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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Starting Tomatoes from Seed

Transplanting tomato starts
Here in the Pacific NW, it's time to start tomatoes from seed. Most varieties need 6-8 weeks to grow large enough and sturdy enough to be transplanted into garden beds. Since our last risk of frost is around Memorial Day, mid to late March is the time to start the seeds. Tomatoes are warmth-loving plants needing to germinate at around 70-75 degrees so they need to be started indoors to thrive. We germinate ours on a heat -mat specifically designed for this purpose. Once the seeds are up, they need full sun to keep from getting pale and leggy. A greenhouse is best, as long as you don't get freezing temps or a heat source on cold nights. If you don't have a greenhouse, a grow-light will work, or a south-facing window. Keep rotating plants so they grow straight up (not towards the window).

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