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Garden Tips - Frequent Plant Questions

Tomatoes - Tomato

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Question
I have saved pepper and tomatoe seeds from last years garden to plant this spring. Do I need to stratify them befor planting?

Answer
No you don't HAVE to, but it's a good way to start 'em, and it let's you get a jump on the weather by starting them indoors. I usually save my seeds in the freezer as well to simulate a winter freeze; I find that you get better germination that way. Doing them in peat pots or jiffy plugs is the best way to go, as you don't disturb the roots when planting them out.

A fluorescent light is the best light to start them under; keep the lights about four inches above the growing surface (adjustable chains allow for plant growth). You should start them around 8 weeks before you're going to set them out; don't rush it or a late frost can undo a lot of hard work. But the jump on Mother Nature can mean another month of harvesting, so I think it's worth it!