starting tomato seedlings earlier this year?

Asked February 26, 2017, 3:10 PM EST

Hi, Since it seems we are on track for an early spring, should I start my tomato starts indoor earlier this year? The planting calendar says not to start them till April, but last year I started them too late and missed the boat! If you have thoughts about when to start the tomatoes indoors, I'd love to hear them! Thanks,

Montgomery County Maryland vegetables seeding tomatoes

1 Response

In general, tomato seeds are started about 6 weeks before the last frost date. Start seeds around the end of March for transplanting in the ground about Mothers Day or later. Be prepared to protect the plants if frost is predicted. http://extension.umd.edu/growit/food-gardening-101/plant-seeds-your-success

If you seed now, the plants will be big plants in April. It is very possible the weather may not cooperate for transplanting outdoors. It is up to you if you want to experiment by a few weeks. However, Tomatoes are a warm season plant and will not take off until soils warm.
If you want early tomatoes here are some tips http://extension.umd.edu/growit/tips-early-tomatoes
http://extension.umd.edu/growit/vegetable-profiles-tomatoes

Here is our planting calendar http://extension.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/not_updated/GE007_Ve...
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