Start your tomatoes early


Having homegrown tomatoes ready for Christmas has long been a traditional aim of keen tomato growers but, if you like growing your tomatoes from seed, you’ll need to get started as soon as possible.

Tomatoes have tropical origins so prefer soil temperatures of at least 20°C for successful germination. In many parts of the country it will still be far too cold to sow outdoors but, because tomatoes transplant easily, they can be started inside or in a glasshouse and grown on to be ready for planting outside when conditions are warmer.

Use seed raising mix

It’s worth investing in some Yates Black Magic Seed Raising Mix for this exercise. Seed raising mix has finer particles than potting mix, and maintains a good balance between holding adequate moisture and draining well.

Almost any container can be used to raise the seeds. Clean, pre-loved seed punnets are ideal, as are small pots. Plastic food containers work well, as long as they’re washed thoroughly before use. Make sure, too, that the container has some drainage holes poked in the base.

Where to start growing tomatoes

A warm window sill is a good place to start your tomatoes. Be careful if it gets direct sunlight as, even in winter, the pots could get very hot. A bright spot out of the sun would be better.

Fill the pot with the mix, water and allow to drain. Sow the seeds at the recommended depth, cover gently and water again when they need it. Shallow containers can be watered by sitting them in an outer, water-filled container and allowing the moisture to seep up through the drainage holes. Don’t leave the pot sitting in the water for too long or the seeds will drown.

Varieties of Tomatoes

There are lots of tomato varieties to choose from in the Yates seed range:

Caring for your tomatoes

Move your tomatoes outside as soon as the weather is reliably warm. They love good going so plant into well prepared soil that’s been enriched with Dynamic Lifter, and feed every couple of weeks with Thrive Liquid Concentrate Tomato Food.

Dust regularly with Yates Tomato Dust to keep pests and diseases at bay. Use Yates Mavrik to control the nasty tomato and potato psyllid that can spoil leaves later in the season


This area is for general comments from members of the public. Some questions or comments may not receive a reply from Yates. For all consumer related enquiries, please contact us.

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