun for a few hours at a time to harden them off. Gradually increase sunlight exposure daily over a week, until they can sit outside all day.

soil test kitBefore transplanting your seedlings, be sure to check the pH level of your soil to ensure it is not too acidic or alkaline.

Growing Garden Tomatoes says that your soil pH should be between 5.5 to 6.8 for tomatoes. Home soil testing kits can be purchased at gardening and home improvement centers, and many major cities offer soil testing for a fee.

When you are ready to transplant your plants, remove the bottom branches and plant up to just below the bottom leaves to ensure healthy growth and a strong root system.

Add  a tomato support in the form of cages or stakes and water gently. As your tomato plants grow, simply water soil when dry and enjoy your harvest!

Here’s a few recipes you can use your ripe home grown tomatoes in.

Garden Fresh Tomatoes and Salsa

Sweet Tomato Chutney

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Peach Teriyaki Buffalo Sirloins and Accompanying Side Dishes

Peach Teriyaki Buffalo Sirloins

The buffalo are a native animal to the North American continent, including Canada and the United States. Buffalo roamed in the millions over 200 years ago. But with the migration of settlers from the east coast of the United States or known territory back in the mid-1880’s, the buffalo began to dwindle in numbers.

As transportation had advanced from horse and wagon to the building of the rail road that connected the east coast with the growing population of the west, and with the ease of travel on the train, more people would immigrate.

The problem that arose, is the migration of the buffalo during certain times of the year, and the train and its tracks would pass along the same path as the buffalo. For what ever reason they had, the United States Congress gave the railroad permission to shot at the roaming buffalo as the train moved down the track through the Midwest on to the West Coast.

The buffalo fell by the thousands and their carcasses would lye there to only rot. There fur and meat would benefit no one as it had for the native people for thousands of years, who only killed the buffalo when in need of food and clothing.

Nothing went to waist when the natives hunted the buffalo, as it did when the then migrating American’s shot them dead where they were stampeding. By the 1860’s it was estimated that only 1000 Bison or buffalo was roaming the Central Plains of then know territories of the growing United States. By 1872 the Bison was protected by a proclamation of Congress of the USA.

The buffalo numbers have grown to only about 30,000 as of the estimation in 2010. 500,000 live on private lands and ranches in the Central Plains and Midwest of the now United States of America.

Buffalo is now raised for slaughter to market as a food staple. They are not feed the same diet as the traditional cow, but a diet that is normal to buffalo as they move about and graze the land.

With that, we come to our featured recipe: Peach Teriyaki Buffalo Sirloins and Accompanying Side Dishes.

Let’s start with the side dish recipes first, Steamed Carrots and Peas with Fresh Ginger, and here’s how to make this simple side dish:

Recipe for Steamed Carrots and Peas with Fresh GingerCarrots and peas are always a great addition to a meat dish, but because our main course plated is marinated with teriyaki, and to stay with the Asian theme, we added the ginger to the vegetables.

Our next side dish is also an Asian tradition, Chopped Asian Salad. Here is to prepare it starting with the dressing.

ingredients for dressing - Asian Chopped Salad

Mix the almond butter and all of the other liquid ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

chopped vegetables for Chopped Asian SaladThe salad ingredients will need:

2 medium carrots, shredded

1/2 head of green cabbage, shredded

3 scallions, chopped

2 celery stalks, diced

1/2 cup slivered almonds

Prepare the vegetables and mix together with the slivered almonds in a large salad bowl. Form a hole in the center of the salad, and pour the dressing the center and mix into the salad until well coated.

Now for the main course: Peach Teriyaki Buffalo Sirloins.

Meat and ingredients to make Peach Teriyaki Buffalo SirloinsYou will need about 40 ounces of buffalo sirloins or about 3 pounds of meat. 3 medium peaches or 2 large ones, peeled and pitted. 1/4 cup of organic local honey, and 3 tablespoons of teriyaki.

Salt (preferably Himalayan salt) and pepper both sides of the sirloins and place them into a zip-lock bag or large bowl.

puree ingredients to marinade buffalo sirloinsPlace peeled and pitted peaches into a food processor along with the honey and teriyaki sauce, and puree. Next pour into the bag or over the meat if you are using a bowl and mix in well. Let the meat marinade at least 1 hour.

You can either choice to broil or BBQ your marinaded buffalo sirloin steaks. During the cooking process, use the marinade to baste the meat as you turn it. Cook sirloins to 160 degrees internal temperature and enjoy meat that is high in omega-3 fatty acids. Your body will thank you for it!!

Plate the buffalo sirloins, add the side dish of Chopped Asian Salad:

Chopped Asian SaladSteamed Carrots and Peas with Fresh Ginger:

vegetable side dish with Peach Teriyaki Buffalo SirloinsEnjoy your Peach Teriyaki Buffalo Sirloins and Accompanying Side Dishes…

Peach Teriyaki Buffalo SirloinsNeed some dessert ideas, link here and see what Splendid Recipes and More has to offer: Desserts.

 

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