The days are getting warmer and spring fever is rampant. Gardeners are already itching to get started with this year’s garden. However, it may be a bit too early to start tomato seeds indoors. Tomatoes – because they’re so easy to grow – are one of the plants that gardeners start indoors for transplant when the weather warms. Tim Reinbott – Superintendent for the Bradford Research and Extension Center for University of Missouri Extension – says there’s a simple trick to get a jump with your tomato seeds. “You can put your seeds on the top of your refrigerator because the unit gives off heat. That will bottom heat your soil medium and that will give you a kick start,” said Reinbott.
The biggest problem facing the novice tomato grower is they often start their seeds too early. Reinbott said patience will pay dividends. “You start putting tomatoes out in April they may not freeze, but it is cool enough that they’re just going to sit there. I would say you have well into April to plant your seeds. That’s the neat thing about tomatoes,” adds Reinbott.
If your seedling get too leggy when you go to transplant them, plant them deeper. They will root at the different nodes. When starting seeds be sure to use a potting mix and not soil. Also make sure the seedlings get good water drainage.