Tomatoes germinate for me in 2-10 days, depending on the temperature and freshness of the seed. It is imperative that they get under lights immediately after they hatch or the stems will quickly become very long. I use metal halide lamps with a daylight (blue) spectrum, which lets me cover a large area without needing the plants right up against the lamp, and additionally provides heat. I’ve had better results moving the seedlings outside from metal halide illumination than from flourescent as well.
I usually wait to transplant until I can see the beginning of the second set of leaves. This generally happens at four weeks from the time of sowing, but really it varies with the variety of tomato and type of leaves as well. I can get away with this anywhere from 2-6 weeks, after which the seedlings start to deteriorate.
I flood the trays with water about one hour before transplanting which loosens the soil and makes the seedlings easy to pull out. They are planted in 1801 deep flats and buried as deep as possible without covering the leaves. I use Promix BX for this, which has given me the best results of anything I’ve tried. I can hand transplant about one tray every 5 minutes, which still adds up to 12 hours of work for the 72 flats I did this year.
Currently I don’t fertilize, spray or use any chemicals at all on the tomato starts while they’re in the greenhouse. The inserts and soil are new and reasonably sterile and I’ve never had issues with tomato fungal infections in the six years I’ve been growing large numbers of seedlings at my present location. I’ve thought about using an organic fertilizer, but really I don’t know what I would want to gain from it. My plants are strong, vigorous and sturdy at the time they’re ready for sale.