When To Start Tomato Seeds Indoors
Tomato is the most popular vegetable in America and it’s no wonder. Tomatoes are incredibly tasty, rich in flavor and vitamins, and can be grown even in small spaces. In fact, I like to grow tomatoes on my balcony! Whether you’re starting a new garden or adding another variety of tomato to your collection, here’s everything you need to know about when to start growing tomatoes indoors:
How to Start Tomato Seeds in a Seed Tray
To get your tomato seeds started, you’ll need:
- A seed tray or other container with drainage holes in the bottom.
- Soil. You can use regular potting soil or store-bought seed starting medium. If using potting soil, sift out any large pieces of debris like sticks or rocks and discard them.
How to Transplant Tomato Plants
The process of transplanting tomato plants is delicate, and should be done as soon as possible after seed germination. The best time to transplant tomato plants is when they are small—approximately 2-3 inches tall. If the plant has grown too large during its time in the seed tray, it will become stressed and may not thrive in your garden.
When transplanting, use a trowel or soil knife to dig out the surrounding soil from around your tomato plant’s root ball carefully so that you do not damage any roots. With one hand holding the potting soil around the root ball firmly together (try using some rubber bands if necessary), gently remove your seedling from its nursery container by lifting it out by its stem with both hands; keep supporting each leafy branch until all have been detached from their original spot. Place this removed section on top of another nearby container (or ground) while waiting for your new planting site to be ready; this helps protect them from being damaged by sunlight while waiting for space in which to place them! Be sure that all of these containers have drainage holes at least 1/8 inch across so that water won’t pool inside causing mold issues later on down road.”
In cold climates, start tomato seedlings indoors at least six weeks before the last frost
When you are starting tomato seeds indoors, you will want to wait until the weather is above 40°F (4°C) and the soil temperature has reached 50°F (10°C). If you start your seeds too early, they may not have enough time to grow before the last frost hits. If you start them too late, they may not be able to grow at all before temperatures drop below freezing.
Start your tomato seedlings indoors at least six weeks before their last scheduled frost date or two weeks before their first scheduled frost date if they are being planted outside after growing indoors.
I hope this article has been helpful for you to understand how to start your tomato plants. If you’re looking for more information on starting tomatoes, we have a full guide here with everything from planting times to what type of soil is best for growing tomatoes indoors or out.