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By Richard Bird; Christine France

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It should be about 75 to 80 degrees in the area where your plants are growing. Once the seeds are germinating you will want to provide them with plenty of sunlight. Keep them somewhere with that heat and use a florescent lamp if you can’t get a good light source naturally. It should take right around seven days for your seeds to germinate and at that point you will notice what’s called cotyledon leaves. The seedlings will be small and nicely green. In about a month you’ll see tomato leaves above the small leaves.

CHOOSING CAGES If you want to get more tomatoes that are smaller instead you can opt to use a cage instead. You can build your own with concrete reinforcing wire or pasture wire. You’ll need about 5 ½ feet which can be formed into a circle about 18-20 inches in diameter. This will help your plants grow more tomatoes. You want to cut the bottom section of the cage so that it will dig into the ground and stand straight. You should put in a couple stakes to reinforce this but make sure they are outside of the cage.

Each row should also be placed approximately 3 to 4 feet apart. You will want to dig a very deep hole in the ground because the peat pot you’ve planted your tomatoes in needs to be put right into that hole and then covered with an inch of soil. Peat will act like a wick and will draw away the moisture of your plant if you leave it exposed to the air so you want to make sure that you are covering it completely to avoid this danger to your plants. It could result in them being stunted or even dying.

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