Freshly grown tomatoes are a sweet summertime treat and take relatively little effort to grow. Many varieties of tomatoes are available, but the cherry tomato has a distinct sweet flavor and can be eaten straight off the vine. Although cherry tomato plants can be purchased, growing them from seeds can keep the cost down and it is a good activity to get children involved in.
Start cherry tomatoes from seeds indoors about six to eight weeks before the last frost is expected. Fill a seed tray with a seed starting mix that can be obtained at any local nursery. Use a seed tray with drainage holes in the bottom.
Create furrows in the seed starting mix that are approximately 1/4 inch deep and about 1 inch apart. Drop cherry tomato seeds into the furrows, spacing them 1/2 inch apart. Carefully cover the seeds with a 1/4 inch of the starter mix; gently firm it over with your hand.
Lightly water the seeds using a spray bottle so as not to disturb the seeds. The starter mix should be moist but never have standing water that can wash out the seeds. Spray with water daily to keep the starter mix moist.
Place the seed tray in a warm room where temperatures range from 75 to 80 degrees. A piece of clear plastic wrap or an inverted seed tray may be placed over the top of the seed tray to create a greenhouse effect, keeping the seeds in a warm environment.
Set the seed tray in front of a south facing window or under fluorescent lights one week later when the seeds are beginning to germinate. After 14 days, the seedlings should be approximately 1 to 2 inches tall and a bright green indicating they are receiving sufficient lighting.
Transplant seedlings to individual containers after one month or once they reach about 5 inches high and have developed a couple sets of leaves. Fill 3-inch to 4-inch pots with organic potting soil and plant one seedling per pot. Plant the seedling up to the first set of leaves since burying the stem deeply makes for a sturdy plant. Water the seedlings well after transplanting into the pots to keep the soil moist.
Plant the seedlings in your garden area about two weeks after the final frost or when temperatures stay consistently around 55 degrees during the day.