The Q&A Archives: tomato seeds

Question: I am ready to plant tomatos from seed but how do I know the seeds I get from the nursery are fresh. Is there any way I can check? And also should I plant them in the cells in a soiless mixture before putting them in potting soil?
Thanks Dave

Answer: Seed packages have a date on them so check the date to make sure they were packaged for the 2006 growing season. If the packet is outdated, you can still check viability by putting 10 seeds onto a moistened paper towel, folding the towel up and placing it in a plastic bag (don't seal it). Place it on a kitchen counter or other warm place and check it in 7-10 days. Viable seeds will sprout; you can then determine what percentage of the seeds are good (1 out of 10= 10 percent of the seeds in the packet are viable, 5 out of 10 = 50 percent of the seeds are viable, etc.)

You can plant your seeds in a seed starting mix which is fine-milled peat, or directly into potting soil. Either way, your tomato seedlings should be happy.

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