Tomato 'Sweetie' Seed Pack

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The satisfaction of raising a bountiful crop of delicious, fully ripe tomatoes can't be beat, and as experienced gardeners will tell you, so much depends upon the weather. Most people will start their seeds indoors where they can control the soil, water, light, and temperature. Once the seedlings move outdoors, it's less an exact science and more what works in the environment provided.

One rule of thumb is to plant the seedlings deep, leaving only two sets of leaves above ground, even if it means stripping off bottom leaves on a particularly leggy start. All the little hairs along the stem will become roots, providing that much more water and nourishment to the plant. You'll also want to install your support, be it a cage, trellis, or some other structure, at the time of transplanting so the roots aren't damaged later on. Planting a tomato with no support will only cause heartache unless you're planting a tomato in a hanging basket. Growers have had varying success with this tactic, depending upon the actual container and the variety of tomato.

Cherry tomatoes are a great starter tomato to those new to gardening. Though often just as vigorous a plant as larger tomatoes, cherry tomatoes usually ripen sooner and thus will avoid some of the complications of waiting for a bigger tomato to reach maturity (e.g. cracking). 

Botanical Name: Solanum lycopersicum
Mature Size: Vines are 6' and longer; fruits 3/4" - 1"
Light: Full sun
Cold Hardiness: Frost sensitive annual
When to Sow Outside: For mild climates only: 1 to 2 weeks after your average last frost date, and when soil temperature is at least 60°F.
When to Start Inside: RECOMMENDED. 4 to 6 weeks before transplanting. Transplant when air temperature is 45°F or warmer, usually 1 to 2 weeks after your average last frost date.
Special Germination Instructions: Ideal soil temperature for germination is 70°–90°F.
Days to Emerge: 5 - 10 days
Seed Depth: 1/8"
Seed Spacing: A group of 3 seeds every 24"–36"
Row Spacing: 36"
Thinning: When 2" tall, thin to 1 every 24"–36"
Maturity Date: 65 days from transplanting
When to Harvest: Pick when tomatoes are fully red and have a slight give when gently squeezed.
Additional Info: Provide support for vigorous vines, either trellis or cage.
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