I´m a newbie to this. I´ve decided I want to grow my own vegetables now and am just learning how to go about it. Last year I planted 6 lettuces, 5 of which were eaten, the other one failed! So that´s the extent of my knoweldge.
This year I want to continue with this on a slightly larger scale and have just started to research growing my own tomatoes.
I live in Pamplona in Northern Spain and yes the climate is different, but not as much as one might imagine. The seasons are the same, the winters are often colder, however we do get a lot of sunlight between April and September. I have a terrace which receives direct sunlight from the hours of 0800 until 1530, and it can get very hot between June and August. This is where I´d like to grow these tomatoes (and much more!)
Through the research I´ve done it seems the process must be started indoors, before repotting your tomatoes and taking them outside. The process in general seems very long and complicated. I want to ask you all if there may be a simpler way, starting outside from day one (with tomatoes from seed)? And just general advice about how to go about this, or links to a good website which has good advice for an amateur like me!
My sincerest thanks in advance
Sometimes it's easier to buy the plants versus growing from seed. If I was you, I would create a greenhouse with plastic over your growing box. Be sure to use quality growing medimum.
Growing Tomatoes From Seed : Outdoors : Home & Garden Television. Also search Reemay cloth or Reemay growing cloth and look at the images. You can also search for growing cables or growing heat cables. This will increase the soil temp to help germinate the seeds.
Tomatoes are so easy to grow from seed; I grow all of mine this way. It's also less expensive, and you can grow as many varieties as you like and keep your seeds from year to year. After that, your only expense, really, is your time and the seed starting mix. I usually grow mine in plastic six-cell growing container - one or two containers for each variety. If you just want a few plants, of course, anything will do - a plastic cup (with holes in the bottom) or even an aluminum pie plate (with holes). Sow the seeds just under the surface of the soil; you can insert the containers inside a plastic freezer bag, but it's not necessary if you keep the soil moist. It takes about two weeks for tomato seeds to germinate. Once you grow your own from seed, there's no turning back. If you're growing a lot of different varieites, don't forget to label them! If you're growing peppers, start them much earlier - they're easy, too, but take longer to germinate. Tomatoes need lots of sun and warm temperatures. It sounds like you have the perfect growing conditions in Spain. Good luck.
Unfortunately, growing great tomatoes doesn't just happen. Don’t Crowd Seedlings, be sure to give the seedlings room to branch out. Close conditions inhibit their growth, so transplant them as soon as they get their first true leaves and move them into 4" pots about 2 weeks after that. Tomato seedlings will need either strong, direct sunlight or 14-18 hours under grow lights. Place the young plants only a couple of inches from florescent grow lights. Plant your tomatoes outside in the sunniest part of your vegetable plot.