The Q&A Archives: Too Late To Start Tomato Seeds?

Question: Is it too late to start tomato seeds indoors? I live outside Philadelphia. If not, when do I transplant them outside? If I were to decide to buy plants, when do I plant them outside?

Answer: Tomatoes are usually started about 6 weeks before the last average frost date and are hardened off and then transplanted outside when the danger of frost is past and the soil has warmed up a bit. You could certainly still start some from seed either indoors now or directly in the ground shortly, but they will probably fruit several weeks later than purchased transplants set out at the earliest possible time. If you purchase transplants, be sure they are hardened off before you plant them out; plant them out when you are pretty sure there will be no more frost. If a frost should threaten cover them with a cardboard box or the like for the night. Good luck with your tomatoes!

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