If you count the time that remains before planting the first new year tomatoes in your garden there is only about six weeks left. That's just the right amount of time to produce transplants for the garden.
Now, it would be easy to wait until the garden center gets their first of the season transplants. But will they have the varieties you really want to grow? Possibly you have been trying those new clustering grape tomatoes at the grocery store or want the old fashion flavor of some of the heirloom varieties. If you do, they probably have to be started from seed.
Tomatoes are easy to start from seed packets obtained at your garden center or ordered from mail order companies. Just tell them to rush because you have just a little time left to sow the seeds.
- Fill small pots or a cell packs with a potting mix available at garden centers.
- Make a half inch depression in each pot or cell and sow one or two seeds.
- Cover with soil and keep moist in a bright location.
- When the seed germinates move containers immediately to full sun - preferably outdoors.
- Water when the soil surface begins to dry and feed weekly with a fertilizer solution.
- When one to two inches tall, remove all but one plant from each pot or cell.
Around the first or second week of March it's time to add the tomato transplants to the garden. Just keep a box or basket handy to protect the plants from a late winter frost.