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How many tomato seeds do you prefer to start? (ratio)

8 years ago
last modified: 8 years ago

Just curious... how many seeds do each of you start for each tomato seedling you hope to plant in the ground?

I learned the hard way that some plants don't germinate. I also learned with new varieties that some seed purveyors are better than others. And some old seeds are better than new seeds of the same variety. One company in particular produces consistent, beautiful vegetables for me, except tomatoes. I have not harvested a single tomato from any plant produced from their seed in six years of trying.

I'm not patient, so I typically start 4-6 seeds of each tomato variety, with the intention of eventually putting one plant of each kind in the ground. So this year I hope to transplant 11 tomato plants - each a different variety. I am trying a few new ones this year, and I don't know who has the best seeds, so I ordered the same (Cosmonaut Volkov) from two different companies. So in that case, I planted four of each. Again, learned the hard way.

In the end, I usually end up with many extras after thinning and discarding plants that succumb to shock, or what have you. Considering I usually start with approx 50-60 seeds for 11 plants, I usually end up with 40+ plants come transplant time. So I give the extras away to friends and family. It's become kind of a thing... people start asking me about the tomato plants in February.

So I was wondering what other people do? How many do you start compared to how many you expect to plant out?Clearly, I average 5 to 1 started vs planted.

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