Plant your tomato seeds 1/4 inch (6 mm) deep. The garden bed should have at least 8 inches (20 cm) of soil. Never push the seeds more than 1/2 inch (13 mm) down into the soil. Seeds that are buried too deeply won’t have enough energy to sprout through the surface. Do not plant the seeds less than 1/4 inch or scatter seeds on top of the soil. If you do, the seeds will dry out, get washed away, or be displaced to other areas. Always put at least 2 seeds in each spot when planting tomatoes. Then, gently sprinkle water on the soil to ensure the seeds stay moist.
Table of Contents
How Deep Does Soil Need to Be to Grow Tomatoes?
Tomato plants need at least 8 inches (20 cm) of soil. An 8-to-12-inch deep (20–30 cm) garden bed is ideal. You can also use five-gallon containers. Just make sure the containers have drainage holes at the bottom.
- Tomato plants require a minimum of 8 inches (20 cm) of soil.
- Plant your tomatoes in a garden bed with 8–12 inches (20–30 cm) of soil for best results.
- Grow potted tomatoes in five-gallon containers with drainage holes.
- Use a fertile loam soil to get the highest yields from your tomatoes each season.
- Make your own soil mix using peat moss and compost.
Use fertile loam soil for your tomatoes to get the highest yields. Amend your existing soil with peat moss and well-aged manure. Or make your own mix using equal parts peat moss, sand, and compost.
How Deep is Too Deep for Tomato Seeds?
Anything more than 1/2 inch (13 mm) beneath the soil surface is too deep for tomato seeds. They should sit at a depth of 1/4 of an inch (6 mm). But up to 1/2 inch down is okay. If they are planted deeper than that, the seeds will have trouble sprouting above the surface.
- More than 1/2 inch (13 mm) deep is too far beneath the surface for tomato seeds.
- Aim to place your seeds at a depth of about 1/4 of an inch (6 mm).
- Planting deeper than 1/2 inch will prevent your tomato seeds from sprouting.
- Plant your seeds by placing them on the surface and sprinkling 1/4 inch (6 mm) of soil over them.
- Gently water your seeds with a spray bottle to avoid moving the seeds around.
Make sure your seeds sit at the right depth by simply placing them on the surface. Then, sprinkle 1/4 of an inch ( 6mm) of soil over the top of the seeds. Water gently using a spray bottle to avoid displacing the soil. This provides enough water for a tomato seedling to sprout but won’t wash the seeds away.
What Happens if You Plant Tomato Seeds Too Deep?
Planting your tomato seeds too deeply will result in poor germination. The seeds will not have enough energy to sprout in the typical 5–7 day period. Any seeds that do sprout will likely experience poor growth rates.
- Planting tomato seeds more than 1/2 inch (13 mm) down will result in poor germination.
- The tiny seeds will not have enough energy to sprout through the surface.
- If any seeds do sprout, they will likely experience poor growth through the season.
- In most cases, deeply planted tomato seeds just rot in the soil.
More often than not, tomato seeds that are planted too deeply will rot beneath the surface. You will then need to replant more seeds in hopes of getting tomato plants to grow. If it’s late in the season, you’ll need to try to find starter plants instead.
What Happens if You Plant Your Tomato Seeds Too Shallow?
Tomato seeds will likely dry out when planted too shallowly. The lack of dirt can also result in the seeds getting moved around. Shallowly planted seeds that do sprout may work themselves out of the soil.
- Tomato seeds dry out when planted too shallowly.
- The lack of dirt overhead can allow the seeds to get displaced.
- Shallowly planted seeds may work themselves out of the soil if they do sprout.
- Always put 1/4 inch (6 mm) of soil over your tomato seeds and water gently with a spray bottle.
- You can switch to a watering can after your tomato seedlings start to grow strong.
Sprinkle 1/4 inch (6 mm) of soil over your tomato seeds. Then, water them with a spray bottle twice per day until they sprout. As the seedlings grow, you can start using a small watering can. Just be careful not to bend or otherwise damage their stems.
How Many Tomato Seeds Do You Plant Per Hole?
Always plant at least 2 tomato seeds in each spot. You do not need to make an actual hole for your seeds. Just place the seeds on top of the soil. Then, cover them with around 1/4 inch (6 mm) of dirt. Gently water your seeds twice each day.
- Put at least 2 tomato seeds where you want each plant to grow.
- Place the seeds on the surface of the soil, and then cover with 1/4 inch (6 mm) of dirt.
- Water your seeds twice daily to keep them moist enough to germinate.
- The seeds will germinate in 5–7 days if temperatures are ideal.
- The best tomato seed germination rates occur in 70–80°F (21–26°C) temperatures.
The seeds will germinate in 5–7 days if temperatures are in the right range for growth. Tomatoes germinate best when temperatures are in the 70–80°F (21–26°C) range. Lower temperatures result in longer germination times. If temperatures are still a little too cold for germination, try using heat mats or a grow light to provide warmth for your tomatoes. If sprouting them indoors, place your pot near a sunny window to provide more warmth.
How Do You Plant Tomato Seeds in the Soil?
To grow tomato plants from seed, you should:
- Place at least 2 tomato seeds on the surface of the soil where you want each plant.
- The garden bed should have at least 8 inches (20 cm) of soil to properly support the plant’s growth.
- Cover the seeds with around 1/4 inch (6 mm) of soil and gently water them with a spray bottle twice per-day.
- Never plant your seeds more than a 1/2 inch (13 mm) deep or they may not sprout through the surface.
- Avoid planting the seeds too shallow or they will not grow properly either.
When you put your efforts into correctly planting tomato seeds, you’ll get a garden full of healthy plants. You can then harvest tomatoes all season long to enjoy fresh, cooked, or preserved.