Master Gardener Mike Nelson told KMRS that if you plan to grow your own tomatoes from seed, it’s time to get going on that process. Some tomato varieties are easier to grow than others, he noted.

“Tomatoes have a long growing season, so unless you start them indoors you probably won’t get many tomatoes to ripen before the frost,” said Nelson. “Right now would be, if you want to have something in the ground transplanted by June 1st, you should have your plants seeded right now in the house.”

Nelson recommended using a seed starting mixture and to find the best varieties for our region. Ideally, the home gardener would use some indoor lighting to start the tomatoes and, if possible, a heating mat under the plants. After three weeks, transplant them into a larger container. When the soil reaches 60 degrees and you are ready for planting, use proper spacing of at least 18 inches apart as tomatoes don’t like to be crowded. Plant them deep, Nelson said, and throw compost in the hole. Then water it and add mulch.

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