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I don't know when to start tomato seeds indoors.


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margie12u
Indiana
Posts: 516
Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:37 pm   Post subject: I don't know when to start tomato seeds indoors.


I live in zone 5 when is the best time to start my tomato seeds inside the house? They didn't do to good last year,

Thank you Margie Stew Face 2


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marlingardener
Central Texas, zone 8
Posts: 5033
Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:51 pm   


Margie,
Count back 8 to 10 weeks from the time you want to set them in the garden, and plant them inside. You have to give them a week or two to germinate, and then tomatoes tend to sit there for a while before they really start to get true leaves and grow.
I give mine 10 weeks, but I have plenty of room and the climate where I can put them out for the day and bring them into a potting area overnight a week or two before planting. It's called "hardening off", or "making room for more babies." Laughing

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margie12u
Indiana
Posts: 516
Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:59 pm   Post subject: tomato seeds


Thank you that sounds good to me Last year They got tall and leggy looking and by the time I was ready to plant they were pretty Yucky!! I think I want to plant them in early May, So maybe put them out in early March you think? Confused I would like to get my own this year.
Thank you for your response Stew Face 2

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gardentoad

Indiana
Posts: 73
Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:21 pm   


I start mine the end of February or first of March in in cell packs that are about 1" square and 2" deep. As they grow I remove the lower leaves and put them in progressivly larger pots with just the tops sticking out. I repot them 4 times. By the time we are past any frosts I have them in 2 gallon pots and they have massive root systems. I then plant them in the garden as deep as I can with just the top 2 or 3 branches sticking out.
Last year I had tons of tomatoes till frost and everyone else I know had their tomato plants weaken and die due to the drought. I know it takes a lot more room to do it this way but if you can only do 2 or 4 plants you'll still be better off than if all your tomatoes have shallow roots.
BTW, I'm in Indianapolis.

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marlingardener
Central Texas, zone 8
Posts: 5033
Posted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:11 am   


Margie, I think that early March would be just fine, especially in view of GardenToad's response (who is your fellow Hoosier).
If you have florescent lights on your seedlings, about 3-4" above the little plants, they will be less leggy. Of course, when you repot, you can bury them up to the first set of leaves and many of those little "hairs" on the stem will become roots.
I always have a few seedlings that reach for the sky and get tall and floppy, and I just repot them up to their first set of true leaves and they do fine.

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