I’ve always wondered how do we here at Gardener’s have tomatoes early May. Today I found out how Farmer Dre does it. He has already started his tomato seeds for next season. Check out the video below for update.
I also made Farmer Dre make me a list of what he uses to get the seeds started and the system he uses to guarantee full germination. Hopefully this is useful.
Heat pad: https://amzn.to/2LqbeLJ
Grow lights: https://amzn.to/2Lpj5sP
128 cell Tray: https://amzn.to/2rMfBHC
Germination mix: https://amzn.to/2R8XDxm
The Farmer Dre Germination System:
Make sure you have Seeds and all the above items before you begin. (Any seed will work in this germination system)
Its crucial that all trays are sanitized. The best way to sanitize is to create chlorine solution, preferably 10 ppm (you can use chlorine strips to determine concentration), and dunk and submerge trays in solution. Let trays air dry before you fill them with germination mix.
Fill Trays with germination mix. We recommend you only use a germination mix because it give the seed a perfect “bed” to grow properly. If you use regular potting soil you will have issues with seed germination. From our experience you will lose up to 30% of seeds if you don’t use a germination type mix.
Before you plant the seed, Farmer Dre always makes sure that the mix is moist. Water the mix prior seeding to ensure that the seed doesn’t get lost, removed, or sinks to deep within cell which can cause problems with germination. With a point object (you can use a pencil) create a ¼ inch hole in every cell. Place seed in hole and cover with germination mix. MAKE SURE YOU DON’T WATER AFTER SEED IS IN PLACE.
Set trays on heat mat. Make sure that the average air temp is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Place grow lights about 18-20 inches above trays. Turn on the grow lights until the 1st seed germinates which should take an approximate time of 4-6 days. Once 1st seed germinates, plug grow lights into timer and set timer to have lights running 16hrs a day, and off 8hrs a day. Allow seedlings to grow 4 weeks in cell before transplanting. Unplug Heat Mat once all the seeds have germinated.
Water Schedule should be every other day for the entire growing/germination process. Water soil to be moist, NEVER soak the soil mix.
We will have a transplanting video and blog as soon as we can have it ready.
Check out the video below with current tomato update: