Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 11:43 am
Location: NJ

Can I plant my tomato seeds at this point (5/17/2012)

Hello everyone:

I'm new here. I planted 11 heirloom tomato seeds in my raised box in 04/15/2012 and only 1 cherry tomato plant came up. There are 4 'volunteers' coming up in other parts of my garden so I'm not sure why the first 10 didn't come up. I covered the raised box with plastic to keep the temperature as stable as possible during the month of April and the beginning of May. Can I plant my tomato seeds again now that it is warming up or will this be a waist of time? I'm in NJ by the way...

Senior Member
Posts: 103
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:43 pm
Location: Southeast MI

why not? I get volunteers every year, and by the 4th of july alot of them are as well off as transplants. sometimes even better!! what have you got to lose...a pinch of seeds???
I started a compost pile, because I gardened. Now I find myself gardening, so I have someplace for my compost!!

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Posts: 1
Joined: Tue May 22, 2012 7:56 pm
Location: New Jersey, USA

It depends on what varieties you want to start now.

I am also from NJ.

It may be too late to start some of the varieties that take a long time to get your first harvest. Check the Days to Maturity on the seed packet. The higher the number, the longer the wait. And the number means days from transplant of an existing plant, not days from seed.

As another gardener stated above, you might want to (a) buy transplants this year and (b) consider starting transplants in small pots next year.

For transplants this year, a search for "tomato" on your local Craigslist under Farm and Garden might give you some listings of backyard gardeners who are selling heirloom tomato starts cheaper than you'll pay at a store or nursery.

At least one gardening expert/author recommends starting in pots because transplanting gives you the opportunity to transplant them deeper, which grows roots along the buried stem. So you get a better root system than you would if you started them right in the ground. (I'm just repeating what I read.)

As for next year, if you don't want to spend the money on lights (although a shop light isn't that expensive and you'll have it for years to come), have you considered "winter sowing?" There is a website that explains the process... www.wintersown.org. Winter sowing works well with tomato plants. You take an empty gallon milk jug, throw away the cap, cut it horizontally around the middle, poke holes in the bottom, put about 4" of moistened planting mix in it, plant the seeds, and tape it shut again. I put my containers outside in the beginning of March (no matter how cold or snowy) and they germinate the beginning of April. At planting time in May I have sturdy little transplants ready. And the sun is free. 8)
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Posts: 24
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 1:06 am
Location: Southern Wi. USA

I started from seed and it took 47 days to get buds on my first plants and my be 55 for the others.
4th year

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