March is the time to start tomatoes from seed in most parts of the country. You think itís too late? No -- really! Many folks start tomato seeds indoors too early. Tomato plants canít be planted outside until all frost is past -- which is about 6 to 8 weeks from now for most areas. Started in March, your tomato plants will be just the right size and age to go out into the garden. Take me to Tomato Seeds.
Start your seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before your last spring frost.
Use sterile seed-starting mixture for best results.
Provide 12-18 hours of light daily from fluorescent fixtures 6-8 inches above the plants. Turn the lights off at night.
Raise the lights as seedlings grow.
Use a fertilizer dissolved in the water, at about half strength, each time you water, starting when seedlings have 2 pairs of leaves.
Thin plants as suggested on seed packet.
When frost is past, take your seedlings outdoors during the day, shading them from direct sun. Bring seedlings in each evening. After a week or so, the plants have "hardened off" and you can plant them into the garden.
Tomatoes need sun, all day. Pick a sunny area where water does not stand after a heavy rain and trees do not cast shadows.
Plant seedlings a little deeper than they were in the pots. Provide stakes about 6 in. from plants, and tie plants up as they grow.
Prune the suckers (branches) off your large-fruited varieties to give you bigger fruits.
Keep your tomato plants evenly moist all through the growing season, and fertilize regularly with a formula low in nitrogen and high in phosphorus and potassium.