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[Tomato Dirt #98] When Should I Start My Tomato Seeds?
March 02, 2016

Tomato Dirt Newsletter
Volume 6, Number 4

Dear Tomato Dirt reader,

Welcome back to Tomato Dirt! Once or twice a month, we’ll send you this newsletter packed with tips about growing tomatoes and using them.

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FEATURE: When Should I Start My Tomato Seeds?

Image: USDA

Is it spring yet? Almost!

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.

  1. Determine 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.

  2. 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.

Check this tomato seed starting timetable for detailed information and then find out more about how to grow tomatoes from seeds to get yourself ready for the new growing season. And be sure to check out our Starting Tomato Seeds board on Pinterest for more fun and inspiring ideas.

Tomato Growing Tip #25: Simple Math for When to Start Tomato Seeds

Image: Tomato Dirt

Get more tips for growing tomatoes on our Tomato Growing Tips Pinterest board.

Best Tips for Growing Tomatoes

Tomato Growing Book

Check Out These Gadgets for Starting Tomato Seeds

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More about Starting Tomato Seeds

What to Look for in a Tomato Seed Starting Kit Compare Seed Starting Pots for Starting Tomato Seeds How to Germinate Tomato Seeds to Get Best Results 5 Best Tomato Growing Tips for Starting Tomato Seeds

That’s it for now. More next time.

Until then, happy gardening!

Kathy with Tomato Dirt
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