If you’re going to grow tomatoes from seed, you need to get started now.  April 15 is our last average  frost date here in central North Carolina.  Back time from that date , and you’ve got 4 or 5 weeks to get your plants ready to set out. 

So I sowed my  tomatoes  last Friday.  They’re under lights on my dinning room table and I’m anxiously awaiting signs of life any day. 

Ok, you can buy  tomato plants  ready to set out next month, but for me, there are three main reasons for starting from seed :

  1. Starting tomatoes from seed allows me to grow many hard to find varieties like the wonderful Sweet Chelsea–Also, I can try new varieties, like Bella Rossa, a tomato I hope to have great luck with this year. 
  2.  Starting tomatoes  from seed is inexpensive.  For the price of a four pack of plants at the garden center, I can buy a pack of seed and grow at least 20 plants.    That means I have lots of tomatoes to share with family and friends, a Springtime tradition I enjoy very much
  3. Growing tomatoes from seed is great fun.  Tomato seedlings germinate quickly, they’re very forgiving, and they smell just like fresh tomatoes when they’re only an inch or so tall.  It’s  a great activity to do with children.  The process even fills old-time gardeners like me with wonder.  Seeds are nature’s miracles.  They always make my heart beat faster. 

Here’s a link to a photo how-to on seed starting I posted last Spring.  https://youshouldgrowthat.wordpress.com/2010/03/01/how-to-sow-seeds-a-latenight-pictorial/   If you’ve never grown from seed, tomatoes are a great place to start.  Have fun.