The Q&A Archives: Starting Tomato Seeds

Question: I need information on starting tomato from seeds, inside. Last year, I didn't get tomatoes untill very late in year, my crop was in it's prime when the first frost hit.

Answer: Tomato seed should be started 6-8 weeks before the last frost date for your area. Starting earlier than that can result in weak and leggy seedlings. Perhaps you should try a variety of tomato that matures early to avoid this problem. Consider the varieties 'Bush Early Girl', 'Fourth of July', and 'Early Girl'. These are all early maturing tomatoes offered by Burpee. With appropriate care, 'Fourth of July' bears fruit in just 44 days! When growing from seed be sure tostart with a sterile soilless growing mix, provide appropriate lighting (a fluorescent light suspended 1-2" above seedlings is great), provide good air circulation, water enough to keep soil surface moist but never "wet", and, feed the seedlings with a 50% strength version of a fertilizer such as Miracle Gro at every other watering session.

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