The Q&A Archives: Fourth of July Tomato

Question: I would like to start my Fourth of July tomato plants early,the ground has been cold this week . Would plastic milk bottle help with the hole in the bottom cut out and using plastic garbage bag to cover around bottles to keep the growing area warm?

Answer: Unfortunately, tomato plants need a warm soil and warm weather to grow their best. (They do not tolerate any frost!) Knowing this, gardeners often improvise any number of arrangements to try to keep both the soil and the plants warm so they can set them out early. Your system might work -- or you might take a look at the "Wall O' Water" system Burpee offers (800-888-1447) as another style alternative. Another thing to try is warming the soil by using a raised bed or covering it temporarily in early spring with black plastic. Just be aware that a cold snap might still kill or stunt the plants. Good luck with your early crop!

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