The most dangerous diseases that will impact your tomato crop have nothing to do with the plants themselves, but with you: cabin fever and itchy gardening fingers.
Start your seeds too early and your plants will outgrow their pots quickly and become leggy, root-bound, and weak. They’ll spend their first weeks in the garden regaining strength, rather than producing new leaf growth and flowers.
But start them too late and (horrors!) you could have a delayed crop.
While tomato seed starting is not a one-size-fits-all, there’s a two-step foolproof way to know when to start your tomato seeds.
the last frost date for your region. If you’re not sure, contact your local extension office. You can also view the freeze/frost information provided by the National Climatic Data Center. Select your state from the drop-down list. On the opened chart, choose the city closest to you. You’ll see the average last frost dates for spring (and first frost for fall) dates – among plenty of other data.
Count back 4-6 weeks from the last frost date for your region. Start your seeds during this window of opportunity.
By showing a tiny bit of discipline – and sticking with this formula – you will be rewarded with healthy, sturdy tomato plants that are ready to set in the garden a week or two after your last frost date has passed.
Best Tips for Growing Tomatoes: Bestseller in 89 Countries
THE tomato-growing Bible and best-seller in 89 countries: How to Grow Juicy Tomatoes. Two horticulturalists combine forces to give you advice about the right way to prune, fertilize, water and stake tomatoes.
You’ll be able to diagnose pest and disease problems using step by step priceless information, illustrated with 260 full color photos.
FREE Kitchen Gardener Planner for Tomato Dirt Readers!
Our friends at Gardener’s Supply offer this FREE Kitchen Garden Planner so you can use square-foot gardening techniques to create your own super-productive veggie garden, no matter how much or how little space you have. Customize a pre-planned garden or create your own using their cool online tools! Check it out here.
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