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Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Starting Tomatoes from Seed


Transplanting tomato starts (tofu containers with holes drilled in bottom re-purposed for seed-starting).
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 mid-May, early to mid March is the time to start the seeds. And, if you're like us and grow most/all of our tomatoes in greenhouses, they can be transplanted from their pots even sooner.
 
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 have 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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