How Long For Tomatoes To Germinate – Number Of Days To Germination

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Last Updated on October 29, 2022

Have you ever wondered how long it takes for tomatoes plant to germinate? For those who are interested in keeping a garden or just having some freshly grown fruits around, then tomato is a great option.

Knowing how long tomatoes take to germinate and how best to nurture the plant if it is to attain a bounteous yield is thus important. There are different factors that affect the growth of tomatoes and which may help boost their growth or reduce their growth substantially.

The general timeline before a tomato is matured enough for harvesting is also discussed in this guide. Now, let’s begin with getting to know how long it takes for tomatoes to germinate and things that will aid successful germination.

How Long Do Tomatoes Take To Germinate: Number Of Days

So, looking at the average number of days for the germination of tomato seeds, tomato seeds usually germinate between day 5 and day 11 after planting.

The viability of the seed, type of soil, and nurturing will determine how quickly germination will occur.

Germination is usually demonstrated by tiny green leaves sprouting from the spots where the seeds were planted. It is usually best to plant evenly as this makes for ease in determining whether the seeds have germinated or not.

So, let’s look into factors that affect the germination of tomato seeds.

Factors That Influence The Germination Time For Tomatoes

The following factors would usually influence how fast a tomato seed germinates:

  1. Viability Of Seed: Where the tomato seed planted is viable, it will likely germinate fast. Where this is not the case, the whole germination process will very likely become slow. A seed is said to be viable when there is a high percentage of the possibility of the seed growing when planted. Seed viability is mostly influenced by the storage temperature of the said seed.
  2. Storage Length Of Seed: Tomato seeds usually last for a reasonably long period of time in storage. When they are properly stored, they can last for a period of 4 or 5 years. However, the longer the storage period, the more time it would take for the seed to germinate.
  3. Pre-soaking Of Seeds: When tomato seeds are too dry, it takes a longer period to germinate. It is, therefore, best to soak seeds in warm water for at least 12 hours before planting. This will help soften the seed coat and speed up the germination process.
  4. Temperature: This is a very important factor that can affect the germination of a seed. It would be of great ease for the seeds to germinate quickly at a temperature between 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Where the temperature is lower than 70F it may take a longer time to germinate or it may not germinate at all. The same thing happens where the temperature goes way above 80F.

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Things To Consider Before Planting Tomato Seeds

  1. Suitable Location: This is one of the first factors to be put into consideration when planting tomatoes seeds. The location where the seeds are planted in some situations influences the overall growth and germination timeframe. Whether the tomato seeds will be grown indoors or outdoors in the garden should be considered at this stage.
  2. Best Time To Plant: The most suitable time to grow tomatoes is usually towards the end of January up until about the end of March. Between this time frame, the amount of sunlight, soil water content and overall temperature is perfect to grow tomatoes.
  3. Seeds Spacing: The seeds should be spaced sufficiently so as to allow for some space within which the plant may spread. The ideal intra-row spacing should be about 20-40cm. Sufficient spacing has a way of improving the overall yield of the plant.
  4. Plant In Loamy Soil: Although tomato plants are not very picky about which soil they can grow in, it is always best to plant in loamy soil. A well-drained, fertile loam soil with a pH level between 5.8-7.0. Provision of the soil with some manure a few weeks or days before planting will also strengthen the suitability of the soil.

How To Nurture Tomato Seeds After Planting

The following should be done after the seeds have been planted to ensure that it germinates at the best possible time, and flourish as it grows.

1.    Ensure That The Soil Is Watered Adequately

Tomato seeds usually require a reasonable amount of water in the soil for quick germination. So, after planting, ensure that watering is done at the right proportion. If the soil happens to be too dry, the seed may not be able to break dormancy, while if too wet, the seed may rot. To prevent any of these extremities, a reasonable amount of water must be supplied.

How To Nurture Tomato Seeds After Planting

2.    Ensure That There Is Sufficient Sunlight Provided After Germination

The tomatoes seeds may not need much sunlight to germinate. But after germination has occurred, it requires sufficient sunlight. This means that if the seeds were planted in planting pots or indoors, they should be taken out and exposed to sufficient sunlight after germination.

3.    Weed Management: How Long For Tomatoes To Germinate

If the best result is desired, the plant should be weeded from time to time to reduce the number of weeds contesting for the soil nutrients with the tomatoes plants. The tomatoes plants are fragile and may not be able to thrive in the presence of tough weeds.

4.    Harvest Fruit At The Right Time

It is usually best to leave tomatoes on the plants so they can ripen naturally. Where this is allowed, the flavor is improved greatly.

When the plant starts making fruits, prune some of the older leaves to make space for the inflow of sunlight. The fruits also need some sunlight to ripen fast.

5.    Store The Tomatoes Properly After Harvesting

To retain the original spicy flavor of the tomatoes, ensure that it is stored properly. One way of doing this is to make a tomato sauce and then freeze it for future use.

Store The Tomatoes Properly After Harvesting


How long does it take for tomato seeds to germinate indoors?

You can grow tomatoes from seed indoors. I would recommend starting them in a small container that will fit on your windowsill. Keep the temperature around 70°F. They will start growing within a week or two. Once they are growing, you can transplant them to a larger pot and continue growing them outdoors.

Under optimal conditions they take between 5 and 10 days to germinate.

How do I make tomato seeds germinate faster?

Seeds that germinate fast are usually a result of a seed lot with a very high viability, so it's not something you can replicate. However, if you have a slow-germinating seed lot, you can try to speed things up by soaking your seeds for a few days in water. This has been shown to increase germination rate, but only if the seeds have been stored properly beforehand.

You can also increase the rate at which tomato seeds germinate by placing them in a warm environment for a few days. I've found that putting them in a plastic bag on top of the fridge for 2-3 days has done the trick. However, I wouldn't recommend this if you're going to be moving them to a greenhouse as it might result in seedling death due to cold shock.

Why aren’t my tomatoes germinating?

We all know that tomatoes are a difficult plant to grow. You can’t just throw them in the ground and expect them to thrive. They need lots of sun, good soil, and plenty of water to produce fruit. But if you want to get your hands on some cherry tomatoes in the summer months, you’re going to have to work for it.

It's possible that your plants need to be watered more often or have their soil mixed with something like sand or perlite.

It could be that your seeds are too old. If you're not sure how old they are, you can test this by placing them in water overnight. The next day, they should float if they are still fresh. If they sink, then you know they are old. When it comes to germination, there is no such thing as too old. You just need to make sure the seeds are properly acclimated to their new environment.

Can you start tomato seed in water?

You can try to start the seeds in a glass of water. Water will keep the seeds moist and also helps the roots to grow longer. You may also add some nutrients to the water to help the seeds germinate.

How deep should tomato seeds be?

They should be planted about 1/8th of an inch deep. You just have to make sure that you press the soil on top lightly so that that it is well covered.

Why are my tomato seeds not germinating?

It could be that your seeds are too old. If you're not sure how old they are, you can test this by placing them in water overnight. The next day, they should float if they are still fresh. If they sink, then you know they are old. When it comes to germination, there is no such thing as too old. You just need to make sure the seeds are properly acclimated to their new environment.

How Long For Tomatoes To Germinate? Conclusion

As we have seen from the above, tomato seeds will usually germinate between 5 to 11 days depending on a number of factors. To get the best possible result in your tomato farm or garden, ensure to note the above.

It is for you to decide whether you want your tomatoes planted outdoors or indoors. Whichever you decide, ensure that they are properly nurtured as this is the best way to achieve results.

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