• This is one of the commonest methods and produces good results. Sow each seed (two if you have a surplus) in a 7.5cm (3in) pot, lightly covering them with potting compost. Ensure the compost is moist but not waterlogged. Place them in a warm (up to 27C or 80F) draught free place - the seedlings should emerge in 7 to 10 days time. Immediately this happens, move the plants to a light position (a light windowsill is ideal), but out of direct sunlight to avoid burning the leaves. Where more than one seed has been sown per pot, thin out the least health seedling as soon as they large enough to handle. When the roots start to come through the base of the pot (about 4 weeks after sowing), transfer the plants to larger 12.5cm (5in) pots. The plants will be large enough to transplant outside about 7 weeks after sowing the seed. A constant supply of moisture is essential for tomatoes - dry periods significantly increase the risk of the fruit splitting. Tomatoes don't like being water-logged, but neither can they stand dry conditions.

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