When should I start tomato seeds?

Asked December 27, 2013, 8:45 AM EST

Please tell me when I should start tomato seeds for spring planting in my garden....zone 9A (gulf coast).

Matagorda County Texas

1 Response

Starting tomato seeds is usually a 6-8 week affair that allows for germination, thinning, growth beyond the two true leaf stage and hardening off. Typically, you backtrack that amount of time from your average last frost date to get an idea of when you can begin starting seeds. If you look at the frost maps on page 3 of thet Texas Home Gardening Guide [http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/organic/files/2011/03/E-502_home_vegetable_guide.pdf], you can get an idea of the date. If I'm reading the map correctly, it's the end of January - mid February depending on what part of the county you are in. Keep in mind these are average dates so you may get a later frost.